Whether it is singing, harp playing, or flute playing, a
most careful watch is kept upon the character of the music taught
the lads. The master who lets his pupils learn many soft, dulcet,
languishing airs will find his charges' parents extremely angry, even to
depriving him of their patronage. Very soft music, in "Lydian modes," is
counted effeminate, fit only for the women's quarters and likely to do
boys no good. The riotous type also, of the "Ionic mode," is fit only
for drinking songs and is even more under the ban.
What is especially in favor is the stern, strenuous Dorian mode. This
will make boys hardy, manly, and brave. Very elaborate music with trills
and quavers is in any case frowned upon. It simply delights the trained
ear, and has no reaction upon the character; and of what value is a
musical presentation unless it leaves the hearers and performer better,
worthier men? Let the average Athenian possess the opportunity, and he
will infallibly stamp with disapproval a great part of both the popular
and the classical music of the later ages.