Ancient Greek Music – Paean and Processional


Channel: MisterAncientMusic
Duration: 7:19
Description: The Ensemble de Organographia has done it again, successfully reconstructing surviving ancient Musical pieces from Greece.  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.
Published: July 26, 2011 1:38 pm

Cycladic Art.


Channel: Ancient Light
Duration: 18:50
Description: The ancient Cycladic culture flourished in the islands of the Aegean Sea from c. 3300 to 1100 BCE. Along with the Minoan civilization and Mycenaean Greece, the Cycladic people are counted among the three major Aegean cultures. Cycladic art therefore comprises one of the three main branches of Aegean art.
Stepping stones across the Aegean, the Cycladic islands were early settlement sites for migrants. The islanders developed a significant culture centuries before the emergence of the great Bronze Age civilizations of Crete and the Greek mainland. The distinctive marble figurines produced on various islands represent some of the most beautiful artifacts of the period, even as their original significance remains a mystery.
The Cyclades lie in the southwestern Aegean, east and southeast of Attica, and north of Crete. The name is derived from their apparent arrangement in a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Marble is the dominant feature of the islands; most are part of a submerged, mountainous land mass made of metamorphic rock. A few volcanic islands (e.g., Thera and Melos) represent exceptions. The islands are not rich in natural resources, nor are they very fertile. The development of olive cultivation made them more productive.
The island system ranges from Thera in the south to Andros in the north. Delos and Paros are among the central islands. Naxos, Paros, and Andros are among the largest, but the islands are generally small. Early Cycladic settlements probably included about a few dozen people; no island could support more than a couple of thousand inhabitants. The meager size meant that eventually the Cyclades would be unable to compete with growing cultures on Crete and mainland Greece.
Published: September 20, 2017 7:35 pm

An Introduction to the Ancient Greek Philosophical Schools


Channel: Historical Endeavours
Description: This series details the different philosophical schools of ancient Greece – giving an outline of the schools core teachings, a brief overview of the schools members and their beliefs, and an overview of the school’s rise and fall. It is an introduction to the different philosophical schools of ancient Greece.
Published: December 10, 2011 9:39 pm

The Ancient Greeks: Crucible of Civilization – Empire of the Mind


Description: The Ancient Greeks: Crucible of Civilization – Empire of the Mind  It was perhaps the most spectacular flourishing of imagination and achievement in recorded history. In the Fourth and Fifth Centuries BC, the Greeks built an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean from Asia to Spain. They laid the foundations of modern science, politics, warfare and philosophy, and produced some of the most breathtaking art and architecture the world has ever seen. This series, narrated by Liam Neeson, recounts the rise, glory, demise and legacy of the empire that marked the dawn of Western civilization. The story of this astonishing civilization is told through the lives of heroes of ancient Greece. The latest advances in computer and television technology rebuild the Acropolis, recreate the Battle of Marathon and restore the grandeur of the Academy, where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle forged the foundation of Western though. The series combines dramatic storytelling, stunning imagery, new research and distinguished scholarship to render classical Greece gloriously alive. EMPIRE OF THE MIND.
The final segment describes how Athens, at the height of her glory, engaged in a suicidal conflict with her greatest rival, Sparta. Through the eyes of Socrates, Athens’ first philosopher, viewers see the tragic descent of Athenian democracy into mob rule.The episode opens in 399 B.C., after the great philosopher Socrates has been sentenced to death and Athens lies in ruins after a war with Sparta. This episode goes back to 431 B.C., to an Athens at the height of its cultural, political, and economic power. Having taken great leaps forward in every field of learning, and with a strong economy that dominates Mediterranean trade, Athens and its 150,000 residents are the envy of their neighbors, in particular, bellicose Sparta. Jealous of Athenian success, the Spartans yearn to spill Athenian blood and dominate the region. Of course, Pericles knows what is coming, and he orders the citizens to abandon open areas and take refuge inside the walls of Athens. The mighty Athenian fleet will provide supplies for the citizens through the port of Piraeus and a walled corridor between that city and Athens. Over time, the navy will prevail, as it had against the Persians, and win yet another victory. Much is at stake — democracy, freedom, the whole Athenian way of life. As expected, the Spartans invade and burn the open areas around the city. But it is the unexpected that deals the most devastating blow to Athens. Incoming ships with supplies for the walled-in Greeks carry plague-bearing rats feeding on grain. The disease ravages the Athenians, inflicting agony on them and killing one out of every three. The Spartans are of little concern; what matters is surviving until tomorrow. Pericles’ esteem plummets even as he himself contracts the plague and eventually dies. Finally in 404 B.C., Athens surrenders. The Athenians, shattered and stripped of their empire, take revenge on their most vocal critic and condemn Socrates to death before a people’s court.
Published: February 15, 2014 8:49 pm