The Sack of Troy: Paean for Ancient Greek Kithara

by Michael Levy

Released 2016
Released 2016
A dramatic evocation of what the lost melody to the Paean (hymn of thanksgiving) which once accompanied the lost ancient Greek epic, "The Sack of Troy"...
NOTES
"The Sack of Troy: Paean for Ancient Greek Kithara" - an improvisation for replica ancient Greek kithara, (the large wooden lyre once played by the professional musicians of ancient Greece) in the favourite ancient Greek mode of Plato himself; the ancient Greek Dorian Mode, which he considered the most 'manly' and noble of the musical modes, capable even of inspiring bravery in battle.

In ancient Greek Classical literature, there was a lost ancient Greek epic by the title of "The Sack of Troy" - which was one of the Epic Cycle, which told the entire history of the Trojan War in epic verse. In creating this this new composition for replica ancient Greek kithara, it was therefore my intention to evoke the sort of ancient Greek 'paean' style melody (an ancient Greek hymn of thanksgiving) to which that lost epic of ancient Greece could have been recited!

Regarding the ancient Greek Dorian Mode, this was misnamed the 'Phrygian' mode in the Middle Ages. This intensely introspective mode is the equivalent intervals as E-E on the white notes of the piano. I also use authentically pure intervals tuned in just intonation.

In "The Republic" by Plato, Book III (398-403), in a classic philosophical dialogue of argument and counter-argument between the characters in this passage, the text is as follows:

"The harmonies which you mean are the mixed or tenor Lydian, and the full-toned or bass Lydian, and such-like.
These then, I said, must be banished; even to women who have a character to maintain they are of no use, and much less to men.

Certainly.

In the next place, drunkenness and softness and indolence are utterly unbecoming the character of our guardians.

Utterly unbecoming?

And which are the soft and convivial harmonies?

The Ionian, he replied, and some of the Lydian which are termed “relaxed”.

Well, and are these of any use for warlike men?

Quite the reverse, he replied; and if so the Dorian and the Phrygian are the only ones which you have left."

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