Romanian panpipe; in the Horniman Museum, London
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In classical mythology, Syrinx (Greek Συριγξ) was a nymph and a follower of Artemis, known for her chastity. Pursued by the amorous Greek god Pan, she ran to the river's edge and asked for assistance from the river nymphs. In answer, she was transformed into hollow water reeds that made a haunting sound when the god's frustrated breath blew across them. Pan cut the reeds to fashion the first set of pan pipes, which were thence forth known as syrinx. (Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.689ff) The word syringe was derived from this word.
The pre-Raphaelite artist, Arthur Hacker (September 25, 1858 – November 12, 1919), depicted Syrinx in his 1892 portrait. This painting in oil on canvas is currently on display in Manchester Art Gallery.
An animated short, produced by the National Film Board of Canada and Animated by famed artist Ryan Larkin, depicts the mythological "Syrinx" being pursued by Pan.
Claude Debussy wrote "Syrinx (La Flute De Pan)" based on Pan's sadness over losing his love. This piece was the first unaccompanied flute solo of the 20th century, and remains a very popular addition to the modern flutist's repertoire. It was used as incidental music in the play Psyché by Gabriel Mourey.
Danish composer Carl Nielsen composed "Pan and Syrinx" (Pan og Syrinx), Op. 49, FS 87.
French composer Yvonne Desportes composed "6 Dances pour Syrinx" - for guitar and flute.