THE H A R P HISTORICAL FACTS..

Dedicated to God Apollo

HARP = AΡΠΑ: symphonic stringed musical instrument. It comes from the ancient Greek verb άρπω/arpo and
ΑΡΠΑΖΩ/ARPAZO(=SNATCH)
and in
ἍΡΠΗ/ARPE = a kind of bird of prey, as it was considered that the instrument is played with the use of all the fingers imitating a bird of prey.
The oldest Greek musical instruments are avloi (lyre), which is dating back to the Neolithic Age. The three civilizations of the Aegean, which are the Cycladic, the Minoan and the Mycenaean, provide evidence of the importance of music in their cultures such as Cycladic marble figures representing lyre players.

The harp has legendary origins: in Greek mythology, it was invented by the god Apollo. Charmed by the sound of Artemi’s bow, he gave her strings to attach to the weapon, creating a new instrument. The harp, played by angels and by kings, amazes us with its delicate and crystalline sound.

Orpheus, the son of Apollo, whose “rich clear words and the silvery notes from his harp were so enchanting that they … had a magical effect on everything around him. His songs could charm even rocks and rivers as well as humans and animals.

Hermes is said to have created the lyre. As the story goes, Hermes used the instrument to steal 50 of Apollo’s prize cattle, offering up the lyre to the latter when Apollo became angry. Thus, the lyre is now a historic attribute to the god of music and prophecy, symbolizing wisdom and moderation.

The Aeolian harp has a long history of being associated with the numinous, perhaps for its vibrant timbres that produce an ethereal sound. Homer relates that Hermes invented the lyre from dried sinews stretched over a tortoise shell. It was able to be played by the wind.
In Later centuries came The psalterion (Greek ψαλτήριον) is a stringed, plucked instrument, an ancient Greek harp. Psalterion was a general word for harps in the latter j part of the 4th century B.C. It meant “plucking instrument”.

An early ancestor to the harp appeared Greece, and later in spread in India , China and Burma. During the Middle Ages, it was played all over Europe and became very popular in the Celtic nations. The harp was the instrument of the troubadours, and accompanied their narratives throughout their journeys.

Monarchs have also played the harp, from Sapho, Queen Marie Antoinette, as well as innumerable poets. Often richly decorated, it can be as much a statement of wealth as a musical instrument. But the palette of sounds that the harp produces gives it true status. Refined, sparkling, and subtle, the sound of the harp is dreamy and enchanting.

Ancient Greek warrior playing the Salpygum (Salpyx) , late 6th–early 5th century BC, Melanomorph vase at Lykythos.

In the 6th century e.g. music becomes the object of a systematic theoretical approach by philosophers, although at first their interest is indirect. The first mentioned is Pythagoras from Samos and his students, who lived in Magna Graecia Croton in Lower Italy. Believing that the world is made of whole numbers, the Pythagoreans described the harmonious sound of a melody and its effect on the human soul as a result of numerical proportions. They even reduced musical harmony to a theoretical model of the general harmony of the universe and performed acoustic experiments. [20] Their texts, however, like the texts of Lasso from Hermione , who taught music in Athens and is said to have written the first treatise on music, have not survived. Their views are fragmentarily known from vague information that reached later writers. Music must have had a similarly important place in the philosophical work of Philolaus from Croton , Damon from the municipality of Oa in Attica and Democritus from Abdira , but their relevant works have not survived. Finally, the presence of music in the extant work of PLATO and ARISTOTLE is prominent , although neither of the two great philosophers wrote a treatise exclusively dedicated to music.
The ancient Greek term music (inv. art ) appeared to initially declare instrumental music ( κροῦσις ), song ( ᾠδὴ ), speech (λεξις) and rhythmic movement ( ὄρχησις ) as an inseparable performance unity, but also in general education, spiritual cultivation and eloquence, which were under the protection of the Muses . Musician as an adjective meant “cultivated”. Already in the Homeric Epics , the practice of music symbolizes the peaceful life and culture of an organized society in contrast to the brutality of wa.

