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Re: Anatolian Cybele

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  • Ulieriu Theodor-Emil
    Greetings! I`d like to thank you for your answers: the newest literature on the subject sits on my desk now! As for the parallels between the Anatolian music
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 29, 2008

      I`d like to thank you for your answers: the newest literature on
      the subject sits on my desk now!

      As for the parallels between the Anatolian music of the Muslim era
      and the ritual music of Cybele, I shall remain prudent, even if some
      authors jubilate on this kind of comparatism. I must confess not
      being a connaisseur of Anatolian ethnomusicology, and neither do I
      have a large amount of knowledge concerning the Muslim mysticism i.e.
      Sufi practices. An orthodox musicological discussion would begin with
      the comparison of the musical structures (musical scales and their
      construction etc.) - but we posess no information whatsoever
      concerning the Phrygian music that we assume, so there`s nothing to
      compare the Muslim documenation with! Actually, this is the problem:
      we know so little about Phrygian religion, cult and, be it, music.
      Greek theorists mention a phrygian mode (phrygisti), but our
      information is late, the name covers diferent scales, all of them
      fully helenised. Of course, there`s a lot of Greek speculation around
      the Phrygian influence on the begginings of Hellenic music: the
      invention of the pipes (auloi) and the whole legend sorrounding it
      (Marsyas vs. Apollo etc.), the invention of the proper repertoire for
      the aulos, a type of musical pieces usually called nomoi (some of
      them perhaps with a religious function), ascribed to some legendary
      figures situated somewhere between the Trojan War and the reign of
      Midas - and they were Phrygians. How much of this is true? Is this
      instrument, together with a certain ammount of musical knowledge and
      practice, a Phrygian import? Let us not forget the Dionysos also was
      credited as Lydian...
      Beside these, we have the orgiastic ceremonies that started the
      discussion - and they are described very breafly and usually with
      contempt: barbaric drums, noise and extatic dance (if this is the
      right term, after all), that`s not a very fertile description, after
      all. It tells us more about the late Graeco-Roman prejudice
      concerning the Orient... and they sometimes make a good match for
      our prejudices; we should try to avoid them, taking a closer look to
      the testimonia, if possible, before assuming some obscure musical
      substrate or extatic tradition that survived for... 2000 years? And
      since I was talking about pre-made images, let me pick one: the
      Janissary music and some of the Sufi one, as far as I know, use high-
      pitched reed instruments - isn`t that the image Europeans had in mind
      when trying to imitate Turkish music? Reading some classic works on
      the cult of Kybele, the same pre-made image organises the
      descriptions of "phrygian rites". And yet, if we take a look at the
      Gr-R sources, it would make a clear point that the Phrygian aulos of
      the Late Hellenistic and Roman period (the so called elymos) was in
      fact low-pitched instrument with a harsh sonority, catalogued usually
      as "baryphthongos"/"raucus".

      Theodor Emil Ulieriu
      University of Bucharest, B.A.
      Universite Paul-Valery Montpellier III
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