The Nine Muses were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. The two gods slept together for nine nights and nine daughters were born: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flutes and lyric poetry), Thalia (comedy and pastoral poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Terpsichore(dance), Erato (love poetry), Polhymnia (sacred poetry), Urania (astronomy). Appolon was their leader and they all stayed to Elliconas Mountain, close to Olympus.
Melpomene , initially the Muse of Chorus, she then became the Muse of Tragedy, for which she is best known now. Her name was derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai meaning "to celebrate with dance and song." She is often represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothornus, boots traditionally worn by tragic actors. Often, she also holds a knife or club in one hand and the tragic mask in the other.
Thalia was the goddess who presided over comedy and idyllic poetry. In this context her name means "flourishing", because the praises in her songs flourish through time. She was portrayed as a young woman with a joyous air, crowned with ivy, wearing boots and holding a comic mask in her hand. Many of her statues also hold a bugle and a trumpet (both used to support the actors' voices in ancient comedy), or occasionally a shepherd’s staff or a wreath of ivy.