How can we understand the present if we don’t look at the past? says a proverb. And very wisely he says, because we must always look back, to our roots, so that we can excel in the future and never make the same mistakes as our ancestors in the present, creating an eternal chain of repetition. So with music. We should look back to see the musical history of our people as well as the world musical history, to perceive on the one hand the beginning of music and its evolution but also on the other to be able to have the knowledge to spread the musical feats of our ancestors.

Regarding the etymology of the word music : the word, according to the writings of the ancient Greek poets and philosophers, is derived from the word muse . The word muse, again, is derived from maousha = muse. ” ma ” is the root of the verb mao-mo which means to devise or search or ask mentally . (In the Doric dialect, the word ” muse ” is ” moses “).

Lyres appear in Greek mythology as an instrument played by the gods Hermes and Apollo, and by the Greek hero Orpheus. All three were famous as superb lyre players.

Orpheus played the lyre, a harplike instrument that had been given to him by the god Apollo. Most legends relate that Orpheus’ mother was one of the Muses; most often she is said to be Calliope, the patron of epic poetry

The nine muses. Originally these deities were mountain and water nymphs. Hesiod in Theogony recounts: ” Memory slept in Pieria with the son of Cronus and gave birth to these virgins . “

An important point in world music history is the flourishing period of ancient Greek music. When geometry and mathematics contributed to the study of music but also to the construction of the first musical instruments, instrumental music began to develop in ancient Greece, since until the 6th century we have mainly vocal music as a means of expression. This shift towards instrumental music is confirmed by the work ” Pythic Law “, which is the most important court law of the music of ancient Greece and described the fight between Apollo and the dragon Python . It was Sakada ‘s invention , and perhaps the first example of purely programmatic (descriptive) music.

The amount of information that has survived to this day about ancient Greek music allows us a systematic classification of the sources, which applies not only to Greek antiquity but to the history of music in general. The first and basic category of sources are written sources and they are divided into two separate categories, practical and theoretical . Practical sources are called surviving fragments of music in musical notation. From these sources mainly hymns have survived in fragments and have been transcribed into today’s musical writing (two Delphic hymns of Apollo , the Epitaph of Sicily, etc.). These passages about ancient Greek music are few (about 50 in total) and above all short and often with gaps and deficiencies in the notation. Texts about music are called theoretical sources. Theoretical sources include, in addition to special treatises on music theory, the numerous references to music and musical life contained in literary, philosophical and historical works. Theoretical sources of this category are often called here philological sources . The theoretical, as opposed to the practical, are numerous and contain valuable and often extensive information on many issues, yet there are gaps and difficulties in understanding them. The main works are those of Aristoxenus , Euclid , Nicomachus and Alypius , who gives us detailed tables of ancient Greek musical writing.

The lyre represents the peace of Elysium, the paradise where heroes were sent after they were appointed immortality by the gods. As for Orpheus, he acquired the lyre from his father, Apollo, who taught Orpheus how to play

In addition to written sources, another very important category of sources is pictorial testimonies or pictorial sources (depictions of scenes of musical life on vases), as well as the remains of musical instruments found in excavations . The number of pictorial testimonies is great and this fact in itself is testimony to the importance of music in the daily life of the ancient Greeks.
Lyra: the most widespread stringed instrument of ancient Greece, a musical instrument particularly popular since it was not necessarily an instrument of professionals. A symbol of Apollo, the lyre was not used in public events, while it was the instrument par excellence for training the young. It can be characterized as the national organ of the ancient Greeks.
 

A typical example is the Harpist in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, a marble statue of Proto-Cycladic art (2800 – 2300 BC) that represents a seated harpist playing a type of harp.

Lyres are found in the palace of Pylos and in Crete (1400 BC). The lyre was identified with Apollo. According to mythology, Hermes invented it: When Apollo (Fig.) discovered that Hermes had stolen his oxen, he chased him. Running to hide, he accidentally stepped on a turtle shell. Noticing that the raven made the sound louder, he made the first lyre and gave it to Apollo, appeasing his anger.
The flute, the diaulos, the askalos, the syrigus of Pan, the salpyx, the drum and the rattle, the cymbals, the rattles, the seistro, the croupezio, the whisper and the chalkeophone are some of the wind and percussion instruments.

