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The Sound of Ancient Greek - Classical Pronunciation

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The Sound of Ancient Greek - Classical Pronunciation

Postby mingshey » Sun Sep 07, 2003 11:24 am

The Sound of Ancient Greek - Classical Pronunciation<br /><br />Sound clips of excerpts from Homer(Iliad), Aeschylos(Agamemnon), and Plato(Symposion).<br /><br />I don't know whether it's the most plausible sample. Just the longest I picked up in the web surfing.<br /><br />Also try the "visit-also's" there ; Ancient Greek Music and Homeric Singing.
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Re:The Sound of Ancient Greek - Classical Pronunciation

Postby annis » Sun Sep 07, 2003 6:43 pm

[face=SPIonic]kai\ to/de[/face]: http://www.prosoidia.com/grkrec.html<br />
Last edited by annis on Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:The Sound of Ancient Greek - Classical Pronunciation

Postby Bert » Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:17 pm

Wonderfull. If someone finds a audio file of the Iliad I would love to hear it.<br />Listening to a piece of the Odyssey and reading along just about gave me goose-bumps (corny hey?)<br />I sure don't do the Iliad any justice when I read it.
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Postby 1%homeless » Tue Dec 16, 2003 12:19 am

Heh-heh. I was about to post that link up because that is my favorite reading of Greek so far. Although, his pitch rendition reminds me of Italian a bit. Is that Danek reading or Hagel? ...And demodokos! Finally someone who can sing ancient greek. :-)

Here is one reader that sounds annoying. I wonder what kind of English accent is that? I've never heard that kind of English spoken before.
http://www.rhapsodoioralgreekandlatin.org/Greek.htm

This one is a bit funky too. Accuracy does not always mean pleasant. :)
http://arts.anu.edu.au/linguistics/Peop ... ews/Homer/

I like this erasmian rendition of the Iliad.
http://www.princeton.edu/~clip/

Here's the Iliad read with an English accent.
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~classics/po ... oetry.html

The one annis recommended isn't too bad. It sounds pretty natural to me. Although, I haven't analyzed it enough to know how accurate it is.
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Postby chad » Tue Dec 16, 2003 4:31 am

i agree with you 1%homeless about those clips. the daitz one is annoying, sliding from note to note, despite aristoxenus' clear point that in singing poetry (unlike speaking prose), the voice stays steady on each note, and does not slide to the next one. it's a pity because he wrote a book and put out cassettes on reconstructed greek pronunciation but the recordings are in my opinion pretty useless...

the demodokos song by danek and hagel is definitely the best one. sometimes the accentuation doesn't follow my Leob and OCT versions though... i'm not sure whether they're trying to hit every single accent or are just applying a two-accent-peak-per-line technique as they kind of suggest in the notes on their homepage. they also start off their clips with a line they invented, not in the odyssey, as i think i mentioned in another post

the one on the prosoidia site "compromises" on accuracy in several areas, as the author notes in the "notes to classicists" section

i'd like to hear prof. harris' renditions of greek and latin poetry, since his site is full of exhortations to render pitch not stress. they'd probably be as accurate as is possible. but i don't think he's put any on the web
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Postby 1%homeless » Tue Dec 16, 2003 7:40 am

You know chad, if you have a mic, you should put a recording of yourself up. :-) I'm sure your rendition will be much more enjoyable than Daitz's and plenty of other recordings I've heard.
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Postby chad » Tue Dec 16, 2003 11:28 pm

hi 1%homeless, eventually i will, and i hope you and a few others do as well. but at the moment i still have too many questions i'm slowly trying to research... e.g. was homer generally sung in a particular scale and mode? it's quite possible/probable that homer was sung in the enharmonic scale, which was the "oldest" and most noble scale. "oldest" would apply to homer if anyone. it's also possible/probable that it was done in the dorian mode, the most "manly", unlike say sappho which was apparently done in the mixolydian... it's also possible though that homer was sung in the chromatic or diatonic scales, since the quarter-note intervals of the enharmonic scale were too hard for the average singer to hit, according to aristoxenus i think. or it might not have been sung to a scale or mode at all, but i doubt that, since there's evidence that the voice followed the same scale and melody of any accompanying instrument, and i'm guessing that rhapsodes (singing without instruments) still tried to sing in tune. but about all this i'm not sure... or it's possible that people sung homer in different scales and modes depending on the occasion... i'm currently working through west on ancient greek music hoping to find some answers there.

obviously not everything can be worked out, but trying to pull together all the evidence on pronunciation is giving me a slightly better sense of the language itself. that's why i'm interested to hear what u and others are working out about greek pronunciation as well :)
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Postby 1%homeless » Wed Dec 17, 2003 9:20 am

Boy, luckily I've had a little education on music to have an idea of what you're talking about and I already feel my skimpy knowledge of music going out the window. I'm just still trying to work out Greek pronunciation, like vowel junctions and how ui is pronounced when it doesn't occur before vowels. I'm not a singer and I am barely starting to study Greek, so I don't think I'm capable of doing anything half way decent for a while. :-)
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Postby chad » Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:28 am

sorry, all i was saying was that i think we could figure out what pitch intervals there were between the various pitches in sung poetry. if you open my pdf of homer's iliad on my temp site, i'm guessing right now that:

the highest pitch is (some note)
the next one down is 2 tones lower
the next one down is 1/4 tone lower
the next one down (the mese, the middle) is 1/4 tone lower
the next one down is 2 tones lower
the next one down is 1/4 tone lower
the next one down (the lowest tone) is 1/4 tone lower

that's the "enharmonic" scale in greek musical theory, which is the oldest, noblest and "hardest" scale to sing. the other scales are easier to sing, e.g. the diatonic, starting from the top note,

1 tone
1 tone
1/2 tone
1 tone
1 tone
1/2 tone

...then to figure out the absolute pitch of the top note, you have to know what mode the song was done in. i'm guessing dorian as i said, but i need to read west and other books on greek music to confirm this...

cheers, chad. :)
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