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[1342b] [1] for the Phrygian mode has the same effect among harmonies as the flute among instruments—both are violently exciting and emotional. This is shown by poetry; for all Bacchiac versification and all movement of that sort1 belongs particularly to the flute among the instruments, and these meters find their suitable accompaniment in tunes in the Phrygian mode among the harmonies: for example the dithyramb is admittedly held to be a Phrygian meter, and the experts on this subject adduce many instances to prove this, particularly the fact that Philoxenus when he attempted to compose a dithyramb, The Mysians, in the Dorian mode was unable to do so, but merely by the force of nature fell back again into the suitable harmony, the Phrygian. And all agree that the Dorian mode is more sedate and of a specially manly character. Moreover since we praise and say that we ought to pursue the mean between extremes, and the Dorian mode has this nature in relation to the other harmonies, it is clear that it suits the younger pupils to be educated rather in the Dorian melodies. But there are two objects to aim at, the possible as well as the suitable; for we are bound rather to attempt the things that are possible and those that are suitable for the particular class of people concerned; [20] and in these matters also there are dividing lines drawn by the ages—for instance, those whose powers have waned through lapse of time cannot easily sing the highly strung harmonies, but to persons of that age nature suggests the relaxed harmonies. Therefore some musical experts also rightly criticize Socrates2 because he disapproved of the relaxed harmonies for amusement, taking them to have the character of intoxication, not in the sense of the effect of strong drink, for that clearly has more the result of making men frenzied revellers, but as failing in power. Hence even with a view to the period of life that is to follow, that of the comparatively old, it is proper to engage in the harmonies and melodies of this kind too, and also any kind of harmony that is suited to the age of boyhood because it is capable of being at once decorous and educative, which seems to be the nature of the Lydian mode most of all the harmonies. It is clear therefore that we should lay down these three canons to guide education, moderation, possibility and suitability.

1 Or perhaps βακχεία and κίνησις denote bodily movement accompanying the song; or they may denote the emotional frenzy expressed and stimulated by it. The dithyramb was a form of poetry of this class, originally celebrating the birth of Dionysus. Philoxenus, one of the most famous dithyrambic poets, 435-380 B.C., lived at Athens, and later at the court of Dionysius of Syracuse.

2 Plat. Rep. 338e

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