227Re: [Authentic_SCA] Vocal music and Languages
- Mar 7, 2001
> But what I was asking was not about the performance techniques ofIt seems very probable to me.
> antiquity, but whether amateur musicians during the Renaissance might have
> tried to mimic an idealized version of epic song - setting bits of Homer to
> music in the way they imagined the ancients might have done it. I do
> suspect this is true, but I was wondering whether anyone could support
> music. (Moshe once invented a melody for reciting a portion of Beowulf -Of COURSE I will, dearie. :) The Beowulf thing was more of a "recitation
> it was awesome. He also has a CD of reconstructed ancient Greek music
> which I am *sure* he will let me borrow, right?).
formula" than a "melody" per se. Interestingly (perhaps ;)), I incorporated
a melodic phrase I heard in a Greenland Inuit epic, which sounded
surprisingly similar to Scandinavian ballad melodies...perhaps this points
to a general "Northern" musical aesthetic?
> are they indeed the same scales the Greeks used, and weren't theyThe Arabs, especially al-Farabi (9th/10th c.) and Ibn Arabi (13th c.),
> carried through to the Middle Ages?
studied the ancient Greek musical treatises and philosophies for their
descriptions and formulations of the maqamat (modes; singular, "maqam") that
persist in Arab music even to this day. The Arabs brought modal theories
into Europe through Spain and Italy in the early Middle Ages, and Byzantium
helped, too. If you listen to Ancient Greek music, you hear a lot of modes
similar to the Arab maqamat (we had to memorize several maqamat and be able
to identify which one(s) were used in a given song...argh! it helps in
performing/reconstructing period Arabic music, though, one of my favorite
projects). And when you listen to folk music in Spain today, you hear the
maqamat again. Unfortunately, apparently the medieval European musicians
and composers only liked some of them; you only get ones that are similar to
the ones you hear in European music today. The Arabs in Spain also
abandoned many of them in favor of more European modes, like al-Istihlal
(similar to C major but with B flat on the descent). I'm currently
attempting to formulate a melody for a 12th c. Hebrew muwashshah (sung poem)
and this is the mode I'm going to use.
Of course, these are just theories. The Europeans could have very well come
across the Greek modes themselves, or already had them in their indigenous
musics. Patterns of influence are sometimes very difficult to trace.
What was I talking about? Sorry, I don't remember if this has any
"Do not take a liking to poison just because there is an antidote."
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