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And concerning the instrument called the tripod (this also is a musical instrument) the before-mentioned Artemo writes as follows—“And that is how it is that there are many instruments, as to which it is even uncertain whether they ever existed; as, for instance, the tripod of Pythagoras of Zacynthus. For as it was in fashion but a very short time, and as, either because the fingering of it appeared exceedingly difficult, or for some other reason, it was very soon disused, it has escaped the notice of most writers altogether. But the instrument was in form very like the Delphian tripod, and it derived its name from it; but it was used like a triple harp. For its feet stood on some pedestal which admitted of being easily turned round, just as the legs of movable chairs are made; and along the three intermediate spaces between the feet, strings were stretched; an arm being placed above each, and tuning-pegs, to which the strings were attached, below. And on the top there was the usual ornament of the vase, and of some other ornaments which were attached to it; all which gave it a very elegant appearance; and it emitted a very powerful sound. And Pythagoras divided the three harmonies with reference to three countries,—the Dorian, the Lydian, and Phrygian. And he himself sitting on a chair made on the same principles and after the same pattern, putting out his left hand so as to take hold of the instrument, and using the plectrum in his other hand, moved the pedestal with his foot very easily, so as to use whichever side of the instrument he chose to begin with; and then again turning to the other side he went on playing, and then he changed to the third side. And so rapidly did the easy movement of the pedestal, when touched by the foot, bring the various sides under his hand, and so very rapid was his fingering and execution, that if a person had not seen what was being done, but had judged only by his ear, he would have fancied that he was listening to three harp-players [p. 1019] all playing on different instruments. But this instrument, though it was so greatly admired, after his death rapidly fell into disuse.”
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