Lyra: the most widespread stringed instrument of ancient Greece, a musical instrument particularly popular since it was not necessarily an instrument of professionals. A symbol of Apollo, the lyre was not used in public events, while it was the instrument par excellence for training the young. It can be characterized as the national organ of the ancient Greeks. The lyre was the civilised instrument of the cultured Apollo, while the pipe or flute was used by the wilder, nature-dwelling deities. On one occasion the god Pan, boasting of his mastery of the pipes, was foolish enough to challenge Apollo to a contest.

Apollo the Guitarist” seated on a rock, holding his lyre and key. (Detail from the sides).
Roman copy of a Greek original of the 4th BC. h. The work can be dated to the late Hadrian-Antonine period (mid 2nd century AD). It is possible that it was placed in a temple as a gift from the emperor, the only one who could dispose of such a precious material in large quantities as porphyry or porphyry.
Purchased by the Farnese from the Sassi family, it was located in the Palazzo in Campo dei Fiori. The earliest Farnese catalogs specify the “metal or bronze” construction of the head, arms and legs. These parts were removed and replaced by what is visible today in white marble, the work of Carlo Albacini (1734-1813), on the occasion of the sculpture’s transfer to Naples in 1805. Napoli Museo Nazionale – Piano Terra – Collezione Farnese – sala I .
The god, clothed in a long tunic of purple porphyry, held by a belt below the breast, sits on a rock holding the lyre in the left hand and the key in the right (in white marble, inserted by Albacini). His costume, which resembles a woman’s, is the festive costume of the Pythians, worn by the performers taking part in the music competition.
From 1850 BC at Minoan Knossos large column bases of some variety of porphyry are found. And the ancient Egyptians used varieties of this stone in their constructions. It is a volcanic rock that forms when magma cools slowly below the earth’s surface. It has a unique texture and “luxurious” color, which was especially valued during the Roman period to satisfy the love of luxury of the Roman elite. It was red-brown to red-purple in color, like the color dyed with the material from the rare sea snails with the ancient Greek name “porphyres”, hence its name. The purple porphyry was also called “imperial” and had been discovered in an isolated location in Egypt in 18 AD by a Roman legionnaire, according to Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus, 23-79), in his “Natural History” (Naturalis Historia) . Like the purple cloth, it was characteristic of the emperors (e.g. their “tongas” were made from it in their busts). But also later, it was used by the emperors of the Eastern Roman state, called Byzantium by the historians, in their sarcophagi and in Byzantine imperial monuments.This stone is also valued for its versatility.It can be cut and carved into various shapes and sizes , making it ideal for a range of applications.Its use continues later, in the constructions of Western European emperors and kings.

The harp has legendary origins: in Greek mythology, it was invented by the god Apollo. Charmed by the sound of Artemi’s bow, he gave her strings to attach to the weapon, creating a new instrument. The harp, played by angels and by kings, amazes us with its delicate and crystalline sound.

FRENCH INNOVATIONS
The first pedals were the invention of the Bavarian luthier Hochbrücker at the beginning of the 18th century. Several instrument makers in France developed new innovations and patents, including one by the writer, watchmaker, diplomat and businessman Pierre Beaumarchais. The famous piano maker Sebastien Érard gave the harp seven pedals in the 19th century, one per note of the scale
.

In the 20th century, the innovations continued. At the beginning of the century, the Pleyel House patented a harp without pedals, called the chromatic harp, at the request of several musicians. This harp was used in a composition by Claude Debussy, the Sacred Dance and Secular Dance. Although it was not a commercial success, the piece is very interesting for the history of music and is a masterpiece of chamber music.

Ravel
Maurice Ravel with the harpist Lily Laskine at a performance of Ravel’s Introduction et allegro in 1935.
French involvement in the development of this instrument is still strong today! The French harpist Anja Linder, who was paralyzed following an accident, invented the “Anjamatic”, an electro-pneumatic harp without pedals. Anja teaches the “Anjamatic” at the Strasbourg Conservatory. She was named a Knight of the National Order of Merit in 2016.

