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Stanley Lombardo Reads Iliad Book I

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Stanley Lombardo Reads Iliad Book I

Postby swiftnicholas » Wed Jan 19, 2005 5:27 pm

I was hoping that somebody could comment on the accuracy of Stanley Lombardo's reading of Iliad Book One. Should I use it to study the Homeric line, or would it promote bad habits? Are there other/better readings available online? Are there any readings that can be downloaded?

Thanks. :D
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Re: Stanley Lombardo Reads Iliad Book I

Postby annis » Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:18 pm

swiftnicholas wrote:I was hoping that somebody could comment on the accuracy of Stanley Lombardo's reading of Iliad Book One.


The Muses weep!

However, this is a fairly conventional recitation, mostly Erasmian pronunciation, and the obligatory mystery-reshuffle of accenting.

Should I use it to study the Homeric line, or would it promote bad habits? Are there other/better readings available online? Are there any readings that can be downloaded?


Well, this is quite good on reconstructed ancient pronunciation. I think the rhythm is quite good and probably not far off what was intended, but I'm much less sure about the plainchant stylings.

Daitz has some Homeric recitations online, which also work to get the reconstructed pronunciation correct, but whose recitation style is, I feel, overwrought.
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Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:19 pm

He uses a stress accent, rather than a pitch accent, he also seems to say [face=SPIonic]ou0lomenei/n[/face] rather than [face=SPIonic]ou0lome/nhn[/face], and he probably pauses for too long after "[face=SPIonic]ou0lomenei/n[/face]".

Here's a better one, I think:
http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/agp/
http://www.oeaw.ac.at/kal/sh/


EDIT: We keep posting simultaneously, William. :)
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Re: Stanley Lombardo Reads Iliad Book I

Postby Eureka » Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:29 pm

annis wrote:Daitz has some Homeric recitations online, which also work to get the reconstructed pronunciation correct, but whose recitation style is, I feel, overwrought.

It seems there's an unfortunate tendency to overdo it.

Exhibit A:

http://www.rhapsodes.fll.vt.edu/iliad1.htm
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Thanks

Postby swiftnicholas » Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:07 pm

Thanks for the information! I was so excited to find that the files you hyperlinked are downloadable: I don't have access to the internet at home, and this way I can put them on my mp3 player, and read along at my leisure. You can't do that on Lombardo's website. I can't wait to listen to them.

Has anybody here considered posting sound files of themselves reading? It would be very useful if somebody qualified were to do that.
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Question about Danek/Hagel Reading

Postby swiftnicholas » Fri Jan 21, 2005 7:31 pm

I'm having great fun with these audio files already. A question though about the Danek/Hagel reading: Does the mp3 file actually start at Od. 8.267? It doesn't seem to correspond to my text, but it must be in Book 8 somewhere, right? It sounded very odd at first, but after a few listenings, the music was impressed in my head.

I'm about to listen to the Avery Andrews readings now; although I was able to download them to my computer, I couldn't put them on my mp3 player, which is disappointing and curious. Is his version very different from Danek/Hagel, or is it primarily the difference between singing and reciting?

I'd love to hear comments about the various recordings, or about your personal experience trying to read the Homeric line.
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Postby chad » Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:59 am

hi swiftnicholas, stefan hagel emailed me the following explanation of this in 2002 (for the realplayer clip):

