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The Ancient instruments and their myths: string instruments and Apollo

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Title: The Ancient instruments and their myths: string instruments and Apollo


1
The Ancient instruments and their myths string
instrumentsand Apollo
  • Vesa Matteo Piludu, 2010

2
Origins
  • First string instrument in neolitic period
    (8000-6000 BC)
  • Lyres were know in Egypt and Near east
  • Greek and Roman perfectioned the original
    instruments

3
Ancient musical theories
  • The civilization that used string instruments
    were aware of the octave divided into 12
    semitones and of the perfect intervals (unisons,
    octave, fifth and fourth)
  • A primitive form of musical notation existed
  • Even so, Ancients didnt use musical notation
    because music was considered an oral art

4
Apollonian side of Greek music
  • Accompainment
  • Poetry, epos, mythical memory, poetic inspiration
  • moderation, harmonius control and mental
    equilibrium, health
  • Harmony of the kosmos, mysticism
  • mathematics, philosophical speculation, astronomy

5
Apollonian side of Greek music
  • education, maturation of the young
  • unprofessional, domestic music, aristocracy,
    conservativism
  • virtuosi of the kithara, competitions
  • songs, string instruments (lyra)

6
Lyra
  • The most widely used and popular string
    instrument in Ancient Greece was the lyra
  • it was played not only by professional musicians
  • It was a symbol of Apollo
  • used as part of young peoples education
  • could be characterized as the national instrument
    of the ancient Greek

7
Bow and Lyre
  • Apollon have as attribute a bow and a lyre
    (considered a musical bow)

8
Strings
  • 3 strings, 4 strings, 5 strings,
  • 7 strings, 9 strings, 12 strings
  • 4 strings seasons, four part of the world,
    herma, equinoxes and solstices
  • 7 strings 7 planets, celestial spheres

9
Chelys Lyra (????? ???a)
  • tortoise shell covered by leather
  • The tortoise is a symbol of union between sky and
    earth
  • played by women hetairai or courtesans who
    entertained at the symposia
  • respectable women played at weddings or for their
    own entertainment

10
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11
Historical origins
  • Probably of neolithic origins

12
Herma squared, 4 directions, 2 equinoces and 2
solsticesas the 4 notes of Chelys lyra
13
The Lyre, with 3 strings, according to mythology
was invented by Hermes and was given to Apollo
(who some say added another 4 strings).
14
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16
Lyre symbolism
  • Earth-Sky
  • Apollon and lyre
  • Carapace intermediary between sky and earth
  • Skin sacrifice
  • Two horns celestial bull
  • The lyre unified sky and earth

17
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18
Hermes
  • this instrument was discovered by the god Hermes
    (messenger, boundaries, rites of passage)
  • At the age of one day, he climbed out of his
    cradle and he found the shield of a turtle. He
    stretched the skin of a cow around it, fixed two
    horns through the holes were once the paws of the
    animal stood

19
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 1 Invocation to Mercury, 4 string lyre
  • Every musical work started with the invocation to
    Mercury (Hermes)

20
Ovid, V, 663 Fasti
  • Come, oh famous nephew of Atlantis,
  • Who one time at Jove produced one of the Pleiades
    on the mountains of Arcadia
  • Arbitrator of Peace and war for the celestial and
    infernal gods
  • Who runs trough the air with winged feet,
    thrilled with the sound of the lyre
  • Thrilled by the lucent gymnasium
  • You who with your teaching began to speak the
    tongue so elegantly

21
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 3 Ode to the lyre
  • Five stringed lyres
  • First string D3 or paranetè
  • Second G2 or lichanós
  • Third A2 mèsè
  • Fourth paramèsè
  • Fifth nètè
  • Arpeggio with all five fingers, with both hands

22
Horatius poem XXXII To the lyre
  • If I ever I would write with you, frivolous, in
    the shadow
  • Something that in a year and ever more might last
    up here, give me a Latin song, I pray
  • O lyre, that was first held by Alceste of Lesbo,
  • so daring in war
  • Among the battles or tied to the banks
  • Of the shore-ridden ship

23
Horatius poem XXXII To the lyre
  • Even Bacchus sang, the Muses and Venus
  • And her son who accompanies her always
  • With black eyes and dark hair, shining Lycos
  • O glory of Phoebe (Apollo),
  • welcome to the table of the mighty Jove
  • Oh Cithara, oh from anxietys sweet relief
  • Be ready, when I call you

24
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 1 Villa of Mysteries
  • Lyre, played with plectra, and Syrinx
  • Two instruments that most perfectly dictates
    musical intervals

25
Lyre and Syrinx at Villa dei Misteri (Pompei)
26
Playing the lyra
  • Classic Lyra
  • customary tuning Pentatonic without half tones
    (E-G-A-B-D)
  • Additional strings duplicate the same notes in
    the higher and lower octave,
  • they dont fill the missing notes F-C
  • Curt Sachs History of the instruments

27
Playing the lyra
  • Nubian Style
  • The right hand scratched all strings at once with
    a big plectron
  • The fingers of the of the left hand deaden those
    string which must not sound
  • small ostinato motif

28
Other styles
  • japanese koto style
  • a melody is tinkled out with the left fingers
  • the plectrum scractched rapidly all the strings
    to mark pauses in the melody and in the rythm
  • Play with two hands

29
Phorminx (f??µ???)
  • One of the earliest form of the ancient lyres and
    was mainly associated with the presentation of
    Homeric epics
  • It was considered to be a sacred instrument and
    perhaps one of most ancient string instrument

30
Playing a lyre, painted by the Achilles Painter,
around 450-440 BC
31
Phorminx
  • played by women and used as a domestic instrument
  • the wooden soundbox of the phorminx has a softer,
    rounder curve

32
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33
(13C fresco in throne room of "palace of Nestor"
at Pylos)
34
Kithara (?????a)
  • Made by wood, it was usually designed with a
    square base
  • Developed from the Phorminx, probably louder due
    to the larger sound box
  • considered a demanding instrument as it required
    skilful playing
  • it was an instrument for professional musicians
    called kitharodoi and was used in music
    competitions.

