Archaic Pentatonic Melodies in Pindus Mountain –Range in Northern Greece. The hemitonic and anhemitonic pentatonic tunings in Greece and their contribution to the interpretation of early Ancient Greek musical forms

TitleArchaic Pentatonic Melodies in Pindus Mountain –Range in Northern Greece. The hemitonic and anhemitonic pentatonic tunings in Greece and their contribution to the interpretation of early Ancient Greek musical forms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsKatsanevaki, A
JournalAlma-DL
Abstract

The hemitonic pentatonic tuning in Western Greece attested by the author and the anhemitonic tuning previously documented in the area of Epirus but apparently present in all Western Greece, were two main reasons for the investigation and classification of the co-related micro-scales found in the wider area of Pindus. Though many scholars both Greeks and others managed to explain the peculiarities of this musical system found in Western Greece and today’s Southern Albania (Northern Epirus), they failed to do so, as they attributed specific functionalities of the system to simple imitations of instrumental practices. Nonetheless extensive field research in the area of Pindus and in Northern Epirus reveal important correspondences between the function of the melodies of this contemporary system and the “obscure” information about the evolution of the musical system in Greek (and one might generally say) in Balkan antiquity.
Two dimensions of this musical system are of great importance in relation to the ancient sources. The first is that hemitonic pentatonism (a tuning responsible for the genesis of the enharmonic genus in Antiquity) is still a part of the contemporary musical system in the Greek mainland. The other is that the combination of the two pentatonic tunings reveals a process that can come to a heptachord system existing in its on right. The functionality of the micro-scales also reveal in a unique way the importance of the witness of Nichomachus regarding the evolutionary process for the genesis of the octachord out of the heptachord system and the witness of Aristotle regarding the co-existence of two heptachord systems one “diatonic” and the other anhemitonic.
Apart from the above conclusions, evaluating this data makes clear that it was possible for a diatonic heptachord system to appear by a combination of the two systems: the hemitonic and anhemitonic pentatonic. This information deviates from the theory of the blown fifths as it is based on vocal music. [http://amsacta.unibo.it/3203/]

Notes

Paper from III Annual Meeting of MOISA: International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and its Cultural Heritage, 1-3 Ottobre 2009, Ravenna.

URLhttp://amsacta.unibo.it/3203/

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