You're perfectly right, that's not the Odyssee...
In the Odyssee, the poet Homer introduces the song of the fictive
singer-poet by "but he, playing the phorminx, preluded to sing
beautifully, about the love of...". In the following, the indirect speech
is shifted to something like full quotation, or replaced by direct
narration. I wanted to use the lay of Ares and Aphrodite as a song
taken out of its context in the Odyssee, so I have changed the first
line to a typical opening, with an invocation of the Muse:

a)/rxeo Mou=sa ge/lwtos o(\s a)qana/toisin e)nw=rto

Begin, Muse, of the laughter that rose among the undying


and for the mp3 clip, a different last word:

a)/rxeo Mou=sa ge/lwtos o(\s a)qana/toisin e)tu/xqh


re my own experience of reciting homer, a long time ago i tried to model the same information which danek/hagel used to recite homer; they used a 4-tone scale corresponding to the old phorminx whereas i used a more common 7-tone scale (common for string instruments anyway)... it's in a .pdf here:

http://iliad.envy.nu [Iliad 1 (reconstructed pronunciation)]

i'm not sure about some of my previous conclusions though, if i looked at it again now there are many things i'd change and correct.

hope that helps :)
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Postby Eureka » Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:15 am

Hey Chad,

I’d taken your reconstructed Iliad and translated the first 10 lines it into sheet music. One thing that’s clear is that it has a certain musical melody to it; which is a good sign if you reconstructed it through a purely etymological method (without adjusting for pleasantness).

If your pitch were truely inaccurate, it would be unlikely to form a melody by pure chance.

So, it seems that it probably has at the least a recognisable correlation to the original pitch and melody.
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Postby swiftnicholas » Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:56 pm

Thanks so much Chad! That does clear up the confusion perfectly. I wish he had posted that information on the website beside the audio clips.

And thanks for the link to your site. I'm only just starting to explore Homeric recitation, and I found your scales for the beginning of the Iliad and Sappho extremely helpful. Have you ever considered recording a recitation and posting it? :D
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Postby Eureka » Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:38 am

Chad, I’d like to ask a few questions about your reconstructed pitch.


Is the pitch, as determined, an exact, or general, guide? In other words, is it intended that the singer’s pitch be in the general region of the indicated pitch at all times, or should the singer always be at the marked pitch?

Did you choose to use a 7 note system more or less arbitrarily? (Because if so, and the ancient bards used a different number of notes, we would expect a small proportion of the syllables to be off by a single pitch.)



Great work, by the way. The Iliad without the music might as well be prose with an odd sentence order. :)
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Postby chad » Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:40 am

hi eureka and swiftnicholas :)

i only put together that model so that i'd have an idea of how greek might have sounded on the basis of the evidence i read... all it does is show how homer sounds if you apply the statistically significant patterns found in extant greek music (found by devine and stephens). i can't say for sure that there aren't glaring errors in it because i've read references about e.g. a papyrus fragment containing a pitch transcription of a menander iambic line, and the "new guide to accenting greek" suggests that the 2nd beat of a long acute is on a higher pitch than the 1st beat. i'm also not sure if non-accented proclitics cause anathesis, devine and stephens equivocated on that so i'd have to read all the greek fragments again... another thing is that there's this opinion that non-strophic music (like homer) followed the pitch accents strictly but strophic music (like choruses of drama and pindar) didn't, i think it's on the basis of dionysus of hal's pitch description of a line of euripides' lyrics where he describes non-accented pitches sung lower than accented pitches and things like that... on first glance to me it looked like the pitch of the strophe in euripides might be following in responsion the pitch of the antistrophe, which would be interesting, but i haven't had a chance to look at things like this more closely

the 7-tone scale came out naturally as i tried to model the things in devine and stephens, given that i found they described 4 different pitch peaks and 3 different types of pitch drop; as i applied this to texts they all seemed to stay consistently within a 7-tone range, only then i read up on the standard 7-tone scale of ancient greek music. it might be coincidence.

i think the singers of homer would have kept strictly to whatever scale they used, which is what aristoxenus says expressly in his book on music theory. there are lots of unknowns though, in addition to the uncertainty of the whole model, e.g. whether it was sung to an enharmonic scale or chromatic or diatonic (or to different scales at different times), my assumption is that they used the enharmonic scale, which would explain why accented syllables in names of people and in words following grave-accented words are on average 2 whole tones higher (i think that's right from memory) than accented syllables in other words.