35
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37
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38
The kithara
  • The kithara was a large performance lyre
  • held in the left hand, and strummed with the
    right.
  • The left hand was used to pull away strings which
    were not to sound when strumming.
  • Though famously of seven strings (the "seven-tone
    lyre") in the archaic and classical periods, the
    performance kithara could have 11 or 12 strings
    by the Roman era, a practice which probably began
    as early as the fourth century B.C.

39
Historical origins
  • Sumerian civilization (3000 BC)
  • Kinnor in ancient Israel
  • Ethiopians today use a similar instrument Keràr
  • In Rome there was a variety of Kitharas

40
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41
Contest of Apollo and Marsyas, 350-320 BC from
Mantineia. Part of the Base of a Sculpture,
National Museum of Athens, Greece.
42

43
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44
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 15 Phoebus
  • Arpeggios
  • Tuning E/G/A/C/D/E/G
  • Sweet, harmonious

45
Emperors and Kithara
  • Emperor Nero was a skilled kithara player
  • Fair and well balanced man, patron of the arts
    and reformer
  • He called to his court the most esteemed
    kitharists of the time the Greek Terpnos and
    Menecrates
  • He founded the neronia, a musical, gymnastic and
    equitation festival the kitharist Pollione was
    the idol of the women in Rome
  • Hadrian was himself a musician and encouraged
    musical studies

46
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 6 Orpheus
  • Kithara
  • Tuning E/G/A/C/D/E/G transformed
  • In E/G/A/C/D/D/G
  • E lowered by a semitone (blue note)

47
Ovidio Ars Amatoria III, 321
  • The cantor of Rodope with his lyre
  • Moved wild beast and boulders
  • The three-headed dog, the infernal lakes.
  • By virtue of his song, both pebbles and rocks,
  • Just avenger of your mother,
  • New barriers were ready to be layered
  • And story so famed,
  • Although speechless, even a fish had been moved
    by the sound of the zither of Arion

48
Erato
  • Erato, the muse of love poetry and geometry,
    played the kithara

49
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 8 Erato
  • Tuning E/G/A/C/D/E/G considered the most
    harmoniuos
  • Ovidius (Art of Loving II, 16)
  • If ever I once was in your favor,
  • Come to me propitious, oh Cytherea,
  • And you, Love, who, from love
  • Oh Erato, have received your name.

50
Sambuca - Sambyke
  • Sabka in Babylonian
  • Boat-like instrument
  • Arched orizontal harp
  • Symilar instruments are now plyed in Africa and
    in Burma (saung)

51
Sambuca-type instrument
52
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 9 Sambuca
  • Burman sambuca with eight silk-strings
  • Track 11 Syrian Dance
  • Sambikae Syrian dancers
  • Sambuca tuned in C/D/F/G/G/A/B/C
  • Tympans and fistulae, cymbalum
  • Track 13 Cithara and Sambuca
  • Painting from Stabia demonstrate that the 2
    instruments could be played toghether

53
Cordae Obliuquae
  • Other harp of Egyptian origin
  • Magadis in Greek it could have 20 strings

54
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 16 Cordae Obliquae
  • Angular harp
  • Sixteen intestinal strings
  • Tuning G/A/Bb/C/D/E/F/G/Bb

55
Pandura
  • Sumeric
  • Little bow
  • 3 strings
  • Trichordon in Greek
  • Mandoline-like or lute-like instrument

56
Synaulia
  • Volume 2 string instruments
  • Track 12 Pandura
  • Tuning C F Bb
  • Fingered scale F/Gb/A/Bb/C/Db/Eb

57
Barbitos
  • The poetess Sappho is shown often playing the
    Barbitos in Lesbos where it was called barmos
    "lyre for drinking parties"

58
pa?d?û?a pandoura
59
Eros and pandura
  • minor instrument in the musical culture of Greece
  • "vulgar" and "common"

60
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63
Barbitos (ß??ß?t?? )
  • It has longer arms than the lyra therefore it has
    longer strings.
  • This instrument has a lower extent and produces a
    sweeter and deeper sound than that of the lyra.
  • Aristotle says that it is used for pleasure and
    not for educational purposes

64
A Trigonon is a small triangular harp
occasionally used by the ancient Greeks and
probably derived from Assyria or Egypt.
65
Harp
  • Considered an alien instrument in Greece and
    Rome, coming from the Orient
  • great number of strings
  • played by women (heterae and ladies)
  • Hedone, sensory pleasure
  • played with the bare fingers, without plectron
  • 20 strings, ten double tuned in octaves

66
Harp Player around 2800-2300 BC (From Keros,
Early Cycladic).
67
A woman (Terpsikhore) playing a Harp.
68
Magadis (µ??ad?? )
  • a harp with 20 strings, probably Lydian origin.
  • It comprised two full octaves, the left hand
    playing lower notes, the right the upper.

69
Hydraulos or Hydraulikon organon
  • The first keyboard musical instrument in the
    history and ancestor of the later church organ,
    invented by Ctesibius (Ktesibios) in Alexandria.
  • In 1992 Greek archaeologists recovered a
    fragmentary hydraulis with 19 bronze tubes dating
    from the 1st Century BC.

70
Archaeological Museum of Dion
71
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