Music and the Muses: The Culture of 'mousikē' in the Classical Athenian City
Penelope Murray, Peter Wilson, Professor Peter Wilson
Oxford University Press, 2004 - History - 438 pages
What was the role of mousike, the realm of the Muses, in Greek life? More wide-ranging in its implications than the English 'music', mousike lay at the heart of Greek culture, and was often indeed synonymous with culture. In its commonest form, it represented for the Greeks a seamless complexof music, poetic word, and physical movement, encompassing a vast array of performances - from small-scale entertainment in the private home to elaborate performances involving the entire community. Yet the history of the field, particularly in anglophone scholarship, has been hitherto narrowlyconceived, and the broader cultural significance of mousike largely ignored. Focusing mainly on classical Athens these new and specially commissioned essays analyse the theory and practice of musical performance in a variety of social contexts and demonstrate the centrality of mousike to the valuesand ideology of the polis. The so-called 'new musical revolution' in late fifth-century Athens receives serious treatment in this volume for the first time. A major theme of the book is the musical and mousike dimension of Greek religion, rarely analysed in its own right. The ethical andphilosophical aspects of Athenian mousike are another central concern, with the figure of the dancing philosopher as an emblem of music's role in intellectual life. The book as a whole provides an integrated cultural analysis of central aspects of Greek mousike, which will be of interest toclassical scholars, to cultural historians, and to anyone concerned with understanding the power of music as a cultural phenomenon.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Muses and Mysteries
BARBARA Kow Alzi
Dancing the Pyrrhiché in Athens
Athenian Musical Discourse in the Late Fifth Century
The Politics of the New Music
according activity Aeschylus ancient Apollo appears Aristophanes Aristotle associated Athenian Athens audience becomes Birds called century character choral chorus claim classical comedy concerned context contrast critics cult culture Damon dance Delos describes Dionysus discussion dithyramb drama early effect ethical Euripides evidence example expression fact festival fifth function gives gods Greek hymn ideas important initiation interpretation khoros later Laws lyre means mentioned modes mousikē Muses mysteries myth nature notes offered Oxford paean passage performance perhaps period philosophical pipes Plato play pleasure poetic poetry poets polis political possible practice prayer present probably procession pyrrhic reference relation represented rhetoric rhythms ritual role says seems sense shows singing social Sokrates song Spartan speech stage strings style suggests tradition tragedy tragic turn victory voice young