Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 02 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Chad
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

What ancient Greek music sounded like

ANCIENT GREEK MUSICIAN

PD

Daniel Esparza - published on 05/25/17

A group of scholars managed to play songs more than 2,000 years old.

Professor Armand D’Angour, musician and classics professor at Oxford, is bringing back to life a series of classical Greek melodies that had not been heard in literally thousands and thousands of years, as read in the article published by Faena.com

We often forget that the texts of Homer, Euripides, Sophocles and Aeschylus, among many other classical authors, were originally sung, accompanied by lyres, flutes and various percussion instruments.

Two thousand years later this group of scholars have found a way to reproduce almost exactly the way these “songs” — written approximately between the years 750 and 400 BC — were played in those days. Professor D’Angour explains:

The instruments of ancient Greece are known thanks to descriptions, paintings and archaeological remains, which allows us to establish the sounds and the range of tones they produced. And now, from several dozen documents inscribed with a vocal notation drawn around 450 BC, which consists basically of alphabetic letters and signs placed above the vowels in Greek words, new insights have emerged around the music of ancient Greece. The Greek had solved the proportions of mathematical intervals. The notation gives us an accurate indication of relative pitch.

If you are curious about how these songs sounded, you can listen to David Creese, a classicist at the University of Newcastle, playing “an ancient Greek song taken from inscriptions in stone.” The author of the song, according to Archaeology Magazine, was Seikilos.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/116885483″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Tags:
ArchaeologyCecilia
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
2
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
3
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
4
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
7
Frei Giuseppe Ungaro
Aleteia
The 100-year-old Franciscan who knew 6 saints in person
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.