The history and development of the harp is bursting with as many notes, high and low, as the instrument itself is capable of. The most exciting part of the harp’s history is what’s still to come for this ancient instrument.

The word music, according to the writings of the ancient Greek poets and philosophers, is derived from “Musa”. Musa again, is produced from maousa = Musa. “ma” is the root of the verb mao-mo = to devise or search or ask mentally. (In the Doric dialect the word “Muse” is “Moses”).

The word music The word music, in today’s time, means the art of sounds, unlike the ancient Greeks who gave the word music a different meaning, they meant the indissoluble unity of sound and speech, something that does not exist nowadays.

With sport the body is exercised, while with music the spirit.

Music, the gift of the Muses, in ancient Greece, defined and characterized the man who acts, thinks and feels. Thus, as a means of spiritual maturation, the word that would characterize ancient Greek music is not the word “art” but the words education and power. This can also be seen from the fact that the one who played the flute e.g. he was called a piper and not a musician, i.e. he was considered a simple performer. But after the separation of music from speech, language, which happened shortly after Plato, we see the use of the concept musician. This change was to be the birth of an autonomous art which, as mentioned above, was embedded within discourse.

Ancient Greek Music

Ancient Greek music holds a special place among the musical cultures of Antiquity. The main reason for this is certainly the fact that the historical evidence and sources for the study of ancient Greek musical culture are more than for any other musical culture of antiquity. However, apart from this, and perhaps thanks to this, the ancient Greek musical culture exerted a great influence on later musical cultures in Europe and also in the Middle East, mainly on the Arab musical culture. This effect concerns, at least in the case of European music, the aesthetics of music, music creation, music education and more generally the place of music in education, music theory and other fields, which are today, as well as the former subject of musicology.

The influence of ancient Greek music on later musical cultures is not only due to any historical testimonies and sources regarding it. It is due, and in fact to a large extent, to the overall effect of the ancient Greek and Roman civilization on modern Europe, especially during the Renaissance years, but not only then. Ancient Greek music became for the humanists, but often also for the musicians of the Renaissance, the ideal model of music. Thus, as often happens in similar cases, a myth was created around ancient Greek music, based more on the musical reality of later times and on historical fallacies, than on the positive knowledge of the sources that survived. This myth was certainly productive for the development of modern music, as it shows e.g. the genesis of opera. However, for the knowledge of ancient Greek music itself, it had several negative consequences, which musicological research began to overcome from the middle of the 19th century. and so on. From this time, a systematic research of ancient Greek music, freed from the distorting lenses of later periods, began.

SOURSES

The abundance of surviving information on ancient Greek music allows a systematic classification of sources, which is not only valid for Greek antiquity, but for the history of music in general and is used to classify sources at least until the end of the Middle Ages.

The first and basic category of sources are written sources. Written sources are divided into two separate categories, practical and theoretical sources.

Practical sources are called surviving fragments of music in musical notation. From the practical sources mainly hymns survived in fragments and have been transcribed into today’s musical writing (two Delphic hymns of Apollo, the epitaph of Sicily, etc.). These passages about ancient Greek music are few (about 50 in total) and above all short and often with gaps and deficiencies in the notation.

Texts about music are called theoretical sources. Theoretical sources include, in addition to special treatises on music theory, the numerous references to music and musical life contained in literary, philosophical and historical works. Theoretical sources of this category are often called here philological sources. The theoretical as opposed to the practical are many and contain valuable and often extensive information on many issues, yet there are gaps and difficulties in understanding them. The main works are by Aristoxenus, Euclid, Nicomachus and Alypius (who gives us detailed tables of ancient Greek musical writing).

In addition to written sources, another very important category of sources is pictorial evidence or pictorial sources (depictions of scenes of musical life on vases), as well as the remains of musical instruments found in excavations. The number of pictorial testimonies is great and this fact in itself is testimony to the importance of music in the daily life of the ancient Greeks.

