Music of ancient Rome

The music of ancient Rome was a part of Roman culture from earliest times.[1] Music was customary at funerals, and the tibia (Greek aulos), a woodwind instrument, was played at sacrifices to ward off ill influences.[2] Song (carmen) was an integral part of almost every social occasion.[3] The Secular Ode of Horace, for instance, was commissioned by Augustus and performed by a mixed children's choir at the Secular Games in 17 BC. Under the influence of ancient Greek theory, music was thought to reflect the orderliness of the cosmos, and was associated particularly with mathematics and knowledge.[4]

Etruscan music had an early influence on that of the Romans. During the Imperial period, Romans carried their music to the provinces, while traditions of Asia Minor, North Africa and Gaul became a part of Roman culture.[5]

Music accompanied spectacles and events in the arena, and was part of the performing arts form called pantomimus, an early form of story ballet that combined expressive dancing, instrumental music and a sung libretto.[6]

Scena di commedia, musici ambulanti, da villa di cecerone a pompei, 9985, 03
Trio of musicians playing an aulos, cymbala, and tympanum (mosaic from Pompeii)

Musical notation

Musicians from Zliten mosaic
Musicians in a detail from the Zliten mosaic (2nd century AD), originally shown as accompanying gladiator combat and wild-animal events in the arena: from left, the tuba, hydraulis (water pipe organ), and two cornua

The Romans may have borrowed the Greek method[7] of "enchiriadic notation" to record their music, if they used any notation at all. Four letters (in English notation 'A', 'G', 'F' and 'C') indicated a series of four successive tones. Rhythm signs, written above the letters, indicated the duration of each note.

The Romans may have tuned their instruments to Greek modes.[8]

Instruments

Roman art depicts various woodwinds, "brass", percussion and stringed instruments.[9] Roman-style instruments are found in parts of the Empire where they did not originate, and indicate that music was among the aspects of Roman culture that spread throughout the provinces.

Bas relief from Arch of Marcus Aurelius triumph chariot
Tuba player (upper right) in a relief depicting Marcus Aurelius in triumph

Wind instruments

  • The Roman tuba was a long, straight bronze trumpet with a detachable, conical mouthpiece like that of the modern French horn. Extant examples are about 1.3 metres long, and have a cylindrical bore from the mouthpiece to the point where the bell flares abruptly,[10] similar to the modern straight trumpet seen in presentations of 'period music'. Since there were no valves, the tuba was capable only of a single overtone series that would probably sound familiar to the modern ear, given the limitations of musical acoustics for instruments of this construction.[11] In the military, it was used for "bugle calls". The tuba is also depicted in art such as mosaics accompanying games (ludi) and spectacle events.
  • The cornu (Latin "horn") was a long tubular metal wind instrument that curved around the musician's body, shaped rather like an uppercase G. It had a conical bore (again like a French horn) and a conical mouthpiece. It may be hard to distinguish from the buccina. The cornu was used for military signals and on parade.[12] The cornicen was a military signal officer who translated orders into calls. Like the tuba, the cornu also appears as accompaniment for public events and spectacle entertainments.
  • The tibia (Greek aulos - αὐλός), usually double, had two double-reed (as in a modern oboe) pipes, not joined but generally played with a mouth-band capistrum (Greek phorbeiá - φορβεία) to hold both pipes steadily between the player's lips.[13] Modern changes indicate that they produced a low, clarinet-like sound. There is some confusion about the exact nature of the instrument; alternate descriptions indicate each pipe having a single reed (like a modern clarinet) instead of a double reed.
  • The askaules — a bagpipe.
  • Versions of the modern flute and panpipes.
Cornu Aalen

Cornu at the Limesmuseum in Aalen, Germany

Cornicen on Trajan's column

Cornicines on Trajan's Column (2nd century)

Grande Ludovisi Altemps Inv8574 n4

Horn player on the Ludovisi sarcophagus (3rd century)

Bas relief from Arch of Marcus Aurelius showing sacrifice

Tibia player accompanying a sacrifice led by Marcus Aurelius

British Museum Mildenhall Bacchic Dish A

Panpipes played by Pan and aulos by a maenad (Mildenhall Treasure, 4th century)

