Music 2115

Study Guide for Chapter 1

"Heritage from Antiquity"

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Music in Antiquity

Music in Society

Music in Antiquity

Important Greek Instruments--Identify
Stringed (plucked): What were the Lyra and the Kithara?

Woodwind: What were the Aulos and the Syrinx?

Brass: What were the Salpinx and the Keras?

Percussion: What were the Tympanon, Kymbala, and Krotala?

What was the water organ called?

Greek Music--define these terms
How many examples of Greek music survive?

Monody (The basis for Medieval music)

Strophic (Remained a much-used musical form)

Throughcomposed (Another much-used form)


Important Theory--Philosophy & Education--Define

Greek Music Theory (You are not responsible for this material, except to know that "modes" were specific scales)

Ethos (Turns up again in the 16th century)

Music of the Spheres

Trivium & Quadrivium (important in Medieval universities)

Important Roman Instruments--Identify
Greek instruments were used (see above)

What were these additional brass instruments?





What two types of organ were used?

(Nero reallly was a musician, but could not have "fiddled" because no bowed instruments were used until about the 10th century. He probably "kitharaed" while Rome burned.)


A Theory of the Functions of Music in Society (not in the textbook)

By Dr. Alan Gowans, historian of art, architecture, and crafts

(Note: This material does not appear in the textbook, but will appear on quizzes.)

  • Arts of various kinds exist in a society because they fulfill specific functions in that culture
  • The forms of those arts change according to the time and place
  • The functions they fulfill within cultures do not change
  • Functional artists consider themselves "craftsmen" or women, and so do their cultures
  • These functional arts can be done well, with inspiration or even genius, or they can be done badly, in a minimally-acceptable manner, but they still function as crafts

The Functions of the Arts (Crafts) in Society

  • Substitute Imagery
  • Illustration
  • Beautification
  • Persuasion or Conviction

    Substitute Imagery

    • Reminds us of beautiful or desireable things not present
      • Visual Arts
        • Realistic landscapes


          Family pictures


        • Love songs

          Nostalgia songs

          Patriotic or athletic songs


    • Enhances a story or tells a story
      • Visual Arts
        • Book covers and illustrations

          Stained glass church windows

          Photographic news magazines


        • Movie and TV drama scores

          Broadway and theater scores

          Classical Program music


    • Adds beauty to and improves one's life
      • Visual Arts
        • Beautiful paintings, sculptures, photos

          Beautifully designed functional objects

          Interior design, landscape architecture


        • Concerts

          Background or "mood" music

          Foreground or "involving" music

    Persuasion or Conviction

    • Persuades one to new beliefs, or reinforces existing beliefs
      • Visual Arts
        • Campaign posters, commercials

          Stained glass windows, statues, religious icons

          Team colors, logos, paraphernalia


        • Advertising music

          Patriotic music

          Sporting event music

          Religious music

High Art and Low Art
  • High Art is functional art done with genius and exceptional skill
  • Low Art is functional art aimed at the lowest common denominator
  • There is a complete range of skill between "High" and "Low"
  • Functional artists often consider themselves to be craftsmen

So-called "Fine Art"
  • Arts which no longer have a function in society
  • Arts which are unresponsive to society's needs or opinions
  • Arts which exist only to gratify the ego of the artist
  • Arts which are done not for income, but for "investment"
  • Arts which are supported by a "Fine Arts" establishment
  • Artists who consider themselves "divinely inspired"
  • "Art for art's sake"

The Arts in History
  • Prior to 19th century Romanticism, all arts were functional arts and all artists were craftsmen
  • Romanticism brought the idea of the artist "inspired by God," or the gods, or the muses, or opium, or whatever
  • New technologies developed (photography) which took over the functional role of older technology (painting), and freed artists from having to please a customer, a patron, or the public
  • In the 20th century, "Art" became whatever an "Artist" said it was, and an "Artist" became anyone who claimed to be one.
  • Behind the scenes, having nothing to do with the "Fine Arts" establishment (opera houses, art galleries, people who cover themselves with chocolate and pose naked), the functional arts are alive and well, and still serve the needs of society (church music, comic books, jazz combos, American popular music).


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