There were also some instruments besides those which were blown into, and those which were used with different strings, which gave forth only sounds of a simple nature, such as the castanets (κρέμβαλα), which are mentioned by Dicæarchus, in his essay on the Manners and Customs of Greece, where he says, that formerly certain instruments were in very frequent use, in order to accompany women while dancing and singing; and when any one touched these instruments with their fingers they uttered a shrill sound. And he says that this is plainly shown in the hymn to Diana, which begins thus—
Diana, now my mind will have me utterAnd Hermippus, in his play called The Gods, gives the word for rattling the castanets, κρεμβαλίζειν, saying—
A pleasing song in honour of your deity,
While this my comrade strikes with nimble hand
The well-gilt brazen-sounding castanets.
And beating down the limpets from the rocks,But Didymus says, that some people, instead of the lyre, are in the habit of striking oyster-shells and cockle-shells against [p. 1017] one another, and by these means contrive to play a tune in time to the dancers, as Aristophanes also intimates in his Frogs.1
They make a noise like castanets (κρεμβαλιζουσι).