String instruments

Left image:: Silenus holding a lyre, detail of a fresco from the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii, Italy, c. 50 BC
Right image: wall fresco of a seated woman with a kithara, 40-30 BC, from the Villa Boscoreale of P. Fannius Synistor; late Roman Republic; it most likely represents Berenice II of Ptolemaic Egypt wearing a stephane (i.e. royal diadem) on her head.[14]

Villa dei Misteri IV - 2
Boscoreale1
  • The lyre, borrowed from the Greeks, was not a harp, but instead had a sounding body of wood or a tortoise shell covered with skin, and arms of animal horn or wood, with strings stretched from a cross bar to the sounding body.[15] The lyre was held or cradled in one arm and hand and plucked with the other hand. The Romans gradually abandoned this instrument in favour of the more sophisticated cithara, a larger instrument with a box-type frame with strings stretched from the cross-bar at the top to the sounding box at the bottom; it was held upright and played with a plectrum. The strings were tuned "by adjusting sticks seen in the engraving."[16]
  • The cithara was the premier musical instrument of ancient Rome and was played both in popular and elevated forms of music. Larger and heavier than a lyre, the cithara was a loud, sweet and piercing instrument with precision tuning ability. It was said some players could make it cry. From cithara comes the word guitar. Though the guitar more directly evolved from the lute, the same mystique surrounds the guitar idols of today as it did for the virtuoso cithara players, the citharista, and popular singers of ancient Rome. Like many other instruments, it came originally from Greece, and Greek images portray the most elaborately constructed citharas.
  • The lute (pandura or monochord) was known by several names among the Greeks and Romans. In construction, the lute differs from the lyre in having fewer strings stretched over a solid neck or fret-board, on which the strings can be stopped to produce graduated notes. Each lute string is thereby capable of producing a greater range of notes than a lyre string.[17] Although long-necked lutes are depicted in art from Mesopotamia as early as 2340–2198 BC, and also occur in Egyptian iconography, the lute in the Greco-Roman world was far less common than the lyre and cithara. The lute of the medieval West is thought to owe more to the Arab oud, from which its name derives (al ʿūd).[18]

Organs

Hydraulis 001
Hydraulis and cornu on a mosaic from Nennig, Germany

Mosaics depict instruments that look like a cross between the bagpipe and the organ. The pipes were sized so as to produce many of the modes (scales) known from the Greeks. It is unclear whether they were blown by the lungs or by some mechanical bellows.

The hydraulic pipe organ (hydraulis), which worked by water pressure, was "one of the most significant technical and musical achievements of antiquity".[19] Essentially, the air to the pipes that produce the sound comes from a mechanism of a wind-chest connected by a pipe to a dome submerged in a tank of water. Air is pumped into the top of the dome, compressing the air and forcing water out the bottom; the displace water rises in the tank. This increased hydraulic head and the compression of the air in the dome provides a steady supply of air to the pipes[20] (also see Pipe organ#History). The instrument goes back to the ancient Greeks and a well-preserved model in pottery was found at Carthage in 1885.[21]

The hydraulis accompanied gladiator contests and events in the arena, as well as stage performances. It might also be found in homes, and was among the instruments that the emperor Nero played.[22]

Percussion

Scabellum
Reconstruction of a scabellum
  • Variations of a hinged wooden or metal device called a scabellum—a "clapper"—used to beat time. Also, there were various rattles, bells and tambourines.
  • Drum and percussion instruments like timpani and castanets, the Egyptian sistrum, and brazen pans, served various musical and other purposes in ancient Rome, including backgrounds for rhythmic dance, celebratory rites like those of the Bacchantes, military uses, hunting (to drive out prey) and even for the control of bees in apiaries. Some Roman music was distinguished for its having a steady beat, no doubt through the use of drums and the percussive effects of clapping and stamping. Egyptian musicians often kept time by snapping the fingers.
  • The sistrum was a rattle consisting of rings strung across the cross-bars of a metal frame, which was often used for ritual purposes.
  • Cymbala (Lat. plural of cymbalum, from the Greek kymbalon) were small cymbals: metal discs with concave centres and turned rims, used in pairs which were clashed together.[23]
Choregos actors MAN Napoli Inv9986
Masked theatrical troupe around an aulos player (mosaic from the House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii)

Music in society

In spite of the purported lack of musical originality on the part of the Romans, they did enjoy music greatly and used it for many activities. Music was also used in religious ceremonies. The Romans cultivated music as a sign of education.[24] Music contests were quite common and attracted a wide range of competition, including Nero himself, who performed widely as an amateur and once traveled to Greece to compete.[25]

Discography

See also

  • Fibula (penile), a device used by Roman singers in the belief that it would help preserve their voice

Notes

Harfenspielerin Römisches Fresko
1st-century Roman wall painting of a harpist
  1. ^ Naerebout, p. 146.
  2. ^ Ginsberg-Klar, pp. 313, 316.
  3. ^ Habinek, passim.
  4. ^ Habinek, pp. 90ff.
  5. ^ Scott, p. 404.
  6. ^ Frankin, p. 95; Starks, pp. 14ff.
  7. ^ Ulrich and Pisk,.
  8. ^ Pierce, p. 45.
  9. ^ Ginsberg-Klar, p. 313.
  10. ^ Ulrich and Pisk, p. 25.
  11. ^ Bonanni, plate 2.
  12. ^ Ginsberg-Klar, p. 314.
  13. ^ Pfrommer and Towne-Markus, 22–23.
  14. ^ Bonanni, plate 3.
  15. ^ Bonanni, unnumbered plate between plates 48 and 49, with commentary on the facing verso page.
  16. ^ Ginsberg-Klar, p. 316.
  17. ^ Williams,.
  18. ^ Cook.
  19. ^ Scott, p. 413.
  20. ^ Walter, p. 23.
  21. ^ Suetonius, cited in Scott, p. 418.
  22. ^ Marcuse, pp. 137, 304.
  23. ^ Scott,.
  24. ^ Spring, p. 1.
  25. ^ Higgins and Winnington-Ingram, pp. 62–71.

References

  • Bonanni, Filippo. 1964. Antique Musical Instruments and their Players: 152 Plates from Bonanni's 18th-Century "Gabinetto armonico" , with a new introduction and captions by Frank Ll. Harrison and Joan Rimmer. New York: Dover Publications. Reprint of the 1723 work, Gabinetto armonico, with supplementary explanatory material.
  • Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus. De institutione musica. (English edition as Fundamentals of Music, translated, with introduction and notes by Calvin M. Bower; edited by Claude V. Palisca. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.)
  • Cook, James H. 1999. "Organ History: Origin and Development through 800 AD". James H. Cook's Faculty Personal Website, at Birmingham-Southern College (Accessed 19 December 2012).
  • Franklin, James L., Jr. 1987. "Pantomimists at Pompeii: Actius Anicetus and His Troupe". American Journal of Philology 108, no. 1:95-107
  • Ginsberg-Klar, Maria E. 1981. "The Archaeology of Musical Instruments in Germany during the Roman Period". World Archaeology 12, no. 3:313-320
  • Habinek, Thomas. 2005. The World of Roman Song. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Higgins, R. A., and Reginald P. Winnington-Ingram. 1965. "Lute-Players in Greek Art." Journal of Hellenic Studies 85:62–71.
  • Marcuse, Sibyl. 1975. Musical Instruments: A Comprehensive Dictionary, corrected edition. The Norton Library. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-393-00758-8.
  • Naerebout, Frederick G. 2009. "Dance in the Roman Empire and Its Discontents". In Ritual Dynamics and Religious Change in the Roman Empire. Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop of the International Network Impact of Empire (Heidelberg, July 5–7, 2007): Brill.
  • Pfrommer, Michael, and Elana Towne-Markus. 2001. Greek Gold from Hellenistic Egypt. Los Angeles: Getty Publications (J. Paul Getty Trust). ISBN 0-89236-633-8.
  • Pierce, John R. 1983. The Science of Musical Sound, New York: Scientific American Books.
  • Scott, J. E. 1957. 'Roman Music' in The New Oxford History of Music, vol.1: 'Ancient and Oriental Music,' Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Smith, William. 1874. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. New York: Harper.
  • Spring, Matthew. 2001. The Lute in Britain: A History of the Instrument and Its Music. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Starks, John H., Jr., 2008. "Pantomime Actresses in Latin Inscriptions". In New Directions in Ancient Pantomime Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Suetonius. Nero, xli, liv.
  • Ulrich, Homer, and Paul Pisk. 1963. A History of Music and Musical Style. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanoich.
  • Walter, Don C. 1969. Men and Music in Western Culture. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. ISBN 0-390-91600-5.
  • Williams, C. F. Abdy. 1903. The Story of the Organ. London: Walter Scott Publishing Co.; New York: Charles Scribner & Sons.