but because of all these uncertainties there's no point me recording anything; it's just my general guess about how it might have sounded; i only put it together because i'm an auditory learner and i didn't want the terrible stress pronunciation of academics i've heard to get stuck in my head as a beginner. there was nothing out there which described a technique for doing this so i had to make up one; even devine and stephens just present data about pronunciation and leave it to the reader to come up with a technique about how to apply it.

i've seen that stefan hagel has written some sort of software to do what my model does but automatically, he sent me the first few lines of the iliad which have a pitch trace line over the top of each line. it just shows relatively how the syllables probably sat next to each other, which is all my model did as well. i hope this ramble answers what you asked, but if you have any other questions let me know, thanks :)
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Postby swiftnicholas » Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:47 am

but because of all these uncertainties there's no point me recording anything; it's just my general guess about how it might have sounded; i only put it together because i'm an auditory learner and i didn't want the terrible stress pronunciation of academics i've heard to get stuck in my head as a beginner. there was nothing out there which described a technique for doing this so i had to make up one


Unfortunately, I picked up bad habits in pronunciation, because I started studying Greek on my own with the first textbook I found in a used bookstore. But I'm still a novice, and I want to form some good habits before the bad ones are too deeply embedded. I'm finding some of the technical language difficult to understand and apply, but the visual scales you created helped me to form an idea in my head of what I was reading about pitches, even if you think it's not entirely accurate. Listening to the various recitations available online also provided examples of what I'm reading---about the "academic" stress pronunciation, and the attempts to reconstruct the pitches.

I think many other beginners would benefit from the visual presentation of the pitch scales--even if imperfect--and audio examples to accompany them. Some guesses sound so much nicer than others.

Thanks for your helpful remarks and links. It nice to have so many helpful people in one place!
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Postby Eureka » Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:25 am

Chad, the reason I asked is that there is a definite musical melody to your reconstructed Iliad (as you would expect there to be). What’s more, the music seems to fit the meaning of the sentences, even changing its feel from one caesura to the next, and when the meaning of the sentence is revealed (for example, in line 3 when the very positive [face=SPIonic]polla\j d' i0fqi/mouj yuxa\j[/face] is reversed in implication by [face=SPIonic]1Ai+di proi5ayen[/face].)

However, a small number of the notes seem to me to be off by a single tone (from a musical standpoint). (For example, the last two notes on line 4 seem to be one tone too low.)


I think any pitch reconstruction technique should be able to be tested in this way. The words of the Iliad must have been chosen for their musical qualities. For one thing, the Greeks wouldn’t have employed a musician to sing out of key. For another, the meter alone would have been insufficient to allow a poet to remember six hours of poetry; the melody itself must have been used as a memory aid.
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Postby Eureka » Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:46 am

Eureka wrote:However, a small number of the notes seem to me to be off by a single tone (from a musical standpoint). (For example, the last two notes on line 4 seem to be one tone too low.)

I think I need to take this comment back. I just started factoring ictus in, and it's complicating the situation. I have a little work to do.
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Postby Eureka » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:57 am

I have one more question, Chad.


Are you certain that in line 1 it is [face=SPIonic]qea&[/face], rather than [face=SPIonic]qea\[/face]? (I've seen it written both ways.)

After all, the comma after a vocative noun isn't a real sentence pause. In English placing commas around vocatives seems to be just a writing convention, in Greek it's probably just a Byzantine practice.
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Postby annis » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:02 am

Eureka wrote:Are you certain that in line 1 it is [face=SPIonic]qea&[/face], rather than [face=SPIonic]qea\[/face]? (I've seen it written both ways.)


I suspect this is another of those long-running editorial disputes, like whether you write an accent acute or grave at the end of a poetic line even if the sentence doesn't end there.
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Postby chad » Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:50 am

hi eureka and will, you're both right, i wasn't sure either way. :)
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Postby Eureka » Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:50 am

Chad, I've been trying to work out what the pitch for line one would be, if the goddess has a grave, using your pitch model document, and I think I have to admit defeat. :?

