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Video: Rediscovering Ancient Greek Music

Music was ubiquitous in Ancient Greece. Now we can hear how it actually sounded

Much of what we think of as Ancient Greek poetry, including Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, was composed to be sung, frequently with the accompaniment of musical instruments. And while the Greeks left modern classicists many indications that music was omnipresent in society – from vases decorated with lyres, to melodic notation preserved on stone – the precise character and contours of the music has long been considered irreproducible. However, the UK Classicist and classical musician Armand D’Angour has spent years endeavouring to stitch the mysterious sounds of Ancient Greek music back together from large and small hints left behind. In 2017, his work culminated in a unique performance at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, intended to recreate the sounds of Greek music dating as far back as Homer’s era – roughly 700 BCE. This short documentary details the extraordinary research and musical expertise that made the concert possible, revealing remarkable sounds once thought lost to time.

Sources: BBC, Aeon, and Open Culture

Director: Mike Tomlinson

Producer: Hannah Veale, James Tomalin

Text: Aeon

Running time: 15 minutes

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

Image credit: British Museum

2 comments on “Video: Rediscovering Ancient Greek Music

  1. Rose Mary Boehm
    August 22, 2021

    Fascinating, amazing, gobsmacking. I MUST share this. Thank you, THANK YHOU.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vox Populi
      August 22, 2021

      Exactly my reaction, Rose Mary. Here we can listen to music composed over two thousand years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

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