Further reading

  • Benzing, G. M. 2009. "'Se vuoi far soldi, studia la cetra': musica e luxus nell’antica Roma". In Luxus: Il piacere della vita nella Roma imperiale: [Torino, Museo di antichita, 26 settembre 2009 – 31 gennaio 2010], edited by Elena Fontanella, Rome: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato. ISBN 9788824011631.
  • Comotti, Giovanni. 1989. Music in Greek and Roman Culture, translated by Rosaria V. Munson. Ancient Society and History. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801833647 (cloth); ISBN 080184231X (pbk).
  • Hagel, Stefan, and Christine Harrauer (eds.) (2005). Ancient Greek Music in Performance: Symposion Wien 29. Sept.–1. Okt. 2003. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. ISBN 3-7001-3475-4.
  • Landels, J. G. 1999. Music in Ancient Greece & Rome. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Maas, Martha. 2001. "Kithara". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • West, M[artin] L[itchfield]. 1992. Ancient Greek Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-814897-6 (cloth) ISBN 0-19-814975-1 (pbk).
  • Wille, Günther. 1967. Musica Romana: Die Bedeutung der Musik im Leben der Römer. Amsterdam: P. Schippers.

External links

Ancient history

Ancient history as a term refers to the aggregate of past events from the beginning of writing and recorded human history and extending as far as the post-classical history. The phrase may be used either to refer to the period of time or the academic discipline.

The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 years, beginning with Sumerian Cuneiform script; the oldest discovered form of coherent writing from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC. Ancient History covers all continents inhabited by humans in the 3,000 BC – 500 AD period.

The broad term Ancient History is not to be confused with Classical Antiquity. The term classical antiquity is often used to refer to Western History in the Ancient Mediterranean from the beginning of recorded Greek history in 776 BC (First Olympiad). This roughly coincides with the traditional date of the Founding of Rome in 753 BC, the beginning of the history of ancient Rome, and the beginning of the Archaic period in Ancient Greece.

The academic term "history" is not to be confused with colloquial references to times past. History is fundamentally the study of the past through documents, and can be either scientific (archaeology) or humanistic (history through language).

Although the ending date of ancient history is disputed, some Western scholars use the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD (the most used), the closure of the Platonic Academy in 529 AD, the death of the emperor Justinian I in 565 AD, the coming of Islam or the rise of Charlemagne as the end of ancient and Classical European history. Outside of Europe the 450-500 time frame for the end of ancient times has had difficulty as a transition date from Ancient to Post-Classical times.

During the time period of 'Ancient History', starting roughly from 3000 BC world population was already exponentially increasing due to the Neolithic Revolution which was in full progress. According to HYDE estimates from the Netherlands world population increased exponentially in this period. In 10,000 BC in Prehistory world population had stood at 2 million, rising to 45 million by 3,000 BC. By the rise of the Iron Age in 1,000 BC that population had risen to 72 million. By the end of the period in 500 AD world population stood possibly at 209 million. In 3,500 years, world population increased by 100 times.

Ancient music

Ancient music is music that developed in literate cultures, replacing prehistoric music. Ancient music refers to the various musical systems that were developed across various geographical regions such as Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Egypt, China, Greece and Rome. Ancient music is designated by the characterization of the basic notes and scales. It may have been transmitted through oral or written systems.

