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What instrument was famous among the ancient Greeks


The instrument that was famous among the ancient Greeks was the Lyre: the invention, or rather discovery, of this instrument is ascribed by them to their most celebrated deities. It is supposed to have originated from the discovery of a dead tortoise, the flesh of which had dried and wasted, so that nothing was left within the shell but sinews and cartilages: these, tightened and contracted, on account of their dryness, were rendered sonorous.

Some one, Mercury (The heathen god of eloquence, letters, and the messenger of the other gods.) or Apollo (The god of music, poetry, medicine, and the fine arts), they affirm, in walking along, happening to strike his foot against the tortoise, was greatly pleased with the sound it produced: thus was suggested to him the first idea of a lyre, which he afterwards constructed in the form of a tortoise, and strung with the dried sinews of dead animals. The stringed instruments already described were made to give out musical sounds, by causing a vibratory motion in their strings by means of the fingers.