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[669c] and, moreover, his blunder is very hard to discern, inasmuch as our poets are inferior as poets to the Muses themselves.1 For the Muses would never blunder so far as to assign a feminine tune and gesture to verses composed for men, or to fit the rhythms of captives and slaves to gestures framed for free men, or conversely, after constructing the rhythms and gestures of free men, to assign to the rhythms

1 In what follows, the main features censured are—incongruity, when the words, tunes and gestures of an acted piece of music are out of harmony; senselessness, when tunes and gestures are divorced from words; barbarousness, when the thing represented is paltry or uncouth (such as a duck's quack); virtuosity, when the performer makes a display of the control he has over his limbs and instruments, like a mountebank or “contortionist.” All these are marks of bad music from the point of view of the educationist and statesman, since they are neither “correct” nor morally elevating.

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