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Now formerly decorum was carefully attended to in music, and everything in this art had its suitable and appropriate ornament: on which account there were separate flutes for each separate kind of harmony; and every flute-player had flutes adapted to each kind of harmony in their contests. But Pronomus the Theban was the first man who played the three different kinds of harmony already mentioned on the same flute. But now people meddle with music in a random and inconsiderate manner. And formerly, to be popular with the vulgar was reckoned a certain sign of a want of real skill: on which account Asopodorus the Phliasian, when some flute-player was once being much applauded while he himself was remaining in the hyposcenium,1 said—“What is all this? the man has evidently committed some great blunder:”—as else he could not possibly have been so much approved of by the mob. But I am aware that some people tell this story as if it were Antigenides who said this. But in our days artists make the objects of their art to be the gaining the applause of the spectators in the theatre; on which account Aristoxenus, in his book entitled Promiscuous Banquets, says— “We act in a manner similar to the people of Pæstum who dwell in the Tyrrhenian Gulf; for it happened to them, though they were originally Greeks, to have become at last completely barbarised, becoming Tyrrhenians or Romans, and to have changed their language, and all the rest of their national habits. But one Greek festival they do celebrate even to the present day, in which they meet and recollect all their ancient names and customs, and bewail their loss to one another, and then, when they have wept for them, they go home. And so,” says he, “we also, since the theatres have become completely barbarised, and since music has become entirely ruined and vulgar, we, being but a few, will recal to [p. 1009] our minds, sitting by ourselves, what music once was.” And this was the discourse of Aristoxenus.
1 It is not known what part of the theatre this was.
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