Sounds of war, sounds of peace: for an ethnographic survey of ancient Greek music in Platonic writings

TitoloSounds of war, sounds of peace: for an ethnographic survey of ancient Greek music in Platonic writings
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRocconi, E
EditorEichmann, R, Hickmann, E, Koch, L-C
Ancient AuthorsPlato Phil. (TLG 0059)
Book TitleMusikalische Wahrnehmung in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart. Ethnographische Analogien in der Musikarchäologie = Musical Perceptions - Past and Present. On Ethnographic Analogy in Music Archaeology
Series TitleStudien zur Musikarchäologie 7; Orient Archäologie 25
Pagination119-127
PublisherLeidorf
CittàRahden
ISBN9783896466556
Abstract

In the classical world, the ethnic characterization of many musical forms and performances reveals the massive importance of local and regional traditions in what it is generically defined the ‘Greek’ culture of mousikē. Specific musical idioms, such as tunings (the ‘Dorian’, ‘Phrygian’ or ‘Lydian’ harmoniai) or instruments (the ‘Thracian’ kithara, the ‘Phrygian’ aulos, etc.), were often associated with particular geographical regions and traditions, strictly interlaced with the construction of local social identities, despite of their general contribution to the ‘Hellenic’ self-image. The reconstruction of these musical practices in order to sketch an ethnographic map of local musical traditions and customs is not very easy because of the penury of direct evidence, and can be attempted only analyzing the occasional pieces of sources through a combination of methodologies proper to different disciplines (including the ethnomusicological and the ethnoarcheological approaches). An example of this kind of enquiry will be given through the analyses of some passages in Platonic writings which, despite of the intention of the writer to describe an imaginary society adherent to his philosophical ideas, contains numerous references to musical forms and genres actually performed in Plato’s contemporary world. A special attention will be reserved to Platonic distinction of ‘war’ and ‘peace’ music, recurrent in the Republic and, most extensively, in the Laws. [Eleonora Rocconi]

Notes

Musical Perceptions - Past and Present. On Ethnographic Analogy in Music Archaeology includes papers from the 6th Symposium of the International Study Group on Music Archaeology at the Ethnological Museum, State Museums Berlin, 09-13 September, 2008.

Informazioni

© 2007-2012 MOISA: Società internazionale per lo studio della musica greca e romana e della sua eredità culturale.

Sito disegnato da Geoff Piersol a aggiornato da Stefan Hagel