Nikolaos Ioannidis

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DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

 

 

OTHER WORKS

by

this author

 

MUSIC    

Information and audio samples of all musical works -albums, singles, operas etc.

 

 

ESSAYS

on Media Theory, Musicology, Sociology and Political Theory

 

ARTICLES

Archived articles from those published  at various times on the author's homepage

 

 

DIGITAL ART    

 Gallery of  works of digital art created by N. Ioannidis. 

 

ANCIENT  GREEK TEXTS

Selected Greek texts from classical poetry, drama and philosophy in the original  Greek language translated into  English -and several of the poetic ones set to music- by N. Ioannidis

 

ANCIENT GREEK INSTRUMENTS reconstructed by N. Ioannidis and used in his ancient Greek recordings

 

 

 

 

Author: Nikolaos A. Ioannidis

Year of publication: 2009

Institution: University of Sussex

© Copyright 2009:  Nikolaos A. Ioannidis

This book will soon be available to purchase at the Ioannidis' Shopping page

TITLE OF THESIS

 

Ancient Greek Music and its Heirs: Reflections of ancient musical theory and practice in contemporary European and Near Eastern traditional music.

 

SUMMARY

This comparative study of early and ethnic music traditions examines the relationship between ancient Greek music and the traditional music of the areas that have historically been subject to Greek cultural influence, either through direct contact with the Greeks, or indirectly, by way of diffusion of Greek culture through Hellenistic cultural centers and through the resurgence of Greek civilization that took place at various times in world history.

The various ethnic musical cultures are grouped into three broad musical domains that exhibit considerable cultural and musical uniformity: the Christian Latin domain, the Christian Orthodox domain and the Islamic domain; and these are  studied comparatively with ancient Greek music, as this is described in ancient music treatises and evidenced in extant musical documents, in order to be determined whether there are similarities substantial enough to support the central assumption of the thesis that the musical cultures of these three domains are descendents of the  ancient Greek musical culture.

This study, which relies almost exclusively on the investigation of primary sources, mostly Greek and Latin, by taking into account the historical contexts of musical developments in all three domains, offers a different interpretation of these sources and challenges established notions about the origin of musical concepts, practices and instruments. In the author's view, such established notions have given a fragmentary picture of the world's traditional musical landscape, due to many out of context interpretations of ancient sources in the last two centuries and the tendency by many scholars to ignore the strong cultural connection between the peoples, whose musical cultures are examined in this thesis.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The problem of researching through different disciplines

The holistic view of the entire traditional musical landscape and the problem of access and management of a vast amount of information from many different cultures.

The problem of scarcity of notated musical documents in the research of early music

Aims and method of research

Acknowledgements

Note on translation of ancient texts and transliteration of non-English names

Note on referencing passages quoted from digital sources

 

CHAPTER 1

Comparative analysis of the key features in the musical traditions of the three broad musical domains:  Christian Orthodox, Christian Latin, Islamic.

1. HARMONIC THEORY

A) THE ANCIENT GREEK MUSICAL SYSTEM

Systems and genera

The concept of Tonos

The relation of the Tonoi with the Harmoniae

Some musical examples of Greek music

Harmonic ratios of intervals and tetrachordal tunings

 

B) THE MODES OF THE CHRISTIAN LATIN MUSICAL DOMAIN

The investigation of the concept of mode in the West

The modes of Boethius

The adoption of the Byzantine terminology

The development of modal theory after Boethius

Theories of sub-species

The transpositional uses of Guido’s hexachord

 

C) THE OCTOECHOS SYSTEM OF THE CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX MUSICAL DOMAIN

Introduction

Definition of terms and concepts

Note on transcriptions of Byzantine melodies

The Echos modes

Sub-species of Echos modes

 

D) THE MAKAM SYSTEM OF THE ISLAMIC MUSICAL DOMAIN

Introduction

Basic concepts of the Makam system

Intervals

Species of the fourth

Species of the fifth

The Makam modes

 

E) GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE RESULTS OF THE COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

The relationship of diatonic octave species

The survival of the Synemmenae tetrachord

The correspondence of the chromatic species

The survival of the ancient tunings

Enharmonic genus

Conclusion

 

2. RHYTHM

Basic meters

Mixed meters

Popular mixed rhythms of the Eastern Meditteranean and the Balkans

Long composite meters

 

3. GENRES AND POETIC FORM

1. Introduction

a) Parallels in the folk traditions of the three domains

b) The medieval roots of modern folk traditions

2. The origin of medieval liturgical chant

a) Christian chant

     Christianization of Pagan liturgical practice

     Pagan roots of Christian poetry

     Misconceptions about the origin of Christian chant

b) Islamic religious music.

3. The origin of medieval epic and romance

a) The Greek themes of the troubadour repertory

The Homeric tradition

The Hellenistic love-story

The Alexander Romance

 

4. INSTRUMENTS

The relationship of Ancient Greek instruments with their modern ethnic counterparts

1) The origin of Greek instruments

2) Historical continuity

   a) Modern guitar versus ancient Cithara

   b) Bowing

Evidence of bowing in antiquity

Identification of medieval bowed instruments with ancient instruments

3) Name derivation of ethnic instruments

a) Chordophones

b) Aerophones

c) Membranophones

d) Idiophones

4) Conclusion

 

CHAPTER 2

Evaluation of results. Determining whether similarities can be explained as a result of processes other than Greek influence.

A) SOPHISTICATION AND SUPERIORITY OF ANCIENT GREEK MUSIC COMPARED TO LATER MUSICAL CULTURES

1. Greekness of music language

2. Dependence of music theory on the ancient Greek music treatises.

3. The Greek roots of the aesthetical, ethical and philosophical aspects of musical education

4. The Greek roots of the note symbols of modern staff notation.

5. Absence of significant changes or original musical developments in the post-classical period, at least until the Renaissance.

 

B) CULTURAL CONNECTION FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES

1. The mythological descendence of ancient peoples from Greek gods and heroes

Connection with the peoples of Near East

Egyptians

Phoenicians

         Connection with the peoples of Europe

                Romans

Celts

Hyperboreans

Scythians

Amazons

India

2. The religious bonds between ancient peoples

3. The direction of influence

 

 C) THE IMPACT AND CONTINUITY OF ANCIENT TRADITION

1. SOCIO-POLITICAL PROCESSES OF CONTINUITY

1. The Greek colonial empire of the archaic period

2. The Hellenistic Empire of Alexander the Great

3. Continuity and expansion of Hellenism in the Greco-Roman era

4. Christian Hellenism

5. Byzantium: The Greek Empire of the Middle Ages

a) The Byzantine impact on Western Europe. The Greek-Byzantine influence  after the collapse of the Western Roman empire

b) The Byzantine Impact on Eastern Europe

c) The Hellenistic, Greco-Roman and Byzantine legacy in the Arabic Empire

d) The Ottoman route of Byzantine influence on the Islamic domain

6. Hellenism after the Fall of Constantinople

     2. CULTURAL PROCESSES OF CONTINUITY

          1. Worship

a) Universality of religious music as a result of common liturgical practice in Pagan antiquity

b) Continuity of liturgical practice across religions and retaining of the traditional musical content of religious life.

         2. Literature, myth and legend

         3. Musical borrowing and interaction between genres

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

AUDIO

 

 

 

 

 

 

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