The album “Musique de la Grèce Antique” has been published some decades ago but still stimulates curiosity and interest. The album results from the pioneering researches of Gregorio Paniaguaand his ensemble, the Atrium Musicae of Madrid. Even if musicological studies have since then progressed, the original spirit of this recording is still worthy of consideration.
While we can admire many extraordinary literary and architectural examples of ancient Greek culture, as for ancient music we have only scattered fragments that miraculously survived on papyrus and later documents.
The album gathers for the first time the rare Greek musical fragments, including the only one that dates back to imperial Rome (four damaged bars belonging to a work of Terence).
The album offers an overview of the music practiced in Greece on the most disparate occasions, being (the music) an essential part of everyone’s daily life. Luckily, musical theory has not suffered the same destiny, for we have received numerous treaties (in Greek, Latin or Arabic).
Greek music used two systems of notation: the instrumental notation, composed of fifteen different signs which probably derived from an archaic alphabet, and the vocal notation, which was formed, by contrast, by the twenty-four letters of the Ionic alphabet. (more…)