Byzantine music

It seems that Byzantine music is the music of the Byzantine Empire, but political history is rather complicated and the heritage of Byzantine music also developed and continued outside its territory. Originally it consisted of songs and hymns composed to Greek texts used for courtly ceremonials, during festivals, or as paraliturgical and liturgical music. The ecclesiastical forms of Byzantine music are the best known forms today, because different Orthodox traditions still identify with the heritage of Byzantine music, when their cantors sing monodic chant out of the traditional chant books such as sticherarion, which in fact consisted of five books, and the heirmologion. Byzantine music did not disappear after the fall of Constantinople. Its traditions continued under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 was granted administrative responsibilities over all Orthodox Christians. During the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, burgeoning splinter nations in the Balkans declared autonomy or "autocephaly" against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The new self-declared patriarchates were independent nations defined by their religion. In this context, Christian religious chant practiced in the Ottoman empire, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece among other nations, was based on the historical roots of the art tracing back to the Byzantine Empire, while the music of the Patriarchate created during the Ottoman period was often regarded as "post-Byzantine". This explains why Byzantine music refers to several Orthodox Christian chant traditions of the Mediterranean and of the Caucasus practiced in recent history and even today, and this article cannot be limited to the music culture of the Byzantine past.

Cornu (horn)

A cornu or cornum (Latin: cornū, cornūs or cornum, "horn", plural cornua, sometimes translated misleadingly as "cornet") was an ancient Roman brass instrument about 3 m (9.8 ft) long in the shape of a letter 'G'. The instrument was braced by a crossbar that stiffened the structure and provided a means of supporting its weight on the player's shoulder. Some specimens survive in the archaeological record, two from the ruins of Pompeii.

The cornu may be difficult to distinguish from the buccina. It was used by the Roman army for communicating orders to troops in battle. In Roman art, the cornu appears among the instruments that accompany games (ludi) or gladiator combat in the arena, as on the Zliten mosaic.

Latin music (disambiguation)

Latin music is a genre in the music industry

Latin music may also refer to:

Music of Latin America, often shortened as "Latin music"

Church music, compositions for churches written in Latin

Music of ancient Rome, the musical traditions of ancient Rome

Matteo Silva

Matteo Silva (born 17 October 1960, in Ulm) is an Italian-Swiss author, music producer and ethnomusicologist.

He was born in Ulm, Germany, grew up in Bologna and Lugano, Switzerland, and studied composition at Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan with Niccolò Castiglioni and philosophy in Venice; founder of the independent music record label Amiata Records; as radio editor he collaborated with Rete 2, a cultural channel of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and produced the “Encyclopedia of World Music” in 65 volumes for the Italian RCS Group published by Fabbri; for the group “Espresso – La Repubblica” he produced the CD series of “World Music” published as attachments to the weekly magazine L'Espresso, a work that for the first time in Italy let music of less known cultures be accessible to a larger audience.

For Amiata Records, Wergo, and other independent record labels he produced more than 130 contemporary and ethnic music CDs in the USA, Germany, France and Italy. With Skeye music, he brought Carla Bruni and her first album “Quel qu’un m’à dit” to Italy just like the “Overhead” music group and other French and English artists. He produced music by artists like Arvo Pärt, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Sainkho, Ustad Nishat Khan, i Fratelli Mancuso, Faraualla, Sangeeta Badyopadhnay, Michael Vetter, Hans Otte, Gabin Dabiré, the Club Musical Oriente Cubano, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, the Monks of the Sera Jé Monastery, The Bauls of Bengal.

He often travelled to Asia, particularly in the Himalayan regions, where he documented and recorded several musical ceremonies of endangered ethnic groups such as the Bön and Gurung, and where he committed himself to the documentation of numerous Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies in exile and of the traditional songs of the nomads of the Kham region (eastern Tibet), of which he published a few CDs. In Italy, together with musicologist Walter Maioli, he has been the creator of the archaeological musical project, Synaulia. He also produced and edited the music of Synaulia for Amiata Records and published “The Music of Ancient Rome” in 2 volumes (volume I Wind Instruments, volume II String Instruments). Excerpts of this work have been licensed to several major films and TV Series such as [The Gladiator], [The Village], [Rome] and several documentaries produced by the BBC, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and RAI.

As composer he published the electronic music album Ad Infinitum (1993) and Omphalos (2001). Apart from his producing and editing activities, Matteo Silva is also a professor, author of essays, poetry and prose. As musicologist he wrote Music for Peace (1999), Beyond Music (2004), Copyright in digital media (2008). Matteo Silva has been director of the MIM ( Music Industry Management) Program at the European School of Economics in London and Rome.

He resides between London and Lugano,Switzerland and in his free time he is a passionate skipper, sailing around the world.

Music archaeology

Music archaeology is an interdisciplinary study field that combines musicology and archaeology. As it includes music from numerous cultures, it is often seen as being a part of ethnomusicology, and indeed a study group looking into music archaeology first emerged from ethnomusicological group the ICTM, not from within archaeology.

Music history of Italy

The modern state of Italy did not come into being until 1861, though the roots of music on the Italian Peninsula can be traced back to the music of Ancient Rome. However, the underpinnings of much modern Italian music come from the Middle Ages.

Music of ancient Greece

The music of ancient Greece was almost universally present in ancient Greek society, from marriages, funerals, and religious ceremonies to theatre, folk music, and the ballad-like reciting of epic poetry. It thus played an integral role in the lives of ancient Greeks. There are significant fragments of actual Greek musical notation as well as many literary references to ancient Greek music, such that some things can be known—or reasonably surmised—about what the music sounded like, the general role of music in society, the economics of music, the importance of a professional caste of musicians, etc. Even archaeological remains reveal an abundance of depictions on ceramics, for example, of music being performed.

The word music comes from the Muses, the daughters of Zeus and patron goddesses of creative and intellectual endeavours.

Concerning the origin of music and musical instruments: the history of music in ancient Greece is so closely interwoven with Greek mythology and legend that it is often difficult to surmise what is historically true and what is myth. The music and music theory of ancient Greece laid the foundation for western music and western music theory, as it would go on to influence the ancient Romans, the early christian church and the medieval composers. Specifically the teachings of the Pythagoreans, Ptolemy, Philodemus, Aristoxenus, Aristides, and Plato compile most of our understanding of ancient Greek music theory, musical systems, and musical ethos.

The study of music in ancient Greece was included in the curriculum of great philosophers, Pythagoras in particular believed that music was delegated to the same mathematical laws of harmony as the mechanics of the cosmos, evolving into an idea known as the music of the spheres. The Pythagoreans focused on the mathematics and the acoustical science of sound and music. They developed tuning systems and harmonic principles that focused on simple integers and ratios, laying a foundation for acoustic science; however, this was not the only school of thought in ancient Greece. Aristoxenus, who wrote a number of musicological treatises, for example, studied music with a more empirical tendency. Aristoxenus believed that intervals should be judged by ear instead of mathematical ratios, though Aristoxenus was influenced by Pythagoras and used mathematic terminology and measurements in his research.

Music technology

Music technology is the study or the use of any device, mechanism, machine or tool by a musician or composer to make or perform music; to compose, notate, play back or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music. The earliest known applications of technology to music was prehistoric peoples' use of a tool to hand-drill holes in bones to make simple flutes. Ancient Egyptians developed stringed instruments, such as harps, lyres and lutes, which required making thin strings and some type of peg system for adjusting the pitch of the strings. Ancient Egyptians also used wind instruments such as double clarinets and percussion instruments such as cymbals. In Ancient Greece, instruments included the double-reed aulos and the lyre. Numerous instruments are referred to in the Bible, including the horn, pipe, lyre, harp, and bagpipe. During Biblical times, the cornet, flute, horn, organ, pipe, and trumpet were also used. During the Middle Ages, music notation was used to create a written record of the notes of plainchant melodies.

During the Renaissance music era, the printing press was invented, which made it much easier to mass-produce music (which had previously been hand-copied). This helped to spread musical styles more quickly and across a larger area. During the Baroque era (1600–1750), technologies for keyboard instruments developed, which led to improvements in the designs of pipe organs and harpsichords, and the development of a new keyboard instrument in about 1700, the piano. In the classical era, Beethoven added new instruments to the orchestra to create new sounds, such as the piccolo, contrabassoon, trombones, and untuned percussion in his Ninth Symphony. During the Romantic music era (c. 1810–1900), one of the key ways that new compositions became known to the public was by the sales of sheet music, which amateur music lovers would perform at home on their piano or other instruments. In the 19th century, new instruments such as saxophones, euphoniums, Wagner tubas, and cornets were added to the orchestra.

Around the turn of the 20th century, with the invention and popularization of the gramophone record (commercialized in 1892), and radio broadcasting (starting on a commercial basis ca. 1919-1920), there was a vast increase in music listening, and it was easier to distribute music to a wider public. The development of sound recording had a major influence on the development of popular music genres, because it enabled recordings of songs and bands to be widely distributed. The invention of sound recording gave rise to new subgenre of classical music, the Musique concrete style of electronic composition. The invention of multitrack recording enabled pop bands to overdub many layers of instrument tracks and vocals, creating new sounds that would not be possible in a live performance. In the early 20th century, electric technologies such as electromagnetic pickups, amplifiers and loudspeakers were used to develop new electric instruments such as the electric piano (1929), electric guitar (1931), electro-mechanical organ (1934) and electric bass (1935). The 20th-century orchestra gained new instruments and new sounds. Some orchestra pieces used the electric guitar, electric bass or the Theremin.

The invention of the miniature transistor in 1947 enabled the creation of a new generation of synthesizers, which were used first in pop music in the 1960s. Unlike prior keyboard instrument technologies, synthesizer keyboards do not have strings, pipes, or metal tines. A synthesizer keyboard creates musical sounds using electronic circuitry, or, later, computer chips and software. Synthesizers became popular in the mass market in the early 1980s. With the development of powerful microchips, a number of new electronic or digital music technologies were introduced in the 1980s and subsequent decades, including drum machines and music sequencers. Electronic and digital music technologies are any device, such as a computer, an electronic effects unit or software, that is used by a musician or composer to help make or perform music. The term usually refers to the use of electronic devices, computer hardware and computer software that is used in the performance, playback, recording, composition, sound recording and reproduction, mixing, analysis and editing of music.

Music technology (mechanical)

Mechanical music technology is the use of any device, mechanism, machine or tool by a musician or composer to make or perform music; to compose, notate, play back or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music. The earliest known applications of technology to music was prehistoric peoples' use of a tool to hand-drill holes in bones to make simple flutes. Ancient Egyptians developed stringed instruments, such as harps, lyres and lutes, which required making thin strings and some type of peg system for adjusting the pitch of the strings. Ancient Egyptians also used wind instruments such as double clarinets and percussion instruments such as cymbals. In Ancient Greece, instruments included the double-reed aulos and the lyre. Numerous instruments are referred to in the Bible, including the horn, pipe, lyre, harp, and bagpipe. During Biblical times, the cornet, flute, horn, organ, pipe, and trumpet were also used. During the Middle Ages, hand-written music notation was developed to write down the notes of religious Plainchant melodies; this notation enabled the Catholic church to disseminate the same chant melodies across its entire empire.

During the Renaissance music era, the printing press was invented, which made it much easier to mass-produce music (which had previously been hand-copied). This helped to spread musical styles more quickly and across a larger area. During the Baroque era (1600–1750), technologies for keyboard instruments developed, which led to improvements in the designs of pipe organs and harpsichords, and the development of a new keyboard instrument in about 1700, the piano. In the Classical era (1750–1820), Beethoven added new instruments to the orchestra to create new sounds, such as the piccolo, contrabassoon, trombones, and untuned percussion in his Ninth Symphony. During the Romantic music era (c. 1810 to 1900), one of the key ways that new compositions became known to the public was by the sales of relatively inexpensive sheet music, which amateur middle class music lovers would perform at home on their piano or other instruments. In the 19th century, new instruments such as piston valve-equipped cornets, saxophones, euphoniums, and Wagner tubas were added to the orchestra. Many of the mechanical innovations developed for instruments in the 19th century, notably on the piano, brass and woodwinds continued to be used in the 20th and early 21st century.

Outline of Rome

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Rome:

Rome – capital of Italy and a special comune (named Comune di Roma Capitale). Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,876,076 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the center of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4.3 million residents. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason, Rome has been often defined as the capital of two states. Rome is a very old city, founded over 28 centuries ago, and it was the center of power of the ancient Roman civilization.

Outline of ancient Rome

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ancient Rome:

Ancient Rome – former civilization that thrived on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world.

Outline of ancient history

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to ancient history:

Ancient history – study of recorded human history from the beginning of writing at about 3000 BC until the Early Middle Ages. The times before writing belong either to protohistory or to prehistory. The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000 – 5,500 years, beginning with Sumerian cuneiform, the oldest form of writing discovered so far. Although the ending date of ancient history is disputed, currently most Western scholars use the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD or the coming of Islam in 632 AD as the end of ancient history.

