Department of Classical Studies

Ancient Sounds of Greece

October 12, 2012 lecture by Nikos Xanthoulis

The subject of the lecture-concert will be ancient Greek music, dating from 800 B.C. to 400 A.D. The study of this sophisticated art leads us to the roots of western culture: music, melody, chord, tone, rhythm, poetry, are all words with Greek origins. Our knowledge of ancient Greek music has increased dramatically during the last hundred years, through the evidence of archeology and art, the abundance of references to music in Greek literature from the 8th century onwards, books on ancient Greek music theory from 4th c. B.C. to 4th c. A.D that survive until nowadays, the non-literary documents, the musical scores, and many rediscovered papyri. In addition to the above-mentioned materials there is another crucial element that adds to our understanding: mythology. The lecture will also cover the myths concerning music and musicians—and will include songs performed by reconstructed instruments, the ancient lyre and salpinx (ancient trumpet). The combination of lecture and performance will transport the audience to a world which was the cradle of western civilization.