The Ancient Library

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GREEK MUSIC (p. 408).

The ancient Greeks employed a notation of their own. They possessed altogether 67 symbols, and each of these appears in two forms, one for singing and the other for the instruments. The instrumental notes were usually placed below the corresponding notes for singing, or just after them. For the vocal netes the twenty-four letters of the com­mon later Ionic alphabet were used, and for instrumental notation 15 symbols from an eld Greek alphabet, without change for the two octaves of the diatonic scale, cor­responding to the white notes of the modern keyboard; but these letters were modified by accent or other alteration to represent the enharmonic and chromatic scales. These notes only indicate height and depth of sound ; the duration of each note is shown in singing by the length of each syllable, above which the note was placed like an accent; but for independent instrumental music five different degrees of length were distinguished, and they were designated above the notes themselves.

[We now have about eight specimens of ancient music:—(1) the beginning of the first Pythian Ode of Pindar, published in the seventeenth century by Kircher, Musurgia, i 641, and reprinted in Boeckh's Pindar, De Metris Pindari, iii 12, but generally re­garded as destitute of authority ; (2) a hymn to CallMpe, and (3) a hymn to Apollo, both composed by one Di5nysius (q.v., 4); (4) a hymn to Nemesis, ascribed to Mesomedes (q.v.); (5) some short instrumental passages or exercises; (6) an inscription found at Tralles in 1883, giving a musical setting of four short gnomic sentences; (7) a papyrus fragment of the music of a chorus of Euripides, Orestes, 338-344; (8) fourteen frag­ments found at Delphi in 1893, two of them containing a large part of a hymn to Apollo, composed after the repulse of the Gauls from Delphi in 279 b.c. (first published in Bulletin de correspondance ncllfnique, xvii 569-610). (2), (3) and (4) were published in 1582, and may be seen in Bellermann's Hymnen des Dionysius u. Mesomedes, 1840, and in Chap-pell's History of Music, 1874. (5) may be found in Bellermann's Anonymus, pp. 94-96. (6), (7) and (8) are printed and discussed in Monro's Modes of Ancient Greek Music, pp. 87-94, 130-141. Tho Hymn to Apollo (8) appears to be composed in a mode practically identical with the modern minor.]

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