Classical Jazz '05

Ancient Music


Music of Ancient Greece

The music of Greece is as diverse and celebrated as its history. Greek music separates into two parts: Greek traditional music and Byzantine music, with more eastern sounds. These compositions have existed for millennia: they originated in the Byzantine period and Greek antiquity, where there is a continuous development which appears in the language, the rhythm, the structure and the melody.Greek music has many similarities with the music of Cyprus, their modern popular music scenes remaining well-integrated with one another. Music is a significant aspect of Hellenic culture, both within Greece and in the diaspora.


Pythagorean tuning is a system of musical tuning in which the frequency ratios of all intervals are based on the ratio 3:2, "found in the harmonic series." This ratio, also known as the "pure" perfect fifth, is chosen because it is one of the most consonant and easy to tune by ear.
Attributed to Pythagoras (sixth century BC), and widely used up to the beginning of the 16th century, "the Pythagorean system would appear to be ideal because of the purity of the fifths, but other intervals, particularly the major third, are so badly out of tune that major chords [may be considered] a dissonance."
The Pythagorean scale is any scale which may be constructed from only pure perfect fifths (3:2) and octaves (2:1)[3] or the gamut of twelve pitches constructed from only pure perfect fifths and octaves, and from which specific scales may be drawn (see Generated collection). For example, the series of fifths generated above gives seven notes, a diatonic major scale on C in Pythagorean tuning, shown in notation on the top right. In Greek music it was used to tune tetrachords and the twelve tone Pythagorean system was developed by medieval music theorists using the same method of tuning in perfect fifths, however there is no evidence that Pythagoras himself went beyond the tetrachord.

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