Rhapsody

means songs strung together. The term was originally applied to the books of the Iliad and Odyssey, which at one time were in fragments. Certain bards collected together a number of the fragments, enough to make a connected “ballad,” and sang them as our minstrels sang the deeds of famous heroes. Those bards who sang the Iliad wore a red robe, and those who sang the Odyssey a blue one. Pìsistratos of Athens had all these fragments carefully compiled into their present form (Greek rapto, to sew or string together; ode, a song.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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