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Terpander

Updated on January 16, 2011

Terpander was a Greek musician and poet, who is often called the father of Greek classical music. He was born at Antissa in Lesbos. He was reputed to have gone to Sparta at the command of the Delphic Oracle. Despite his reputation, only a few lines of his work and very little writing about him remain.

He is credited with developing the first Greek school of music and with increasing the number of strings on the lyre from three or four to seven. However, evidence indicates an earlier date for the change on the lyre. In 676 B.C. he was awarded the music prize at the feast of Apollo Carneius.

Terpander also wrote lyric poetry, some intended to be sung in chorus to his lyre and flute music. He is believed to have died in Sparta.

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