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Republic, Iliad, and Anabasis

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Republic, Iliad, and Anabasis

Postby jeidsath » Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:37 am

New audio, and a serious question. Does the Iliad have an emergent melody?

I have spent the longest time looking for any music that could be fit the iambic pentameter (folk ballads, rap music, anything) but nothing seems to fit the Iliad. The only success I've had is exaggerating the accents until I'm doing a sing-song. It sounds good, but I'm interested if anyone has looked into this? One thing I've noticed about English iambic tetrameter ballads is that caesura is fairly rigid (it has to fit the melody). Not so much with the Iliad, which would suggest (to me) that there may not be a tune. But surely Homer was sung, not chanted?







Audio notes: I bought a nice microphone, switched to aspirated φ,χ,θ, and have been working on crasis. If you were kind enough to suffer through my awful recordings of 5 months ago, you might be pleasantly surprised by the current batch.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
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Re: Republic, Iliad, and Anabasis

Postby Paul Derouda » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:44 pm

Wow! I think you've made great progress indeed! If I'm giving a few critical comments, it doesn't mean I'm capable of following my advice myself, or doing anything remotely as good as you've already done. I'm just telling where I think you could still improve, since obviously you're posting so that others can help you get better.

I think you're doing better with the Iliad than prose, so I would suggest that you continue to practice with Homer. It's easier with a text that has meter, since you don't have to think about the rhythm of the text so much. I think the best idea might be to just try to read the poem as naturally as possible, respecting the natural pauses, like you would do with an English poem, without exaggerating the accents. Something like what you find here.

You asked about Homer being sung – you actually have the same person (Stefan Hagel) also singing Homer, here or also on Youtube. (But perhaps you're already aware of Hagel). I think it's a quite stunning performance, but very speculative of course.

You've made good progress in eliminating the Anglophonic accent, especially with the difficult (for English speakers) /υ/. You're doing great for example in Iliad 1.3 with ψυχάς; however in the beginning of the Anabasis you're still doing it the English way "presbyuteros", "Kyuros", although it not as noticeably as before.

You're also largely successful with contrasting aspirated/unaspirated stops, another great difficulty for Anglophones. I think you're more successful in the Iliad again than in the Anabasis (as far as I listened at least), so I think this shows that it's easier to train with poetry.

I listened to the first 16 lines of the Iliad "with a microscope", and noted here every problem I think I found, however slight. Now you shouldn't take this as a hard critique – it's just that it is very hard. I think your recording is as good as better than almost anything that there's available. And I'm sure you can still improve. I couldn't do anything anywhere nearly as good. But it's always easy to listen someone else and spot "problems", especially as we have different linguistic backgrounds (I'm Finnish) and so we have different strengths and weaknesses.

I'm not musical and I don't have knowledge of languages with a tonal accent, so I'm no good a telling whether you get the tones right or not. I suppose it's good most of the time.

μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,
> οὐλομένην pronounced with stress accent; ἔθηκε as if ἔθεκε?
πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
> ευ should be /eu/ not /eju/ or /ejy/; kynessin as if with short s and long i
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ᾽ ἐτελείετο βουλή,
ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
> i should be short
Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς. Ἀτρεΐδης:
> i should be short; ευ is better than on line 4, but you pronounce it /ey/ not /eu/, perhaps a conscious choice?
τίς τ᾽ ἄρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι;
> shouldn't τίς have a rising accent, as a question word? ἔριδι: both i's should be short. μάχεσθαι: I'm not sure what the problem is, probably you give the first syllable too much stress (instead of rising the tone) and so make the α (and maybe the χ too) too long.
Λητοῦς καὶ Διὸς υἱός: ὃ γὰρ βασιλῆϊ χολωθεὶς
> λ pronounced long and η pronounced short
νοῦσον ἀνὰ στρατὸν ὤρσε κακήν, ὀλέκοντο δὲ λαοί,
> κακήν almost κακκήν
οὕνεκα τὸν Χρύσην τίμασεν ἀρητῆρα
> ἠτίμασεν almost ἐτίμασεν, ἀρητῆρα almost ἀρετῆρα
Ἀτρεΐδης: ὃ γὰρ ἦλθε θοὰς ἐπὶ νῆας Ἀχαιῶν
> Ἀτρεΐδης: i pronounced long, η pronounced short.
λυσόμενός τε θύγατρα φέρων τ᾽ ἀπερείσι᾽ ἄποινα,
> φέρων ε pronounced long; ἄποινα π is aspirated
στέμματ᾽ ἔχων ἐν χερσὶν ἑκηβόλου Ἀπόλλωνος
> ἑκηβόλου o is almost /a/.
χρυσέ ἀνὰ σκήπτρῳ, καὶ λίσσετο πάντας Ἀχαιούς
> χρυσέῳ: ωι pronounced as if /a:i/; σκήπτρῳ pronounced as if σκέπτρῳ ; λίσσετο: I think the i should be short but I'm not sure
Ἀτρεΐδα δὲ μάλιστα δύω, κοσμήτορε λαῶν:
> Ἀτρεΐδα i sounds too long; κοσμήτορε pronounced as if κοσμήτωρε
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Re: Republic, Iliad, and Anabasis

Postby jeidsath » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:47 am

That is extremely useful, Paul. And I appreciate the amount of work it is to go through someone else's audio like that. I will be using your notes a great deal to revise my pronunciation. All of your suggestions are issues that I can hear once they are pointed out to me, but that I would not have been able to discover without help.

Stefan Hagel's work is amazing, and on a different level.
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

μὴ δ’ οὕτως ἀγαθός περ ἐὼν θεοείκελ’ Ἀχιλλεῦ
κλέπτε νόῳ, ἐπεὶ οὐ παρελεύσεαι οὐδέ με πείσεις.
User avatar
Posts: 2277
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 2:42 pm
Location: Γαλεήπολις, Οὐισκόνσιν

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