I figure it would be the sounds marked by the letter C, but I can't figure out which letter represents the pitch if Thea has an acute.
(It seems suprisingly high for a grave.) :?


Also, what do anathesis and (1st, 2nd and 3rd) catathesis mean? :shock:
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Re: Thanks

Postby Eureka » Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:28 am

swiftnicholas wrote:Has anybody here considered posting sound files of themselves reading? It would be very useful if somebody qualified were to do that.

I think it's time I threw my hat in the ring. I'm trying to do exactly that.

All I need is to get my computer's microphone to work and then, if I find my voice doesn't sound too bad, someone to host it on their website.

Failing that, I'll have sheet music and midi files I can share.


I may not be qualified, but I'm going by the work of Chad, who's going by the work eminent classics professors (I assume).

Hopefully, I can learn the meaning of Chad's pitch model document, and then reconstruct the old song past line 44.
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Postby swiftnicholas » Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:27 pm

That's great to hear Eureka! I've been listening to the readings we've discussed while I follow along in the text, and it has helped me not only to hear the rhythm of the Homeric line, but to better understand some of the literature on the subject. It would be wonderful to have more readings online, whether to compare with other readings, or for new verses. Thanks for doing the hard work :D

Verses 8.272-275 in the Danek/Hagel recitation are rendered so beautifully; I keep listening to them over and over.
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Postby Eureka » Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:00 am

swiftnicholas wrote:Verses 8.272-275 in the Danek/Hagel recitation are rendered so beautifully; I keep listening to them over and over.

I agree. Unfortunately I don't have a phorminx (those 4-stringed lyre thingys), or the ability to use one. So anything I do will only be a guide for those wanting to sing it themselves, not a proper performance.




There're a few odd things about that performance, though. He does seem to sing unnaturally high. So much so that you couldn't imagine him singing at any great volume. As a result of that, he also sings quite fast. That would make it difficult for any bard to remember the next verse fast enough.

It's sounds as if he's trying to match his voice to the pitch of the phorminx. I'd be surprised if there was any written evidence to support that.
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Postby annis » Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:01 pm

Eureka wrote:There're a few odd things about that performance, though. He does seem to sing unnaturally high.


This may be intentional. I have this idea in my brain (it might have come from a book - it might not have, I cannot recall) that Greek and Roman public speaking was pitched higher to cut through ambient noise better. Without amplification, everything that helps you be heard is good.
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Postby chad » Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:17 pm

hi eureka, taking into account all the qualifications i give to the old model above :) :) here's how line 1 would go, if qea\ was grave (i.e. following the Perseus rather than OCT reading):

[E]mh=[O maybe]nin [H]a)/eide [C]qea\ [A]Phlhi+a/dew [A])Axilh=oj

the evidence (at least as i read it) shows that graves tack on to the front of a word the way enclitics tack on to the end. so qea\ Phlhia/ would be a steadily rising sequence of syllables, with the last syllable as the highest pitch.

re catathesis and anathesis, you can read Avery Andrews' summary of Devine and Stephens:

http://arts.anu.edu.au/linguistics/Peop ... /pitch.htm

also you can see D&S itself. they show that, like other pitch languages today, accented pitches in a clause drop successively, and then anathesis is the word Andrews uses to name the pattern just in ancient greek that, after a grave-accented word, the next accent is higher than normal.

quickly re the other things, West (in the best authority on greek music) said that greek music from all the ancient descriptions was most probably more high-pitched than we'd expect, given the things it was comapred to, and i think it's accepted by all scholars in this area that the pitch of the singing rigidly follows the instrumental in non-strophic music, west talks about this and so do the other books on greek music. :)
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Postby Eureka » Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:18 am

I have to say, the higher pitch works well for lines whose last syllable has an acute (especially line 7). Since the pitch is already high, the climb at the end doesn’t feel unnatural.

