Ancient Greek Music: A New Technical History

Ancient Greek Music: A New Technical History

By: Stefan Hagel (author)Hardback

Special OrderSpecial Order item not currently available. We'll try and order for you.


This book endeavours to pinpoint the relations between musical, and especially instrumental, practice and the evolving conceptions of pitch systems. It traces the development of ancient melodic notation from reconstructed origins, through various adaptations necessitated by changing musical styles and newly invented instruments, to its final canonical form. It thus emerges how closely ancient harmonic theory depended on the culturally dominant instruments, the lyre and the aulos. These threads are followed down to late antiquity, when details recorded by Ptolemy permit an exceptionally clear view. Dr Hagel discusses the textual and pictorial evidence, introducing mathematical approaches wherever feasible, but also contributes to the interpretation of instruments in the archaeological record and occasionally is able to outline the general features of instruments not directly attested. The book will be indispensable to all those interested in Greek music, technology and performance culture and the general history of musicology.

About Author

Stefan Hagel is currently engaged in research on ancient music at the Kommission fur Antike Literatur of the Osterreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. His interests focus on ancient Greek music and metre, including reconstructions of ancient instruments and performance techniques. He also creates dedicated software for scholarly purposes and his Classical Text Editor received the European Academic Software Award. Previous books include: Modulation in altgriechischer Musik. Antike Melodien im Licht antiker Musiktheorie (2000) and Repertorium der westkilikischen Inschriften (with K. Tomaschitz, 1998).


Preface; 1. The evolution of ancient Greek musical notation; 2. Notation, instruments and the voice; 3. Notation in the handbooks; 4. Strings and notes; 5. Fine tuning; 6. Going beyond Ptolemy?; 7. Assisted resonance; 8. The extant musical documents; 9. Aulos types and pitches; 10. Before Aristoxenus; 11. Synthesis; Bibliography; Indices.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521517645
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 506
  • ID: 9780521517645
  • weight: 840
  • ISBN10: 0521517648

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly