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179
LYRE

We may re ard the' Olympus scale, however-, as consisting of two tetra chords, eliding one interval in each, for the tetra chord, or series of four notes, was very early adopted as the fundamental principle of Greek music, and its origin in the lyre itself appears sure. The basis of the tetra chord is the employment of the thumb and first three fingers of the left hand to twang as many strings, the little finger not being used on account of natural weakness. As a succession of three whole tones would form the disagreeable and untunablf interval of a tritonus, two whole tones and a half-tone were tuned, fixing the tetra chord in the consonant interval of the perfect fourth. This succession of four notes being in the grasp of the hand was called (fU>xU.B';], just as in language a group of letters incapable of further reduction is called syllable. In the combination of two syllables or tetra chords the modern diatonic scales resemble the Greek so-called disjunct scale, but the Greeks knew nothing of our categorical distinctions of major and minor. We might call the octave Greek scale minor, according to our descending minor form, were not the keynote in the middle the thumb note of the deeper tetra chord. The upper tetra chord, whether starting from the keynote (conjunct) or from the note above (disjunct), was of exactly the same form as the lower, the sition of the semitones being identical. The semitone was a limma Elilip./ia), rather less than the semitone of our modern equal temperament, the Greeks tuning both the, whole tones in the tetra chord by the same ratio of 8:9', which made the major third a dissonance, or rather would have done so had they combined them in what we call harmony. In melodious sequence the Greek tetra chord is decidedly more agreeable to the ear, than the corresponding series of our equal temperament. And although our scales are derived from combined tetra chords, in any system of tuning that we employ, be it just, mean-tone, or equal, they'are less logical than the conjunct or disjunct systems accepted by the Greeks. But modern harmony is not compatible with them, and could not have arisen on the Greek melodic lines.

The conjunct scale of seven notes attributed to Terpander, was long the norm -for stringing and tuning the lyre. When the disjunct scale 1

the octave scale attributed to Pythagoras, was admitted, to preserve the time-honoured seven strings one note had to be omitted; it was therefore customary to omit the C, which in Greek practice was a dissonance. The Greek names for the strings of seven and eight stringed lyres, the first note being highest in pitch and nearest the player, were as follows: Nete, Paranete, Pararnese; -Mese, Lichanos, Parhypate, Hypate; or Nete, Paranete, T rite, Pararnese; Mese, Lichanos, Parhypate, Hypate-the last four from Mese to Hypate being the finger tetra chord, the others touched with the plectrum. The highest strin in pitch, was .called the last, veaim; the lowest in pitch was called the highest, nrrdrn, because it was, in theory at least, the longest string. The keynote and thumb string was uéan, middle; the next lower was Mxavos, the first 'linger or lick-finger string; rpiv-11, the third, being in the plectrum division, was also known as 65611, sharp, perhaps from the dissonant quality to which we have referred as the cause of its omission. The plectrum and linger tetra chords together were étarranrébv, through all; in the disjunct scale, an octave.

In transcribing the Greek notes into our notation, the absolute pitch cannot be represented; the relative positions of the semitones are alone determined. We have already quoted the scale of Pythagoras, the Dorian or true Greek succession:-

Shifting the semitone one degree upwards in each tetra chord, we have the Phrygian, ~ .

§ :, ge

5-

Another degree gives the Lydian

which would be our major scale of E were not the keynote A. The names imply an Asiatic origin. We need not here pursue further the much-debated question of Greek scales and their derivation; 'it will suffice to remark that the outside notes of the tetra chords were fixed in their tuning as perfect fourths—the inner strings being, as stated, in diatonic sequence, or when chromatic two half-tones were tuned, when enharmonic two quarter-tones, leavin respectively the wide intervals of a minor and major third, and botlgi impure, to complete the tetra chord. (A.d I. H.)-See

the article by Théodore Reinach in Daremberg an Saglio, Antiguités grecques et rornaines; Wilhelm Johnsen, Die" Lyra, ein -BlR*D' f 179

Bettrag zur griechischen, Kunstgeschichte (Berlin, 1876); Hortense Panum, “ Harfe und Lyra. in Nord Europa, ” Intern. Mus. Ges., Sbd. vii. 1, pp. I-40 (Lei zig, ' 1905); A. ]. Hipkins, “ Dorian and Phrygian, reconsidered) from a non-harmonic point of view, " in Intern. Mus Ges. (Leipzig. 1903), iv. 3.