Historical Overview

It is difficult for anyone to determine the temporal and geographical boundaries of the musical culture of ancient Greece. A key difficulty is the dissociation between the temporal origins of different kinds of sources. Thus, the surviving theoretical sources, as well as the surviving nuggets of practical sources, date almost exclusively to the first post-Christian centuries. On the contrary, the philological and pictorial sources are abundant already from the period of greatest flowering of this culture – that is, from the 7th to the 4th BC. century or so. therefore, following a demarcation that is more or less generally accepted and corresponds in general terms to the geographical and temporal demarcation of the period of birth and heyday of the ancient Greek culture, we can say that ancient Greek music covers a period of time that begins in the last centuries of 2nd millennium BC and ends at the end of the 4th century BC. (i.e. at the beginning of the Hellenistic Period), and developed mainly in the main part of Greece and in the Greek cities of Asia Minor and Lower Italy. The period of more than a thousand years determined by the above time limits corresponds to various periods of ancient Greek history. Thus the history of ancient Greek music can be subdivided into two major periods:

Aphrodite is , as well associated with the harp. Though she wasn’t an actual goddess, Calliope is often depicted with one. The character of Orpheus, again not regarded as a god, was a harpist (or probably more accurately, the lyre)

Orpheus, ancient Greek from Thraca legendary hero endowed with superhuman musical skills. He became the patron of a religious movement based on sacred writings said to be his own. Traditionally, Orpheus was the son of a Muse (probably Calliope, the patron of epic poetry) and Oeagrus, a king of Thrace (other versions give Apollo). Apollo, as the god of music, gave Orpheus a golden lyre and taught him to play it. Orpheus’s mother taught him to make verses for singing. (Orpheus name derives fro the verb root *h₃erbʰ- ‘to change allegiance, status, ownership’. Cognates could include Greek: ὄρφνη (órphnē; ‘darkness’) and ὀρφανός (orphanós; ‘fatherless, orphan’) from which comes English ‘orphan’ through Latin.

The story of Orpheus has resonated through the millennia and has been a popular subject of art, music and literature for more than 2,500 years. The Greek legend was flourishing by the mid-sixth century B.C., and variations of his story appear in the ancient writings of Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Apollodorus, Virgil and Ovid. According to one version of the myth, Orpheus was the son of the muse Calliope. Given a lyre (a form of ancient harp) by the god Apollo and instructed in its use by the Muses, he became so skilled at creating music with it that he was able to charm and placate elements of both the natural and supernatural world. Animals, trees, rocks and even some of the gods themselves were moved by the music from his golden harp, and ancient images of him often depict scenes in which Orpheus is surrounded by a variety of tranquil creatures, both real and mythical.

Abode
SymbolLYRE
Personal information
BornPIMPEIAPIERIA
DiedPangaion HillsOdomantice
ParentsOeagrus and Calliope
SpouseEURYDIKE
ChildrenMUSAEUS
Orpheus and Eurydice in Palais GarnierParis. ΟΡΦΕΥΣ (Orpheus) and ΕΥΡΥΔΙΚΗ (Eurydice).

The power of Orpheus’s music led Jason and his fellow Argonauts to seek his aid on their quest for the Golden Fleece, but the primary story associated with Orpheus concerns his wife, a nymph named Eurydice. According to legend, she was killed after being bitten by a poisonous snake. Devastated by her death and determined to recover his lost love, Orpheus descends into the underworld, where he uses the power of his music to charm Charon, the ferryman who brings the dead across the River Styx, in order to gain passage to the underworld. As he continues, he also enchants the monstrous guardian of the gates to the underworld, the three-headed dog Cerberus.

Glancing back however is often a symbol of a reluctance to look forward, to be distracted, dwell on the past and remain static. To the ancient Greeks, Orpheus was a legendary prophet, poet and musician. Because the moral behind both stories is “Don’t look back.” Orpheus wanted to bring his wife, Eurydice, back to life and was told not to look back or he would lose everything. Lot was told by God that he must not look back or he would turn to ashes. Of course his wife didn’t listen and she became a pile of ash/salt

His music and grief so moves Queen Persephone that she pleads with her grim consort, Hades, to release Eurydice and allow Orpheus to bring his wife out of the underworld. The god of the underworld grants this request, but only on the condition that Orpheus trust that Eurydice is following him; he must not look back at her until they pass beyond the realm of Hades’ domain and into the world of the living. Their escape is depicted in Sir Edward John Poynter’s dramatic 1862 oil-on-canvas Orpheus and Eurydice. At the last moment, Orpheus is unable to resist looking back at his love, and thus he is forced to watch as she is once again transported back to the world of the dead..

