Parthenope: The name of a siren who, in desperation at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shores of Naples; the Italian city, therefore, is sometimes referred to by the name of the lost siren. In Fielding's context, it is important to note that, in addition to being a symbol of excessive, exaggerated female grief, she and her sisters "challenged the muses to a musical duel and lost." In true Scriblerian tradition, Parthenope would have been an image of improbable exaggeration as well as a pretender to the artistic legitimacy represented in the muses.
"The name siren comes from the Greek meaning to bind. The Sirens originally had the bodies of birds and the faces of women. They also had beautiful voices that could seduce any sailor. In Greek origin, Sirens were the daughters of the river deity Achelous, magically born from drops of his blood. They challenged the muses to a musical duel and lost. In losing, the muses plucked out their wings stripping them of their power of flight. From these feathers, the muses made themselves crowns to remind them of their victory. So they were forced to the shore lines where the used there musical talents to lure sailors to them. They then ate the sailors. The island which they live on, just near the strait of Messina where the Scylla and Chaybdis reside, was white with the bones of dead sailors. In later legends, they are often transformed into mermaids who use their beautiful voices to lure mortals to them. When Odysseus on his fabled voyage came across the Sirens, her forced his sailors to put wax in their ears, thus blocking out the voices of the Sirens. Odysseus though, tied himself to the mast of his ship, forcing himself to hear the Sirens. After passing the Sirens, it is said that they die, either by drowning themselves because of their defeat, or because of some prophecy. The only other person who was able to get past the Sirens was Orpheus, who drowned out the Sirens' voices by playing his lyre louder than them. In non-Homeric Greek legend, the Sirens are the companions of Persephone. They were punished for failing to prevent Hades from abducting her. In punishment of this, they became escorts of the dead. The number of Sirens varies depending on the source. Most say that there are two or more, and some names of particular sirens are given: Teles, Raidne, Molpe, Thelxiope, Parthenope, Lecosia, Ligia, and Aglaophonus." (from Encyclopedia of Monsters, Etc., my emphasis)