Seeing as the pitch is the same as that of the phorminx (or moreover, the kithara), it may be possible to be certain about which key to use. Is it known exactly what the notes on these instruments were?


As for the qualifications, I realise that the system is not known for certain. On the other hand, it’s likely to be heavily related to reality.

It’s good to see (on that site you linked to, Chad) that the Greeks probably had a little pitch freedom. Therefore, while the position of the pitch drops would have dictated by Homer (excluding the inevitable changes to his poems over time), some notes can surely be changed by a semi-tone or so according to the bard. So, there is more than one way to be technically correct.
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Postby Eureka » Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:54 am

chad wrote:hi eureka, taking into account all the qualifications i give to the old model above :) :) here's how line 1 would go, if qea\ was grave (i.e. following the Perseus rather than OCT reading):

[E]mh=[O maybe]nin [H]a)/eide [C]qea\ [A]Phlhi+a/dew [A])Axilh=oj

So, what would the red letters be if thea has an acute?
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Postby chad » Wed Feb 09, 2005 6:33 am

hi eureka, they'd be as i've done them in the actual document..., i.e. [C] would change to [E], i.e. if you follow OCT and other's edition, with commas around the qea/, then the pitch resets at the start of qea/ and at the start of Phlhia/dew.

re the musical key, i've never been able to find a definitive answer on this, i've looked through west and others; my best guess based on the age of homer and what we know about ancient greek musical history and theory of scales is that it'd be in the enharmonic scale keyed to the Dorian mode. even this doesn't give precision, since there were several "dorian modes". I'm sure it would have been described somewhere random in greek literature, maybe in one of the literary critics or in the Deipnosophists or something it'll be identified...

I'm looking forward to hearing your recording :) :)
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Postby Eureka » Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:25 am

Oops, I hadn’t noticed those letters on the bottom of each line. :)

OK, I’ve tried reconstructing line 1 with a grave. I’m not sure when we switch from one letter to the next (which particularly affects the 2nd syllable of “Phlhiadew”).

What I get, using your numbering system, is:
mh 2-5 nin 4 a 3 ei 4 de 3 qe 2 a 1 Ph 3 lh 3 (or perhaps 4) i 2 a 1 dew 4 A 3 xi 2 lh 2-4 os 5

It’s basically the same as with the acute, but from “ei” to “Ph” each note is one tone higher.


Does this look right to you, or have I misunderstood something?


Also, are you sure about the end of line 19 (the way it goes down on the 2nd syllable of [face=SPIonic]i9ke/sqai[/face], despite having an acute there)?
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Postby chad » Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:39 pm

hi eureka, if you treat "1" as the top pitch as you did above, i'd do it this way if qea/ was grave (the red numbers are the ones which i've changed):

mh 2-5 nin 4 a 3 ei 5 de 6 qe 6 a 5 Ph 4 lh 3 i 2 a 1 dew 4 A 3 xi 2 lh 1-4 os 5


also nb the 2nd syllable of mh=nin should really be 6. but there's a phenomenon called secondary rise which is statistically significant in extant greek music: if the interval between the last syllable of a word and the next syllable is more than a certain amount (1.5 tones if i remember), then that last syllable of that first word is higher, rather than lower, than the penultimate. it's unclear in my model how many of the 7 pitch levels you need to have as an interval for this to occur, particularly when you take into account different scales having different intervals between the notes. that's why i marked it above as "maybe". :)
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Postby Eureka » Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:12 am

Ah, cheers. I see the mistake I was making. I’ll keep reconstructing lines until I consistently get the same results you did.


That secondary rise must be present in this line, because regardless of whether thea has an acute or a grave, “nin” cannot be at 6. If it were, then the first syllable of “aeide” would sound completely out of place.