LYRE-BIRD, the name by which one of the most remarkable birds of Australiais commonly known, the Menura superba or M novae-hollandrae of ornithologists. It was first observed in 1798 in New South Wales, and though called by its finders a “ pheasant ”- -from its long tail—the more learned of the colony seem to have regarded it as a bird-of-Paradise? A specimen having reached England in 1799, it was described by General Davies as forminga new genus of birds, in the Linnean Society's Transactions (vi. p. 2o7, ipl. xxii.), no attempt, however, being made to fix its systematic place. In 1802 L. P. Vieillot figured and described it in a supplement to his Oiseaux Dorés as a birdof-Paradise (ii. pp. 30 seq., pls. 14-16), from drawings by Sydenham Edwards, sent him by Parkinson, the manager of the Leverian Museum. The first to describe any portion of its anatomy was T. C.—Eyton, who in 1841 (Ann. Nat. History, vii. pp. 49-53) perceived that it was a Passerine bird and that it presented some points of affinity to the South American genus Pteroptochus. In 1867 Huxley stated that he was disposed to divide his very natural assemblage the Coracornorphae (essentially identical with Eyton's I nsessores) into two groups, “ one containing M enura, and the other all the other genera which have yet been examined” (Proc. Zool. Soct, 1867, p. 472)-a still- further step in advance.” In 1875 A. Newton put forth the opinion in- his article on birds, in the oth edition of this Encyclopaedia, that M enura had an ally in another Australian form, Atrichia (see SCRUB~BIRD), which he had found to present peculiarities hither-to unsuspected, and he regarded them as standing by themselves, though each constituting a distinct family. This opinion was partially adopted in the following year by A. H. Garrod, who ('Proc; Zoot. Society, 1876, p. 518) formally placed these two genera together in his group of Abnormal Acromyodian Oscines under 'the name of M ennrinoe; ornithologists now generally recognize at once the alliance and distinctness of the families Menuridae and Atrichiidae, and place them together to form the group S ubosclnes of the Diacromyodian Passeres. Since the appearance in 1865 of ]. Gould's Handbook to the Birds of Australia, little important information has been published concerning the habits of this form, and the account therein given must be drawn upon for what here follows. Of all birds, says that author, the M enura is the most shy and hard to procure. He has been among the rocky and thick “ brushes ”-its usual haunts-hearing its loud and liquid call-notes for days together without getting sight of one. Those 'who wish to seeit must advance only while it is singing or scratching up the earth and leaves; and to watch its actions they must keep perfectly still. The best way of procuring an example seems to be by hunting it with dogs, when it will spring upon a branch to the height of ro ft. and afford an easy shot ere it has time to ascend farther or escape as it does by leaps. Natives are said to hunt it by fixing on their heads the erected tail of a cock-bird, which alone is allowed to be seen above the brushwood. The greater part of its time is said to be passed upon the ground, and seldom are more than a pair to be found in company. One of the habits of the cock is to form small round hillocks, which he constantly visits during the day, mounting upon them and displaying his tail by erecting it over his head, drooping his wings, scratching and pecking at the soil, and uttering various cries-some his own natural notes, others an imitation of those of other animals. The tail, his most characteristic feature, only attains perfection in the bird's third or fourth year, and then not until the month of June, remaining 'until October, when the feathers are shed to be renewed the following/season. The food consists of insects; especially beetles and myriapods, as well as snails. The nestis (London, 1802).

at his disposal,

in Jllenura is not

with elaborate

Transactions (ix.

I Collins, Account of New South Wales, ii. 87-92 Owing to the imperfection of the specimen

Huxley's brief description of the bones of the head absolutely correct. A full description of them, figures) is given by Parker in the same Society's 306-309, pl. lvi. figs. 1-5).