Presentation on theme: "Dancing and singing were thought to be unsuitable in Rome. The poet Horaz said that dancing was the first step to prostitution, and it were in fact especially."— Presentation transcript:
Dancing and singing were thought to be unsuitable in Rome. The poet Horaz said that dancing was the first step to prostitution, and it were in fact especially prostitutes her danced for others. This attitude, however, eventually changed, and during imperial times boys and girls went to dance classes. There were two kinds of dance: gymnastic and mimetic; the former to represent body achievement whereas mimetic would convey by gestures, movements and attitudes certain ideas or feelings, and also single events or a series of events, as in the modern ballet. Rome as a conquering imperial power represented nearly the whole world of its day, and its dances accordingly were most numerous. Amongst the illustrations already given we have many that were preserved in Rome. In the beginning of its existence as a power only religious dances were practiced, and many of these were of Etruscan origin, such as the Lupercalia, and the Ambarvalia. In the former the dancers were semi-nude, and more rurally ritual; the latter was a serious dancing procession through fields.
Less is known about Ancient Roman music than is known about the music of ancient Greece. There is a number of at least partially extant sources on the music of the Greeks. For example, much is known about the theories of Pythagoras and Aristoxenus (some of it from Greek sources and some through the writings of later Roman authors), and there exist about 40 deciphered examples of Greek musical notation. Very little survives about the music of the Romans, however. There are various reasons for this, one of which is that early fathers of the Christian church were aghast at the music of theatre, festivals, and pagan religion and suppressed it once Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire.
The Romans may have borrowed the Greek method of 'enchiriadic notation' to record their music, if they used any notation at all. Four letters (in English notation 'A', 'G', 'F' and 'C') indicated a series of four succeeding tones. Rhythm signs, written above the letters, indicated the duration of each note.
The tuba, not the modern tuba, but a long and straight bronze trumpet with a detachable, conical mouthpiece like that of the modern French horn. Those found are about 1.3 metres long. The cornu, a bronze instrument shaped in an arc covering somewhat more than half a circle (shaped like an upper-case letter 'G') with or without a cross-bar/handle across the diameter. The aulos, usually double, consisting of two double-reed (as in a modern oboe) pipes, not joined but generally played with a mouth- band to hold both pipes steadily between the player's lips. The askaules, a bagpipe Versions of the modern flute and panpipes.
The lyre, was essentially an early harp, with a frame of wood or tortoise shell and various numbers of strings stretched from a cross bar to the sounding body. The lute, the true forerunner of the guitar (cithara), is considered a medieval instrument but was played by the ancient Romans. The Roman lute had three strings and was not as popular as the lyre or the cithara, but was easier to play. The cithara, was the premier musical instrument of ancient Rome and was played both in popular music and in serious forms of music. Larger and heavier than a lyre, the cithara was a loud, sweet and piercing instrument with precision tuning ability. It was said some players could make it cry. Like other instruments, it came originally from Greece and Greek images portray the most elaborately constructed citharas.
The organ, There are some mosaic images of organs and fragmentary remains in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. The pipes were sized so as to produce many of the modes (scales) taken over from the Greeks.
Variations of a hinged wooden or metal device (called a scabellum) a 'clapper' used to beat time. Also, there were various rattles, bells and tambourines. Drum and percussion instruments like timpani and castanets, the Egyptian sistrum, and brazen pans, served various musical and other purposes in ancient Rome, including backgrounds for rhythmic dance, celebratory rites like those of the Bacchantes, military uses, hunting (to drive out prey) and even for the control of bees in apiaries. The sistrum was a rattle consisting of rings strung across the cross-bars of a metal frame, which was often used for ritual purposes.
In spite of the purported lack of musical originality on the part of the Romans, they did enjoy music greatly and used it for many activities. Scott recounts the obvious military uses of the tuba for signaling, as well as music for funerals, private gatherings, public performances on the stage and large gladiatorial spectacles. Music was also used in religious ceremonies. The Romans cultivated music as a sign of education. Music contests were quite common and attracted a wide range of competition, including Nero himself, who performed widely as an amateur and once traveled to Greece to compete.