Ode to Melpomene (The Ancient Greek Muse of Tragedy) |


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Ode to Melpomene (The Ancient Greek Muse of Tragedy)…

Melpomene , initially the Muse of Chorus, became the Muse of Tragedy, for which she is now best known.

Her name was derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai meaning “to celebrate with dance and song.” She is often represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothurnus, boots traditionally worn by tragic actors. Often, she also holds a knife or club in one hand and the tragic mask in the other.

Melpomene is the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Her sisters include Calliope (muse of epic poetry), Clio (muse of history), Euterpe (muse of lyrical poetry), Terpsichore (muse of dancing), Erato (muse of erotic poetry), Thalia (muse of comedy), Polyhymnia (muse of hymns), and Urania (muse of astronomy). She is also the mother of several of the Sirens, the divine handmaidens of Kore (Persephone/Proserpina) who were cursed by her mother, Demeter/Ceres, when they were unable to prevent the kidnapping of Kore (Persephone/Proserpina) by Hades/Pluto.

This piece is a short improvisation in the sorrowful & sobre ancient Greek Hypodorian Mode; the equivalent interval as A-A on the white notes of the piano & sometimes referred to as the ‘Natural Minor Mode”, this mode is the basis for all our modern minor keys.

The suitably mythological-looking lyre featured in this presentation, is “The Lyre of Thamyris” – handmade in modern Greece, by Luthieros:

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