*******A R I O N

Arion was a lyric poet from Mithymna (Molyvos) in Lesvos. We do not even know the year of his birth and death. The information about him and his life comes mainly from the historian Herodotus. He left Lesbos early and lived near the tyrant of Corinth Periandros (625 – 585 BC).

He was the best guitar player of his time and contributed to the development of the dithyramb, the hymn of Dionysian worship, which was the forerunner of tragedy. Arion was the first to compose a dithyramb, gave it a lyrical form and narrative content and presented it at the court of the art-loving tyrant Periander, in Corinth. Arion presented the dancers disguised as Satyrs, i.e. with characteristics of goats, which is why he was called the “inventor of the tragic way”. As a poet and composer, he wrote chants (hymns) and preludes (guitar rules), of which not a single verse has survived. According to Herodotus Arion had won a musical competition in Sicily.

Arion, playing his kithara and riding dolphins. Sculpture by Jean Raon (Grove of the Domes [fr], Gardens of Versailles)

There is a story about his life, which is more like a fairy tale, and it was bequeathed to us by Herodotus. Once, Arion decided to travel to Sicily for a living. There, after having collected a lot of money and wealth through his art, he started the return journey in a Corinthian ship. During the voyage the sailors decided to rob him and throw him overboard. Arion offered to give them money to save his life, but in vain. Then, he begged them to do him one last favor. To let him sing before his death. The sailors accepted. Arion, having put on his good clothes, took the guitar in his hands, stood on the prow of the ship and sang the “standing law”, a hymn to Standing Artemis and others a hymn to Apollo the god of music. His song attracted dolphins around the ship. At the end of the song he threw himself into the sea. A dolphin enchanted by his song took him on its back and took him out to Cape Tainaro. From there, Arion went on foot to Corinth, where he reported everything to Periander, the tyrant of Corinth. He ordered the sailors, who had meanwhile returned to Corinth, to be arrested and put to death.

Arion, riding a dolphin; from the statue by Ernest-Eugene Hiolle. Illustration for The Chefs-D’Oeuvre d’Art of the International Exhibition, 1878, edited by Edward Straham (Gebbie & Barrie, c 1878).

Greek mythology is intended to serve as an education for the people of Ancient Greece, and with the Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, they are taught two things. First, you need to stay true to your word. And, second, always be respectful to the gods.

He was the best guitar player of his time and contributed to the development of the dithyramb, the hymn of Dionysian worship, which was the forerunner of tragedy. Arion was the first to compose a dithyramb, gave it a lyrical form and narrative content and presented it at the court of the art-loving tyrant Periander, in Corinth. Arion presented the dancers disguised as Satyrs, i.e. with characteristics of goats, which is why he was called the “inventor of the tragic way”. As a poet and composer, he wrote chants (hymns) and preludes (guitar rules), of which not a single verse has survived. According to Herodotus Arion had won a musical competition in Sicily.

There is a story about his life, which is more like a fairy tale, and it was bequeathed to us by Herodotus. Once, Arion decided to travel to Sicily for a living. There, after having collected a lot of money and wealth through his art, he started the return journey in a Corinthian ship. During the voyage the sailors decided to rob him and throw him overboard. Arion offered to give them money to save his life, but in vain. Then, he begged them to do him one last favor. To let him sing before his death. The sailors accepted. Arion, having put on his good clothes, took the guitar in his hands, stood on the prow of the ship and sang the “standing law”, a hymn to Standing Artemis and others a hymn to Apollo the god of music. His song attracted dolphins around the ship. At the end of the song he threw himself into the sea. A dolphin enchanted by his song took him on its back and took him out to Cape Tainaro. From there, Arion went on foot to Corinth, where he reported everything to Periander, the tyrant of Corinth. He ordered the sailors, who had meanwhile returned to Corinth, to be arrested and put to death.