Music of Ancient Greece

Michael Levy, a musician who plays ancient Greek melodies on his lyre, has recently released a CD of "mystical, ancient lyre music."  This is an example. 

He describes the work, played in this video clip, as follows:

This is a short rendition of one of the precious few fragments of surviving ancient Greek music! This haunting, almost dream-like fragment of melody was preserved in ancient Byzantine manuscripts (Conspectus codicum:
V. Venetus Marcianus appl. cl. VI, saec. XIII-XIV
N. Neapolitanus graecus III. C4, saec. XV
F. Florentius Ricc. 41, saec. XVI), in the unambiguous alphabetical musical notation used in ancient Greece, & the melodic fragment is catalogued as "Anonymous, Bellermann 97-104".

It is played here, on a lyre closely resembling the ancient Greek Kithara; the larger wooden lyre favoured by the professional musicians of ancient Greece(the lyre is in fact, a replica of a Jewish Temple lyre, depicted on a Jewish coin from 135CE - it is almost identical to the Kithara).

I heard this lovely melody for the first time, on the CD "Musique de la Grece Antique"(track 13).

It is in the ancient Greek "Hypolydian" mode; the equivalent intervals as heard on the scale from F-F on the white notes of the piano. The augmented 4th in this mode to me, creates the dreamy quality of the sound of this piece.

 

Credits

Video clip online, courtesy Michael Levy.  Learn more about the ancient Greek music he plays, and records, at this web site.

 

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