Description: The Western tendency to place melody at the center of musical experience has meant that the music of ancient Greece, which survives only in a few disjointed fragments of an imperfectly understood notation, has been written off for lost. But of course it’s not lost. Greek instruments have come down to museum collections here and there, and many of the missing pieces related to their construction can be filled in by examining the numerous representations of instruments in Greek art. It is known on what occasions the Greeks sang; the works on this album form an imagined entertainment at a symposium, essentially a party with entertainment. It is known that their attitude toward music involved what Bruno Nettl has called the “athletic ideal” — Greek music was virtuosic, and might have been structured in such a way as to allow players to compete with one another. It is known what the Greeks sang about; love and wine were common themes in song texts as well as in art. And finally there are theoretical texts, giving basic information about melody, scales, and especially rhythm. The task this disc sets itself is to synthesize all this information and come up with a best estimate of what the music may have sounded like. Specialists will no doubt weigh in on Melpomen, but for the average listener the results are impressive. The instruments constructed by ensemble leader Conrad Steinmann sound sometimes familiar (the aulos, a long tube with two mouthpieces and two reeds, is not so far from the Middle Eastern reed instruments that were the ancestors of the modern orchestral winds) and sometimes like nothing you’ve ever heard before (check out the rhombus, a sort of wind machine, on the very first track). Soprano Arianna Savall, the only vocalist except for a few responsorial passages, is gorgeous. And the album passes the test generalists will apply: it feels like it belongs in the ancient Greek culture one experiences in plays and prose essays. The Greek worldview revolved around a system of divinities that recognized the power inherent in natural forces. There’s a lot of percussion on this disc, and all the selections have the rough intensity one would expect from worshippers of the fox-skin-wearing god Dionysus. This is by nature a speculative piece of music-making, but it is less speculative than some others from many centuries later.
Music was essential to the pattern and texture of Greek life, as it was an important feature of religious festivals, marriage and funeral rites, and banquet gatherings. Our knowledge of ancient Greek music comes from actual fragments of musical scores, literary references, and the remains of musical instruments. Although extant musical scores are rare, incomplete, and of relatively late date, abundant literary references shed light on the practice of music, its social functions, and its perceived aesthetic qualities. Likewise, inscriptions provide information about the economics and institutional organization of professional musicians, recording such things as prizes awarded and fees paid for services. The archaeological record attests to monuments erected in honor of accomplished musicians and to splendid roofed concert halls. In Athens during the second half of the fifth century B.C., the Odeion (roofed concert hall) of Perikles was erected on the south slope of the Athenian akropolis—physical testimony to the importance of music in Athenian culture.
In addition to the physical remains of musical instruments in a number of archaeological contexts, depictions of musicians and musical events in vase painting and sculpture provide valuable information about the kinds of instruments that were preferred and how they were actually played. Although the ancient Greeks were familiar with many kinds of instruments, three in particular were favored for composition and performance: the kithara, a plucked string instrument; the lyre, also a string instrument; and the aulos, a double-reed instrument. Most Greek men trained to play an instrument competently, and to sing and perform choral dances. Instrumental music or the singing of a hymn regularly accompanied everyday activities and formal acts of worship.
Shepherds piped to their flocks, oarsmen and infantry kept time to music, and women made music at home. The art of singing to one’s own stringed accompaniment was highly developed. Greek philosophers saw a relationship between music and mathematics, envisioning music as a paradigm of harmonious order reflecting the cosmos and the human soul.
Ancient, Greek, Music, mythology, history, hymn, enchant, melody, choir, hercules, lyra, centaur, pegasos, hermes, song
Published: July 25, 2011 8:39 pm
Description: Wise words, from wise men, from years gone by. Supposedly for all in our world to gain their knowledge, to become better people. Seemingly nothing gained, nothing learned!
Music by Ensemble Melpomen – Melomai
Publisher – Harmonia Mundi
Ancient History (Field Of Study), Ancient Greece (Literature Subject), Greek Language (Human Language), Ancient Greek (Human Language), Ancient Greek Philosophy (Field Of Study), Philosophy (Field Of Study), Melomai, Ensemble Melpomen
Published: June 4, 2015 1:44 pm
Channel: Mark Thorsby
Description: In this video, Professor Thorsby gives a very brief introduction the History of Ancient Philosophy course and some background information regarding the Pre-Socratic Philosophers.
Published: August 31, 2015 5:43 pm
Channel: Best Documentary 2016
Description: Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to c. 5th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (c. 600 AD). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era.
Included in ancient Greece is the period of Classical Greece, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Classical Greece began with the era of the Persian Wars. Because of conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedonia, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea.
Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. For this reason Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization
In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. From about the 9th century BC written records begin to appear.
Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern largely dictated by Greek geography: every island, valley and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges.
The Lelantine War (c. 710 – c. 650 BC) is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis (city-states) of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.
A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This seems to have introduced tension to many city-states.
The aristocratic regimes which generally governed the poleis were threatened by the new-found wealth of merchants, who in turn desired political power. From 650 BC onwards, the aristocracies had to fight not to be overthrown and replaced by populist tyrants. This word derives from the non-pejorative Greek τύραννος tyrannos, meaning ‘illegitimate ruler’, and was applicable to both good and bad leaders alike
Published: October 26, 2016 11:53 am
Description: The Ancient Greeks. The Last Years of the War; the Battles of Arginusae (406 BCE) and Aegospotami (404 BCE). The Thirty Tyrants
Published: September 6, 2016 10:07 am
Channel: Peter F Freund
Description: The creativity of ancient Greece became the rich fountainhead of all of Western civilization. Prof. Ken Chandler shows that the source of the greatness of Greece was the direct experience of infinite pure consciousness through the mysteries of Eleusys, by which every year thousands of Greeks learned to close the eyes and fathom their own inner unboundedness. Chandler concludes that Greek philosophy was not speculative, was not “thinking about thinking,” but was based on deep experience of the reality of the oneness of all creation, a theme carried forward in the writings of all the great men of both East and West. The mysteries of ancient Greece that gave rise to the glorious Periclean Age were technologies of consciousness, and the revival of those ancient technologies for experiencing the infinite in this generation can give rise to a new Golden Age for all mankind.
Published: November 2, 2013 9:15 pm