[LAU] Subconscious Affecting Music

Dave Phillips dlphillips at woh.rr.com
Sun Aug 29 14:19:17 UTC 2010


A quick comment re: ancient Greek sources on music. Probably the most 
famous passage is the discourse on the meaning and purpose of music in 
Plato's Republic. Most of the writings on music from the Hellenistic 
period are really more concerned with theories of intonation, not 
performance practice. In fact we have precious little material to tell 
us exactly how, why, and under what various circumstances the Greeks 
played music. Yes, we know that the great plays included musical 
interludes and possibly background, that Sappho sang her lyrics to the 
barbitos, and that the Homeric epic cycles may have been chanted to a 
musical accompaniment. What we don't know is much about their 
performance practices. It's fair to say that Greek writers on music 
tended towards the theoretical rather than the practical aspects of music.

Check out this Wikipedia page for some further resources: 

Curiously, we know even less about Roman music. Papyrus survives better 
in arid climates such as found in the Levant, so we have a lot more 
Greek sources.



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