Roman art

Roman art refers to the visual arts made in Ancient Rome and in the territories of the Roman Empire. Roman art includes architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work. Luxury objects in metal-work, gem engraving, ivory carvings, and glass are sometimes considered in modern terms to be minor forms of Roman art, although this would not necessarily have been the case for contemporaries. Sculpture was perhaps considered as the highest form of art by Romans, but figure painting was also very highly regarded. The two forms have had very contrasting rates of survival, with a very large body of sculpture surviving from about the 1st century BC onward, though very little from before, but very little painting at all remains, and probably nothing that a contemporary would have considered to be of the highest quality.

Ancient Roman pottery was not a luxury product, but a vast production of "fine wares" in terra sigillata were decorated with reliefs that reflected the latest taste, and provided a large group in society with stylish objects at what was evidently an affordable price. Roman coins were an important means of propaganda, and have survived in enormous numbers.

Synaulia

Synaulia is a team of musicians, archeologists, paleorganologists and choreographers dedicated to the application of their historical research to ancient music and dance, in particular to the ancient Etruscan and Roman periods.

Walter Maioli

Walter Maioli (born 1950 in Milan) is an Italian researcher, paleorganologist, poly-instrumentalist and composer.

Specialized in experimental archaeology and music, in particular that of archaic civilization. He has been researching the music of antiquity and prehistory for more than thirty-five years. Always interested in the music of the Mediterranean, he has gone on journeys to discover the folkloristic Italian and Mediterranean traditions learning the Arabic, African, Oriental, and European music since the beginning of the seventies.

In 1972 he founded the pioneer world music group Aktuala group, dedicated to folkloristic African and Asian music.

In the eighties Walter Maioli's researches focused on the field of prehistoric instruments, his work was presented at the Archaeological Symposium of Amsterdam for the opening of the Den Haag Museum. In 1987 he prepared the Natural Art Laboratory of Morimondo in the Ticino Park, working on the Art of the Nature, publishing books on the subject for the Jaca Book: “Origins, sounds and music”, and for Giorgio Mondadori: “Orchestra of the Nature”.

In 1991 he displayed the collection called “The Origins of Musical Instruments” to the History of Nature Museum in Milan and presented "Art of the Stars" sounds for the planetarium, at Ulrico Hoelpi Civic Planetarium in Milan in collaboration with Fiorella Terenzi. Starting in 1994, for one and a half years he was coordinating the musical part of the Archeon Archaeological Theme Park in Alphen aan den Rijn in the Netherlands, producing the CD called "200.000 years in music".

In 1995 he founded Synaulia, a team of musicians, archeologists, paleorganologists, and choreographers dedicated to the application of their historical research to ancient music and dance, in particular to the ancient Etruscan and Roman periods, carrying out an intense activity of conferences, seminars, and concerts in Europe, in particular in the Netherlands and Germany. In Italy, some of his performances were presented on archaeological sites such as Mausoleo di Augusto, Mercati Traianei, Terme di Diocleziano, Ostia Antica, Villa Adriana, Preneste, Pompei and Stabia, with the scope of recreating the sound atmosphere and executive context of the Roman age. When Michael Hoffman, chose the Synaulia group to participate in the shooting of the movie A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1998, Walter Maioli took care of the reproduction of the musical instruments.

Among the collaborations of Walter Maioli and Synaulia, there are performances with Giorgio Albertazzi: "Eros voglio cantare", "Intorno a Dante", and "Mammi, Pappi e Sirene in Magna Grecia, and the music composition for the first two episodes of the television program on TV RAI 2 "Albertazzi e Fo raccontato la storia del teatro italiano". Two songs of Synaulia were used in Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott.

Walter Maioli and the Synaulia took care of the musical parts of Rome of BBC-HBO, Empire of ABC and the New Line Cinema's Nativity (2006), let alone other documentaries of the BBC, CNN, Japanese TV, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Society and experimental archaeological videos for the RAI, CNN, Museo Nazionale Etrusco of Villa Giulia in Rome and other museums in Germany. From November 2007 Walter Maioli with the Fondazione Ras has started the laboratory "Synaulia in Stabiae" in Castellamaare di Stabiae.

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