Rus Articles Journal

Antiquity music: what it was? A song of goats, harmony of spheres and not only

In spite of the fact that from an antique civilization the fair scientific heritage concerning music, nevertheless knowledge of what really then occurred as sounded remained and as it was perceived - it is impossible. If, of course, sometime do not invent a time machine.

In the most archaic times recognized a magic role of music. For example, on the island of Crete there was a choral song the peon, it was considered salutary. (The peon called the doctor of all gods, Pean was also one of Apollo`s epithets).

Singing was closely connected with a prediction. Predictions were given musically - it was so “more convincing“. Music filled the nature, mythological beings were connected with music (tritons blew in a sink, sirens sang, enticing seamen on right death).

Music was included into compulsory education of citizens, the theory and philosophy developed, competitions of singers were carried out (the most honourable - Pifiysky games). Any business did not do without song, since a feast, a wedding (“Oh, Gimeney“), finishing wars (the armed husband needed the song) and treatment of diseases.

It is necessary to add Tirtey (7th century BC, the Athenian who is specially sent to Sparta to inspire Spartans with military songs), Falet to the information about the famous Ancient Greek musicians which reached us (7th century BC) - the kritsky philosopher (saved the songs Sparta from a distemper, and also, according to the legend, music cured the whole city of plague).

Musicians - there were many singers, and they played a role huge. Songs izustno were transferred, subsequently ancient Greeks wrote down sounds by means of letters. And the word “scale“ - from the Greek letter “scale“ (Γ γ) .

of the Muse

the Word “lyrics“ comes from the word “lira“ (musical instrument). The word “music“ (and also the word “museum“) - from the word “muses“.

Muses are goddesses, patronesses of arts and sciences. Muses underwent changes, but names can be familiar to much: Waist, Terpsikhora or Clio.


So in all day to a sun zashestviye blessed gods

Everything feasted, charming hearts on a feast general

by Sounds of lira fine, clanking in Apollo`s hands,

Singing of the Muses answering to clanking with a delightful voice

(Homer, “Illiada“).

Ancient Greeks had an indissoluble unification of the word, music and dance therefore the muses who are often “mutually crossed“. And god by the name of Apollo, Zeus`s son directed muses, naturally. Its birth was proclaimed by swans, having sung of it not swan song. That is already was davny - long ago it is known that swans at first sing swan (that is the last) the song, then - die. And those swans also did not think to die, they sang “not swan“ swan song, and Apollon was born.

Apollon had many functions and many epithets, one of the major - the head of muses: Muzaget or Moussaguet. As a sacred tree of muses was considered laurels, from here a laurel wreath with which awarded winners. Igor Stravinsky has a ballet “Apollon Moussaguet“, a plot - about Apollon`s birth and his first acquaintance to muses. The name Apollon smoothly passed into a space age (a series of the American spaceships), became fun-loving - nominal for “handsome man“, is often mentioned in literature: “ Or for you Apollon Belvedersqui / is worse than an oven pot? “ (N. Nekrasov “Railroad“).

the Tragedy

Came true terrible “ …

(Euripedes, the tragedy “Orest“).

If to open books of the most great tragedians Eskhil, Sophocles and Euripedes, it is possible to meet major “character“ - chorus. The chorus represented the people, commented on the events, expressing the general morals of that time. Also it expressed it not only verbally, but also it is musical. It was either singing, or a melodeclamation.

The tragedy grew from god Dionysus`s cult (it in Latin option - Bakhus) and the song of goats is literally translated as ““. A trestle - most important “participant“ of a cult of god Dionysus. “ Dionisizm means release of a boundless inclination, explosion of unrestrained dynamics of the animal and divine nature; therefore in dionisiysky chorus of people the satire, from above - god, from below - a goat appears in image“. (K. G. Ship`s boys, “Psychological types“).

Harmony of spheres

If deliberately to simplify what needs to be told will turn out the following. There were two approaches to music. In one the mystical or magic beginning, in another - ideological prevailed.

Pythagoras (570 - 490 to N e) is known not only according to the theorem which many remember on geometry lessons at school. The famous mathematician, the mystic and the philosopher was one of the first theorists of music: “divided“ a string, developed the doctrine about intervals on the basis of purely mathematical ratios (Pythagoras`s “monochords“). Under certificates, Pythagoras liked to sing Falet`s songs.

Pythagoras created whole musically - the teoretichensky school founded on acoustics questions. Pythagoreans gave to numbers and proportions magic value, bringing out of them, in particular, magically - curative properties of music. They came and to idea of “harmony of spheres“ (Musica mundana or Musica universalis), considering that heavenly bodies have to sound at the movement. This “harmony of spheres“ occurs because that each celestial body, in dependence and on rotation speed, and on distance on Earth, makes a sound of a certain frequency. And all together - the special sounding system. The Universe for them sounded music.

The idea of “harmony of spheres“ was developed also in ancient Rome (the politician and the philosopher Cicero imagined to - as Venus, re - as the Sun, mi - as Mars and so on). These ideas were apprehended by the Middle Ages, further they passed to occultists.

Pythagoras`s followers were called “canons“. “Harmonicas“ - Aristotle`s school argued with “canons“. Developing the doctrine about “harmony of spheres“, Platon and his pupils paid much attention to a “public“ role of music. About musical frets it is possible to read much at Platon and Aristotle in the works which are exclusively musically called: “State“, “Policy“.

Platon and Aristotle

Platon (428 or 427 BC - 348 or 347 BC) put forward the doctrine about an etosa - a certain association of policy, ethics and music. In the ideal state according to Platon music plays the most important role in education. Platon even defined musical frets on the taste, rejecting those which “have the plaintive and weakening character“.

Aristotle developed the doctrine (Platon`s pupil). He considered that music is necessary for the sake of education, for the sake of clarification and only in the last turn - just for fun. Music forms morality - Aristotle insisted. What would he tell, having listened to some pearls from the Russian platform?

Aristoksen (360 BC) was Aristotle`s pupil, his works “Rhythmics elements“ and “Harmonica elements“ are known. The general theory of music was summed up by the Alexandria scientist Claudius Ptolemaeus. Rome

development of musical art in Ancient Rome to judge

slightly more difficultly, than character of music in Ancient Greece. But musical life was extremely intensive, it also accompanied any manifestations of human life - from ennobled to the most ordinary.

The case with Julius Caesar who dreamed about the shepherd playing on a pipe is known. Unexpectedly military trumpeters joined the shepherd. Caesar woke up and said well-known: “The die is cast!“ (that is he decided to pass Rubicon).

The emperor Neron famous for much acted as the singer. The ruthless and cruel master of Rome strongly was nervous before the musical performances. And when astrologers foretold to Neron that he will be overthrown, that answered: “Let`s live craft“, meaning game on a cithara.

There came a new era - an era of Christianity. There came also a new era in music about what it is possible to read next time.