Monday, February 25, 2013

Reed Instruments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzWITU3L-F0


    An aulos was a reed instrument, and it sounded kind of like bagpipes without the bag.  A Satyr, a pan person, wicked from nature, untroubled by the niceties, Goat-like, and always devious in an irritating if impish way, might have invented the aulos.  Or the Satyr might have happened upon the aulos that Athena threw away because playing it made her cheeks puffy, and she was the Virgin Patroness of Athens, so necessary to always appear beautiful and calm, no matter the circumstance. 

    I might once have liked to think I was named after Timotheus of Thebes. He was an aulos player that inspired Alexander the Great to raise his sword, gather his shield, go forth and conquer.  But I have seen what it takes to play the launeddas, a Sardinian instrument, which also sounds like bagpipes without the bag, and I have come slowly to the realization that Plato was correct in his desire to ban the aulos from his dream of a perfect Republic. And how the world might have changed had he succeeded.


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