Ancient Greek music reconstructed from preserved notations, lyrical patterns


#1

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#2

I heard this exact tune before on a TED talk (this one: http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_tilson_thomas_music_and_emotion_through_time.html) which dates from 2012 so I’m not sure exactly how this is news.

Fascinating though and I really like the music.


#3

I call BS. NO written notation is 100% accurate.


#4

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
      Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
      Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone

(Keats, of course)

But more to the point, isn’t there a BoingBoing policy on linking to the Daily Fail? Death to fascism and all that?


#5

The Daily Fail is maintaining its famous journalism standards. If you go to the academic’s own page (http://www.armand-dangour.com/), right there at the top in red letters you see:

Nice piece in Daily Mail Online, but the sub-editor sensationalises my point about being able to reconstruct Greek music: I don’t claim the ‘recordings are 100% accurate’, just that we know how to interpret the music accurately from the notation (thanks mainly to Alypius).

I also love that his webpage at Jesus College includes the line: “In 2004 I was commissioned to compose a Pindaric Ode to Athens which was recited at the Athens Olympic Games, and in 2010 to compose an Ode in Horatian Sapphics for the Roman Society’s Centenary.”

Classics FTW!


#6

It’s nice that this was picked up, but it’s not exactly new.

Here’s a recording from 2000:

This same piece was referred to in M.L. West’s Ancient Greek Music (1994), which is – I might add – an excellent text on the subject.


#7

You have plans to go there and falsify his claim? If you need a hand I know a little Koine, but not Classical Greek.


#8

No, I’m just saying (as did he) that the 100% claim is the reporter’s, NOT that of any sane researcher.

The news here is that we’ve figured out how to read the ancient notation at all, not that it’s a perfect notation or that our understanding of it is perfect. We can extract a plausible performance. How much that resembles the actual performances of the time – well, think about the huge variation in performances of a modern tune even when supposedly performing directly from exactly the same sheet music.


#9

100% accurate? I know no reputable musicologist that would claim we can produce any performance that’s 100% accurate from even a century and half ago.

Of course, it’s the daily mail.


#10

Darn. I was hoping for a time machine. You’re right about a grain of salt, and these researchers might be exaggerating their claims.

EDIT: Woops. Daily Mail might be exaggerating.


#11

…Ellie Zolfagharifard is the coolest name I’m ever likely to see.


#12

I liked the doritos/xbox1 ad better than the greek music video it played before.


#13

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