(It’s easy to justify things like this retrospectively, of course, but in this case, the line would be almost unpronounceable without the secondary rise.)
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Postby chad » Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:58 am

hi Eureka, i don't know if it'd help but i just put on that old temp web site an updated pitch document which i did in october last year, where i changed the way i annotated the pitch to make it more logical and to show what was happening.

http://iliad.envy.nu

i also just put the first few lines of the acharnians on, to show you how i personally use the pitch model now: i.e. not to map out the whole music for a text, but just to quickly chart in excel the first few lines of a new poetry style i'm studying, to see how the rhythm and pitch might go together. it's a hideous .pdf since the unicode didn't .pdf but i thought it might be useful to see what (limited) use i make of it now, for this purpose i still use it; i'm not going to fix up the .pdf though because it's just a copy of my working notes. :) :)
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Postby Eureka » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:21 am

I like this new guide, the logic is easy to follow. :)


I have a question about emphatic words, though... In line 7:

[face=SPIonic]'Atrei+/dhj te a!nac a)ndrw~n kai\ di=oj 'Axilleu&j[/face]

It looks like the emphatic words, [face=SPIonic]'Atrei+/dhj[/face] and [face=SPIonic]'Axilleu&j[/face], are spoken like lifted by grave words. And then [face=SPIonic]te a!nac a)ndrw~n [/face]are also spoken like lifted by grave words because of their association with [face=SPIonic]'Atrei+/dhj[/face]. Do these emphatic words consist of all proper names, or just the names of heros and gods?


What I can’t figure out is, in the previous line, why [face=SPIonic]e0c ou{[/face] isn’t a tone higher than it is. It looks as if it’s already been through one catathesis. It that the effect of the proclitic?
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Postby chad » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:44 am

hi Eureka, you're right about proper names, they (like accents after grave-accented words) are pitched higher than the "standard" pitch peak, i've got a page ref on that old pitch model i think to Devine and Stephens.

you can see then that a)/nac and a)ndrw=n aren't emphasised: each has a pitch peak a note lower than the peak of the last word, that's what catathesis is.

as to what types of names this applies to, i can't remember if devine and stephens specified, e.g. people's names, names of cities &c. if you look in that section of D&S they might say; i doubt there's enough evidence to say though.

re line 6, there's no catathesis. it's anathesis: at that stage i inferred from d&s's statement that proclitics most likely have grave accentuation that they give rise to the "lifted by grave" phenomenon which a andrews calls anathesis.

all the way from the first syll. to the first accent of a lexical word (i.e. prw=ta) you have a steady rise. another uncertainty here is how to treat non-lexical circumflexes in this steady rise.
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Postby Eureka » Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:12 am

Thanks for your help, Chad. But I have at least a couple more questions...

If I understand correctly, [face=SPIonic]e0c ou{[/face] is so low because the 2nd note of [face=SPIonic]ou{[/face] must be lower than [face=SPIonic]dh\[/face], which must be lower than [face=SPIonic]ta\[/face], and so on?

If that’s the case, then I take it the aforementioned anathesis is on the word [face=SPIonic]prw~ta[/face]?
In which case, why isn’t [face=SPIonic]ou{[/face] similarly affected by anathesis? Is that some characteristic of those sorts of pronouns?



Sort of off topic... D&S is turning out to be a difficult book to get a hold of. The university’s library doesn’t seem to have it. :shock: (It has a very sparse Greek section.)
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Postby Eureka » Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:28 am

Have you got the "lifted by grave lexicals" and "lifted by grave non-lexicals" labelled the wrong way around on the new pitch model? :?
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Postby chad » Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:45 pm

hi eureka :)

If I understand correctly, e0c ou{ is so low because the 2nd note of ou{ must be lower than dh\, which must be lower than ta\, and so on?

If that’s the case, then I take it the aforementioned anathesis is on the word prw~ta?


yep :)

In which case, why isn’t ou{ similarly affected by anathesis? Is that some characteristic of those sorts of pronouns?


anathesis only applies to lexical words: non-lexs are included in the run-up to the first lexical accent.

