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For other uses, see Terpsichore (disambiguation).
Roman statue of Terpsichore from Hadrian's Villa, presently at the Prado Museum (Madrid).
Terpsichore, Muse of Music and ballet, an oil on canvas painting by Jean-Marc Nattier (1739).

In Greek mythology, Terpsichore (/tərpˈsɪkər/; Τερψιχόρη) "delight in dancing" was one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus.[1] She lends her name to the word "terpsichorean" which means "of or relating to dance". She is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the ballerinas' choirs with her music. Her name comes from the Greek words τέρπω ("delight") and χoρός ("dance"). She is also a mother of the sirens and Parthenope.

In popular culture[edit]



  • Terpsichore is also the name of a street in New Orleans' historic neighborhoods of Faubourg Lafayette and the Lower Garden District. It runs alongside Euterpe and Melpomene streets, also named for Greek muses.
  • Terpsichorean is also the name of the Choreography Society of Hans Raj College, University of Delhi.


  • Terpsichore figures among her sisters in Hesiod's Theogony.
  • When The Histories of Herodotus were divided by later editors into nine books, each book was named after a Muse. Terpsichore was the name of the fifth book.
  • The character of Wilkins Micawber, Esq, Jr. is described as a "votary of Terpsichore", in an Australian newspaper brought to London by Dan Peggotty in 1850 novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
  • T.S. Eliot in the poem Jellicle Cats from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), refers to the "terpsichorean powers'" Jellicle Cats as they dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.
  • Terpischore "Choral Dance" is the name of a chapter in Theresa Cha's Dictee.
  • "Some Terpsichore" is the title of a short story in a 2014 book, Thunderstruck and Other Stories, by Elizabeth McCracken.

Music and dance[edit]

  • "Terpsichore" is the title of a large collection of dance tunes collected by Michael Praetorius, some originating with Pierre-Francisque Caroubel and some later adapted for wind ensemble by Bob Margolis.
  • Terpsichore is also found in François Couperin's "Second Ordre" from the Pièces de clavecin, and in the third version (HWV 8c) of Handel's opera Il pastor fido (1712). This opera is sometimes referred to as Terpsicore and Il pastor fido.
  • The Jimmy Van Heusen/Sammy Cahn song "Come Dance with Me" (popularized by Frank Sinatra) includes the lyric "what an evening for some Terpsichore." However it is sung as a three-syllable word with the "chore" component pronounced like "core" (to rhyme with "for") rather than "curry".
  • The Russian singer Origa sings a song, "Tersicore".
  • Canadian punk band Gob has a song called "Terpsichore" on their album Apt. 13.
  • The eighteenth century French dancer and courtesan Marie-Madeleine Guimard named the private theater in her private palace (1766) the Temple of Terpsichore.
  • Terpsichore in Sneakers is the title of a 1980 study of postmodern dance by dance historian and critic Sally Banes.
  • The song "Terpsichora" is included on J-Pop singer Akiko Shikata's 2007 album Istoria: Musa.
  • The album Cool by Bob James and Earl Klugh features a track called "Terpsichore".
  • In the art of the Russian rockband "Splean" is the eponymous song


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Theoi Project, Greek Mythology, Muses [1], Retrieved April 29, 2014
  2. ^ "New Flower Named For Rita Hayworth". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. August 29, 1946. p. 15. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ Ross, Robert Alan (August 23, 1980). "'Xandau' is a pale imitation of old musicals". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. p. 5B. Retrieved May 2, 2016. 

External links[edit]