Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Sound of Music

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

The Semantics of Noise in Early Greek Hexameter

image of Greek and Roman Musical Studies

This paper examines the vocabulary of sound in the Theogony, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, and the Homeric Hymn to Hermes and focuses in particular on the words employed therein to describe superlative forms of music, terms that in different contexts denote clamorous or unpleasant sounds. By drawing attention to the sonic texture of musical performance in this way, each portrayal suggests that music is not ontologically distinct from noise, but emerges from the coalescence of discrete sounds that are not musical in and of themselves. Music and noise thus exist not in a hierarchical relation, but on the same spectrum. And this dynamic is reflected in the very language used to depict these performances, which combines re-workings of Homeric formulae with new or unusual acoustic terminology. Thus music, including lyrical language itself, may become perceptible as such from the skillful organization of sounds into intelligible and distinctive patterns.

Affiliations: 1: Wake Forest University


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Barker A.Greek Musical Writings I1984Cambridge
2. Barker A. Tuplin C., Rihll T.E."Words for Sounds"Science and Mathematics in Ancient Greek Culture2002Oxford2235
3. Bettini M.Voci. Antropologia sonora del mondo antico2008Torino
4. Butler S.The Ancient Phonograph2015New York
5. Chantraine P.Dictionnaire Étymologique de la Langue Grecque. Histoire des Mots1968Paris
6. Cook N.Music, Imagination, and Culture1990Oxford
7. D’Angour A.The Greeks and the New. Novelty in Ancient Greek Imagination and Experience2011Cambridge
8. Franklin J."The Language of Musical Technique in Greek Epic Diction"Gaia2003Vol 7295307
9. Furley W. Faulkner A."Homeric and Un-Homeric Hexameter Hymns: A Question of Type"The Homeric Hymns: Interpretative Essays2011Oxford206231
10. Goddard M., Halligan B., Hegarty P. Goddard M., Halligan B., Hegarty P."Introduction"Reverberations: The Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Politics of Noise2012London/New York111
11. Gurd S.Dissonance: Auditory Aesthetics in Ancient Greece. Idiom: Inventing Writing Theory2016New York
12. Halliwell S.The Aesthetics of Mimesis. Ancient Texts and Modern Problems2002Princeton
13. Hunzinger C."L’étonnement et l’émerveillement chez Homère. Les mots de la famille de thauma"reg1993Vol 106506508pl. xvii-xix
14. Hunzinger C."Le plaisir esthétique dans l’épopée archaïque: les mots de la famille de θαῦµα"bagb1994Vol 1430
15. Hunzinger C. Destrée P., Murray P."Thauma"A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics2015Chichester422437
16. Janko R.Homer, Hesiod and the Hymns. Diachronic Development in Epic Diction1982Cambridge
17. Kaimio M.Characterization of Sound in Early Greek Literature1977Helsinki
18. Kurke L. Peponi A.-E."Imagining Chorality: Wonder, Plato’s Puppets, and Moving Statues"Performance and Culture in Plato’s Laws2013Cambridge123170
19. Lather A."Pindar’s Water Music: The Acoustics and Dynamics of the Kelados"Forthcoming in CP
20. Peponi A.-E.Frontiers of Pleasure: Models of Aesthetic Response in Archaic and Classical Greek Thought2012Oxford
21. Richardson N.Three Homeric Hymns2010Cambridge
22. Richardson N. Athanassaki L., Bowie E."Reflections of Choral Song in Early Hexameter Poetry"Archaic and Classical Choral Song: Performance, Politics, and Dissemination2011Berlin/Boston1532
23. Stanford W.The Sound of Greek. Studies in the Greek Theory and Practice of Euphony1967Berkeley/Los Angeles
24. Stanford W."The Lily Voice of the Cicadas (Iliad 3.152)"Phoenix1969Vol 2338
25. Stanford W."Sound, Sense, and Music in Greek Poetry"G&R1981Vol 28127140
26. Varese E., Wen-chung C."The Liberation of Sound"Perspectives of New Music1966Vol 51119
27. Vergados A."The Homeric Hymn to Hermes 51 and Antigonus of Carystus"cq2007Vol 52737742n.s.
28. Vergados A.The Homeric Hymn to Hermes. Introduction, Text and Commentary2013Berlin
29. Walsh G.The Varieties of Enchantment: Early Greek Views of the Nature and Function of Poetry1984Chapel Hill
30. West M.L.Ancient Greek Music1992Oxford
31. West M.L.Homeric Hymns. Homeric Apocrypha. Lives of Homer2003Cambridge, MA

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Greek and Roman Musical Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation