Harmonic Divergence: Pindar's Fr. 140B and Early Fifth-Century Choral Polemics

TitleHarmonic Divergence: Pindar's Fr. 140B and Early Fifth-Century Choral Polemics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSteiner, D
Ancient AuthorsPindarus Lyr. (TLG 0033)
JournalJournal of Hellenic Studies

This article offers a close reading of Pindar's lacunose fr. 140b S.-M. and explores the evidence it includes for Pindar's contributions to contemporary debates and polemics in late sixth- and early fifth-century musical culture concerning, among other things, harmonics, tonal ranges, instrumentation and the boundaries between different genres. By reading the contents of the fragment against the backdrop of other works from the period that similarly engage in these issues and the later revisionary accounts of the questions first raised by the author-musicians of the early classical age, I show how the diction, imagery and structure of the work are designed to position Pindar as one among the current choral innovators. In the discussion's final part, I address the question of the genre to which the piece belongs and propose some fresh ways of addressing this still outstanding matter. At several points, the article also considers some relevant visual evidence. [https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-hellenic-studies/article/div-classtitleharmonic-divergence-pindarandaposs-fr-140b-and-early-fifth-century-choral-polemicsdiv/DD3A483D11E7CF416BB12239E9B7CC72]