muses (Greek: goddesses of fine arts; including, Calliope, Clio, Erato, Urania, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Thalia, Melpomene, and Terpsichore).
Goddesses of the various fine arts. There were nine beautiful daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne [nee MAHS uh nee], a Titaness, from which we have words meaning "memory," and "mnemonic".
The Muses were goddesses of poetic inspiration and poets of ancient times, and even of early-modern times, would always start important poems by calling on the Muses for inspiration. In those classical times, poetry, drama, and other forms of recitation were done from memory with the accompaniment of melodious sounds that came to be known as "music". Temples built in honor of the Muses were devoted to study and learning and these temples became known as "musia", or incorrectly as "museums".
The nine Muses were in charge of different branches of the fine arts.
Calliope [kuh LIGH uh pee] was head of the Muses. She was the Muse of heroic poetry and eloquence.
Clio [KLEE oh], was the muse of history.
Erato [ER uh toh] and Urania [yoo RAY nee uh] are two Muses with the feminine-version names of Eros and Uranus. Erato was the Muse of love poetry and Urania was the Muse of astronomy.
Euterpe [yoo TUR pee] was the Muse of ordinary music and Polyhymnia [PAHL ee HIM nee uh] was the Muse of religious music.
Thalia [thuh LIGH uh] was the Muse of comedy and Melpomene [mel PAHM i nee] was the Muse of tragedy.
The ninth Muse was Terpsichore [terp SIK oh ree], goddess of the dance. Even today, dancing is sometimes jokingly spoken of as the "terpsichorean art".