HEPTA EPI THEBAS: a musical drama in two acts and an epilogue for soloists and choir accompanied by aulos and lyre, 3 vols.

TitleHEPTA EPI THEBAS: a musical drama in two acts and an epilogue for soloists and choir accompanied by aulos and lyre, 3 vols.
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsGardi, N, Pavese, CO
PublisherNomos Edition
Other NumbersEdition No. Nms 026

An extraordinary music written in the musical style of ancient Greece, as close as possible to the true style of the time.
After a twenty year long philological and historical research, Carlo Odo Pavese, an eminent scholar on ancient Greek poetry and poetic tradition, and the composer and musicologist Nino Gardi have developed a scientific method, mainly based on the metrical patterns of ancient Greek verse and on the melodic accents of ancient Greek language, which finally makes possible writing music in an almost authentic ancient Greek style.

Ancient Greek tragedies were real musical plays, where the actors intoned trimeters as a kind of recitative and the chorus sang strophes and antistrophes and danced to them accompanied by lyre and aulos. Nevertheless, the tragic texts have been handed down to us without any musical notation. Only three fragments of papyrus make an exception, but they date to about two centuries later than the texts and are anyway insufficient to significantly evoke the music of the plays.
A new criterion of musicological research, applied here to the text of The Seven against Thebes, has made a likely reconstitution, or reconstruction, possible. What could be recovered, if not the exact original pattern, is at least the musical method and manner by which those dramas were performed.
Ancient Greek vowels were pronounced as long or short, tonic or atonic. Unlike most modern languages, syllables were pronounced not with a different stress, but with a different quantity (i.e. duration) and a different pitch. Such prosody had a phonemic value, as it was part of the meaning of words.
It has then become clear that poetry could be set to music only by a method suited to its metre and tonality. The metre gave the rhythm, while the melodic accents potentially contained the melody. The natural tone intervals only needed to be regulated by a musical nomos chosen for the occasion, that is by a nomos applied to the chosen tropos and musical genus, for the melody to be almost automatically created by it.
On such grounds the authors have made a new survey of the ancient theory and its sources. They have then attempted the task of rendering the musical structure of the drama, aiming at proposing a likely sample of it both for the judgement of scholars and for the audience of a cultured public. [http://nomosmusic.net/newsletter/Newsletter%20Nms%20026_01.html]

Table of Contents

Volume I
Introduction to the Drama
Editorial Note
Greek Text and Italian Translation
Metrical Notes
Musical Reconstitution
Diagram of the Tropoi
Performance Directions & Illustrations
Subject Index

Volume II
Authors' Curricula

Volume III
English & German translations

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