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MARSYAS 100.00%
A Silenus of Phrygian legend (really god of the river of the same name near the old Phrygian town Cybele), son of Hyagnis. He was the typical player on the flute. Among the Phrygians the flute entered into the worship of Cybele and Dionysus, and Marsyas is said to have instructed Olympus in playing upon that instrument. According to a Greek legend, Athene had invented the flute, and then cast it aside because it distorted the features of the player. Marsyas took it up, and became so skilful as to challenge Apollo, the patron god of the lyre. The Muses having declared him vanquished, the god flayed him; his skin was hung up in the cave from which the river Marsyas issued, and was said to move about joyfully when a flute was played. King Midas, who had decided in his favour, received as punishment from Apollo a pair of donkey's ears. The contest was a favourite subject in art.
 
OLYMPUS 91.59%
One of the mythic poets and musicians belonging to Phrygian mythology, pupil of Marsyas. The art of flute-playing, invented by Marsyas, was supposed to have been perfected by Olympus. A Phrygian family, in which the art of flute-playing was hereditary, traced their descent from him. The Phrygian Olympus, who lived about the 7th century before Christ, invented the auletic nomos (q.v.), and brought it into esteem among the Asiatic Greeks, was said to have been descended from the mythical Olympus.
 
SILEUS 32.42%
A primitive deity in the legends of Asia Minor. He is a divinity of the woodland and the fountains, whom people tried to catch in order to make him prophesy and sing to them. Thus king Midas of Phrygia got him into his power by mixing wine with a spring from which be used to drink, and made him instruct him in all kinds of wisdom. Afterwards, as a son of Hermes and a Nymph, or of Pan, and as the oldest of all the Satyrs, he was added to the train of Dionysus, and was regarded as his teacher and trainer and his constant companion. He is said to have prompted the god to invent the cultivation of the vine and the keeping of bees. He is described as a little old man, potbellied, with bald head and snub nose, his whole body very hairy; never without his skin of wine, always drunk, and hence usually riding on an ass, and led and supported by the other Satyrs; or, again, as tending and educating the child Bacchus, as he is represented in the celebrated group in the Louvre at Paris. A similar group in the Vatican at Rome is reproduced in the accompanying out. Figures of him standing or reclining were used, especially at Athens, as caskets for keeping within them precious pieces of carved work [Plato, Symp. 215, A, B]. There were also Sileni which were regarded in Asia as the inventors of the native music on the flute and the syrinae (see MARSYAS); their father was Papposilenus, who was represented as completely covered with hair and bestial in form.
 
MIDAS 28.62%
An old Phrygian king, son of Gordias and Cybele, in whose honour he is said to have founded a temple and instituted priests at Pessinus. When the drunken Silenus had lost his way and strayed into Midas' rose-gardens, the king brought him back to Dionysus. (According to another legend the king made him drunk by mingling wine with the spring Midas, and so caught him, that he might prophesy to him.) Dionysus granted Midas the fulfillment of his wish, that all he touched might turn to gold. But his very food and drink were changed at his touch, so that he prayed the god to take away the fatal gift. At the god's command he bathed in the Pactolus, which ever after became rich in gold. In the musical contest between Marsyas (or Pan) and Apollo, he decided for the former; on which account the god gave him the ears of an ass. He concealed them beneath a high cap, so that only his barber knew about it. However, he could not keep the secret for any length of time, and at last shouted it into a hole that he had dug into the ground; reeds grew from this hole, and whispered the secret to all the world. While this legend makes Midas himself appear as one of the Sileni belonging to the train of Dionysus (the ass being one of their attributes), the other points to him as the favourite of the divinity, whose first priest he was deemed to be, and who showered riches upon him.
 
FLUTE 23.72%
This was, in antiquity, an instrument resembling the modern clarionet made of reed, box, bay, ivory, or bone. Its invention was ascribed to Athene (see MARSYAS). The wind was introduced by a mouthpiece, with one or two tongues, put on at every performance. In addition to the holes at the mouth it often had holes at the sides provided with stops. Besides the single flute, a double flute was sometimes used, especially at theatrical performances, funerals, sacrifices, and festal processions. This consisted of two flutes played at the same time by means of either one or of two separate mouthpieces. The two flutes together had as many notes as the Syrinx (see SYRINX). The right hand played the bass flute (tibia dextra), the left hand the treble (tibia sinistra). The two flutes were either of equal length and similar form, or unequal length and similar form, or unequal length and dissimilar form. In the Phrygian double flute, one pipe was straight, the other larger and bent at the end like a horn (see fig. 1). It is a peculiarity of Greek and Roman flutes that they were sometimes provided with a check-band covering the mouth, its opening fitted with metal. Through this opening were fixed the mouthpieces of the double flute (fig. 2). The long pipe is also an invention of the ancients.
 
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