Musical Persuasion in Early Greece

TitleMusical Persuasion in Early Greece
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPower, T
EditorTalbert, RJA, Naiden, FS
Ancient AuthorsPindarus Lyr. (TLG 0033)
Book TitleMercury's Wings: Exploring Modes of Communication in the Ancient World
PublisherOxford University Press

This chapter on archaic and classical Greek music finds the political dimensions of musical expression to be paramount. Music, according to Power, presents a synesthetic form of communication—verse, instruments, often dance and, in Athenian drama, prose dialogue—of unrivalled modal complexity that reinforced the popular impact of this art form. Solon and other politicians used music, while Pindar and other poets introduced political motifs into performances of their works. In Power’s view, the generally accepted notion that early Greece was a “song culture”—differing in this respect from ancient Mesopotamia with its scribal culture, or from imperial Rome with its predilection for monuments and public spaces—should not lead to overemphasizing private life and personal communication as opposed to the political forms of expression developed by Solon, Pindar, and others. []


Site information

© 2007-2012 MOISA: International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and Its Cultural Heritage

Site designed by Geoff Piersol and maintained by Stefan Hagel
All rights reserved.