Ancient Greek and Roman music

The origins of Western music can be traced back to the ancient Greek period. Between 3500 B.C. and 2000 B.C., the “four great civilizations” of mankind emerged on Earth. One of them, the ancient Greek civilization in the Mediterranean, was the beginning of the Western European civilization, which emerged with the rise of the southern tip of Greece in 2000 BC. Crete.

By the time ancient Greek civilization developed around 800 B.C., the primitive clan society was disintegrating, and a number of Greek areas began to be established One of the city-states of slavery was very important, and this city-state was – Athens. In the 5th century B.C., the ancient Greek civilization, centered in Athens, developed a culture of philosophy, theater, music, architecture, and sculpture to the point where to a very high degree, and the now familiar Pythagoras, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle were all at this time The characters.

(i) Musical Instruments and Musical Works of Ancient Greece

The earliest known European music is that of ancient Greece, and according to some sources it is known that the musical centers in Europe were It used to be in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks believed that music was created by the “gods”, so their musical activities were usually associated with some religious rituals.

1.Musical Instruments

There were two common musical instruments used in ancient Greece: the lyre and the aulos.

The lyre was a plucked stringed instrument and was a relatively simple instrument that could be played by amateurs.

Based on the lyre, the kithara, a larger instrument than the lyre, was developed and used primarily for accompaniment and solos, an instrument that required a professional player, and it was often used in ceremonial pilgrimages to the sun god Apollo, as well as to accompany the vocal music of the time.

The afros is a wind instrument, often played with two pipes in hand at the same time, and was used primarily in rituals to worship Dionysus, the god of wine, but was also commonly used as an accompaniment to plays of the time.

2. Musical works

Because ancient Greek civilization is so far back in time, only 40 pieces and fragments of ancient Greek music have been discovered. Some of the more representative ones are: the Epitaph of Psykylos, two hymns from the temple of Apollo, three Mesomae on Crete Des’s hymn. And so on. What was the music like then? Modern scholars have restored the music of the Muse Hymn of Mesomedes from documentary sources, and we can listen to it (because we know) You can’t upload audio, unfortunately there are few links on the early music networks, so the audio can only be inserted as an attachment and opened. It will be a bit tricky, but good to listen to. (More links will be used in future Baroque articles for easy listening and reading.

Lyrics to the effect: Sing to me, dear Muse, sing to me, the cool, mighty wind that blows through the woods, opens my heart and awakens my soul.

Through the music of the Muse Hymn of Mesomedes, some basic characteristics of ancient Greek music can be seen: monophonic, music and poetry rhythm in unison, music in which instruments will have some ornamental playing.

(ii) Music Theory of Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek music theory had three main elements in comparison.

1. the founder of ancient Greek music theory, Pythagoras (c. 580-500 BC), argued that. “Everything is number”, he believed that music is determined by numbers and insisted, according to mathematical principles, that the octave, fifth and fourth intervals are Most concordant.

2. Aristocenus (c. 330 BC) and Cleonides ( Cleonides (c. 200 A.D.) considered the “tetrachord” to be the musical system of the Foundation. Based on the four-note scale, seven scales can be arranged: Dorian, Phrygian ( Phrygian), Lydian, Mixolydian, Paratypical Doria (Hypodorian), Hypophrygian, and Lydia (Deputy). Hypolydian), the music is named after the place names of the time, and the names of these scales have survived to this day.

Plato and Aristotle, believed that: music can influence the character, thoughts and behavior of people. Aristotle even believed that music could educate and influence people’s moral character.

Ancient Roman music
After the Roman conquest of Greece, Rome essentially inherited the music of ancient Greece, but also developed it in some ways. For example: in ancient Rome, music became more active in more private

creational and educational settings; the Afropos pipe emerged as an A variant, called Tibia. Tibia was commonly used in Roman religious ceremonies, military bands and theatres.

One important thing that happened at the end of ancient Rome was the rise of Christianity in the Mediterranean region and in the Roman Empire, especially in the 313th The Edict of Milan, recognizing its legitimacy, became stronger, which led to the gradual development of music for the Christian liturgy. As the church replaced the political power of the Roman Empire, it became the main force influencing the development of music.

Early Christian music was characterized by several features.

First, that the Christian Church retains the musical character of ancient Greece and Rome, but at the same time rejects the entertainment role of music and advocates that it serve religion.

Secondly, that the Christian Church would have many ceremonies and rituals, and that at particular ceremonies and rituals there would be particular music.

Thirdly, as Christianity spread throughout Europe, different ritual traditions were formed, which led to the creation of different kinds of ritual music, the most representative of which include the French “censer chant”, the Spanish “Mozarabic chant”, the Milan “Ambrosian chant”, etc. The influence of Christianity on music only began in ancient Rome.

The influence of Christianity on music was only the beginning in ancient Rome. In the thousands of years that followed, European music has always been closely related to religion. How it developed and evolved is described in detail in the following article.