There are two versions of the origin of the Muses: that they are daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, or Uranus and Gaia.
It was said that there were nine Muses, and that they were part of the entourage of Apollo. According to the Greek tradition, the Muses love to sing and their first song praised the victory of the Olympian gods over the Titans, when a new cosmic order was established.
It is said that sometimes the Muses accompanied the Kings, inspiring their words and filling them with wisdom, giving them the power of justice and virtue. In the tradition, those were monarchs inspired by the Muses, worshiped by their people.
They said that the Muses dwelt in the Parnassus, which is a mount consecrated to Apollo, and they may also be found in the fountain Hippocrene in Beotia, in the sanctuary of Helicon.
The Muses accepted the challenge. The daughters of that king sang a song that raised the enthusiasm of the birds themselves, but the one sang by the Muses was even better, so they lost the challenge and were punished for their arrogance. They were turned into magpies, and since that moment only nasty squawk got out of their mouths, being the magpies one of the birds with the most nasty voice.
It is told that the Sirens also challenged the Muses, and their punishment was to loss the feathers of their wings and the Muses used them as ornaments.
In the ancient epic Greek stories, the Muses were invoked in the beginning of the book, to help the author to choose the correct words to tell the historical events.
The 9 Muses are: