Ancient Greek Music: A New Technical History by Stefan Hagel

By Stefan Hagel

This ebook endeavours to pinpoint the relatives among musical, and particularly instrumental, perform and the evolving conceptions of pitch structures. It lines the improvement of old melodic notation from reconstructed origins, via numerous diversifications necessitated via altering musical types and newly invented tools, to its ultimate canonical shape. It hence emerges how heavily historical harmonic thought relied on the culturally dominant tools, the lyre and the aulos. those threads are right down to past due antiquity, while info recorded by way of Ptolemy let a very transparent view. Dr Hagel discusses the textual and pictorial proof, introducing mathematical methods anyplace possible, but additionally contributes to the translation of tools within the archaeological checklist and infrequently is ready to define the overall gains of tools in a roundabout way attested. The booklet can be vital to all these attracted to Greek tune, expertise and function tradition and the overall heritage of musicology.

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The origins of the notation 23 we must expect that it was almost instantly adapted to reflect the most recent advances in musical style. e. 64 Accordingly, the notation was extended downwards, in both of its scales. The inventors of the new signs, it seems, followed the direction led by the conception of : the rightwards orientation was no longer contrived by an opening, but by extensions from a vertical stroke. Starting from the template of , and omitting its horizontals in turn, one ended up with the basic signs ) and ;.

These scales seem to reflect a state in the evolution of the notation when music was generally notated in the ‘basic’ key, regardless of its modal connotations. The latter were reflected in the choice of the tonal material, as for instance the highest note in the case of Dorian and Phrygian, and of course in the characteristic employment of typical tonal relations and melodic formulas. It may be significant that there is no evidence that these modal characteristics were lastingly transferred to the homonymous tónoi.

61 Since the rotated form of  would be hardly distinguishable from ", it seems clear that the basic sign must have incorporated at least one of the sharp angles, which make this triplet so confusing to the human eye. It is perhaps significant that such angles and a triangular outline appear only in this group and in the triplet of the old mésʶ. 62 But we shall come across a more convincing explanation later on. Further expansions were applied in two dimensions, increasing the system’s ambitus as well as its fitness for modulating music.

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