Have you got the "lifted by grave lexicals" and "lifted by grave non-lexicals" labelled the wrong way around on the new pitch model?


not as far as i can see, the pitch drop after a lexical anathesis (i.e. lifted by lexical grave) is smaller than the pitch drop after a non-lexical anathesis (i.e. lifted by non-lexical grave). that's the same as on my old pitch model, and i have a page reference there to Devine and Stephens on this :)
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Postby Eureka » Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:40 pm

chad wrote:
In which case, why isn’t ou{ similarly affected by anathesis? Is that some characteristic of those sorts of pronouns?


anathesis only applies to lexical words: non-lexs are included in the run-up to the first lexical accent.

Have you got the "lifted by grave lexicals" and "lifted by grave non-lexicals" labelled the wrong way around on the new pitch model?


not as far as i can see, the pitch drop after a lexical anathesis (i.e. lifted by lexical grave) is smaller than the pitch drop after a non-lexical anathesis (i.e. lifted by non-lexical grave). that's the same as on my old pitch model, and i have a page reference there to Devine and Stephens on this :)

Oh, I get it. It's about whether the the word causing the anathesis is lexical or non-lexical. :)
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Sun Mar 20, 2005 7:09 pm

In defense of Mr. Lombardo, I'll say that he's the only one who doesn't put me to sleep by the end of line 3.

One of the guys I've heard used to play a part in Star Trek as a Klingon.

One of the pitchers I heard sounded like a robot. It took me a while to figure out that I wasn't listening to the product of an automatic greek reciting program. I would beg him to stop insulting Homer and do his pronunciation exercises (a noble pursuit) with, say, Tucídides.

All of the stressers, including Mr. L, disregard the hexametric rhythm completely. That´s a shame, because that rhythm is the only thing about Homer that we can be sure about (excuse my grammar).

Pitchers do better with rhythm, but when I read along tapping at every arsis, the resulting taps are far from rhythmic. There's a tendency to rush through the dactyls, making their long vowels short.

Pitchers tend to sound emotionally dead. From their intonation, you wouldn't know whether Hector is holding his son or smashing greek skulls.

So, I'll give the golden apple to the pitcher who can keep the rhythm and figures out a way to combine pitch with phrase intonation. I know that you can do it, folks!
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Postby Eureka » Sun Mar 20, 2005 10:59 pm

To really sing well is not an easy skill, and in fact requires a natural ability. Classicists are not chosen for their ability to sing, so we can't be too pickey. (What's more, I think they are more interested in technique than performance.)

Stressing is much easier, because it's what we do in our native languages. If we pronounce it like our native language, we can easily apply our own language's phrase intonation to it.

However, I think to do that would be a cop-out. Most things that are worth doing require effort, and many of them are too difficult for some.


How to do this phrase intonation is a good question. I suspect that more important words would be slightly louder (just like in modern singing), so:

βη δ' ακεων παρα θινα πολυφλοισβοιο θαλασσης. (For example)
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Postby Bardo de Saldo » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:25 pm

Eureka, I was commenting on the talkers, not the singers. I wouldn't hold against anyone attempting to sing the Iliad his/her lack of a good singing voice. Wait until you hear me (not pretty).

Before I found this forum I heard a guy singing the Iliad. I didn't write down the url, but you might have heard him also: a guy with a Greek name from an English university that plays an electric lyre. Well, his first line (I.1) stuck in my head, and the other day, looking at chad's pitch (or note ?) wave charts, I could swear that both matched perfectly (if I understood the chart right). Coincidence?
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Postby chad » Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:29 am

i've never heard it; the only person who has said that they've looked at my old pitch stuff is eureka. since i can't access media files online anymore could somebody please try to find it (that one which bardo talked about) and let us know whether it's good, and also this one?

http://turdpolish.com/greek4.html

thanks :)
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