Songbirds as source of inspiration for Byzantine kratēmata

Byzantine kratemata, known widely as terrirem, date back approximately to the 11th-12th century as part of other, wider musical works. A small group of four kratemata are named after birds (Aidhon – Luscinia megarhynchos, Potamis – Acrocephali, Anyfantis and Papadopoula – Parus major). It is reasonable to assume that the singing of the respective bird inspired composers to set such ‘kratemata’ to music. Studying the related compositions as those are saved in the written tradition of Byzantine and post-Byzantine manuscripts until their explanation from the pre-1814 old stenographic method notation, we make some observations that reinforce the initial hypothesis, as well as some parallel observations about the phenomenon of creation, establishment and spread of this form.


Avgerinou, Panagiota / Ephorate of West Attica, Piraeus and Islands, Greece

Archaeologist, Curator of the Archaeological Museum of Megara/Ephorate of West Attica, Piraeus and Islands, Ministry of Culture and Sports. Contact info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The musical instruments from Megara and their archaeological context

The present study focuses on supplementing the already known musical instruments with others that have been discovered in rescue archaeological investigations in Megara during the last decades. The  information  about the musical instruments and the other artefacts or vases who accompanied the same burial as well, it is  considered to be an indispensable and valuable resource for dating the instruments and understanding the social context of ancient music itself. Thus, data are given  for the research findings of two auloi exhibited in the Megara museum. Both of them were funerary objects (kterismata) that have been buried with the person  who presumably played the instrument in life.


Calero, Luis / Universidad Rey Juan Carlos-Madrid, Spain

PhD in Classic Philology (thesis dissertation “Voice and singing in ancient Greece”) by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and Bachelor of Arts (Singing) by the Royal Conservatoire of Music of Madrid. He teaches at the Department of Visual Arts and Dance of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid). He is a member of the Spanish NGO Voices for Peace (www.vocesparalapaz.com).

The κύκνειον ᾆσμα: an approach to its musical aspects

Greek literature portrayed swans as the metaphoric reference of diverse human values. Their colour, their bravery and their singing became synonyms for beauty, courage and musical dexterity. We shall try to pursue the textual information that may deal with all the musical details in order to understand the way the ancient writers tried to imagine what the κύκνειον ᾄσμα might have sounded like. We shall analyse the type of sound the texts reflect as their singing and even their very being used as animal instruments in certain texts. We shall, therefore, try to show what the ancient writers’ idea about the ‘swan song’ was in some other musical contexts beyond the swans’ literary capacity to sing their dirge of death.


Cross, Rodney / Macquarie University-Sydney, Australia

Rodney Cross is a Masters of Research Graduate from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.Rodney’s background in music and ancient history at an undergraduate level led him to specialise in the music of ancient Rome, with a thesis focussing on Roman brass instruments and musicians. Rodney most recently presented a paper at the 2016 Symposium Cumanum entitled “Musica rustica: the nature of ancient Roman pastoral music”.

Vox naturae: music as human-animal communication in the context of ‘animal training’ in Ancient Greece and Rome

Plutarch establishes the notion of music as a form of animal communication by asserting that the melodious sounds of certain species of birds are expressions of ‘articulate speech’ (Plut. On the intelligence of animals 972F). The use of music as human-animal communication in the context of ‘animal training’ provides a distinct perspective into the influence of human music on animals in an ancient Greco-Roman context. This paper will present two case studies that emphasise the extensive influence of music in this context. Firstly, Varro records the practice of swineherds training their animals to respond to the sound of a bucina (Varro Rust. 2.4.20), and secondly, a 6th century AD funerary mosaic depicts Orpheus surrounded by various animals, including a leashed mongoose. This image implies a conceptual link between music and ‘animal training’.


De Poli, Mattia / University of Padua, Italy

Mattia De Poli’s main stream of research is Attic tragedy (especially Euripides’ texts), monodies and metrics. He graduated from the University of Padua, Italy (2004), where he also received his PhD in Classical Philology (2008) and worked for two projects as granter and principal investigator (2009-2011 and 2011-2013).

A bull’s bellow sounding like a trumpet (Heliodoros X, 30.5)

At the end of Heliodoros’ Aithiopika Theagenes’ triumph on a bull is “declared by the bull’s bellowing as well as if it has been declared by a trumpet”. What has a bull’s bellow in common with the sound of a trumpet? I will try to investigate what kind of trumpet Heliodoros possibly had in his mind and focus on the literary (Homer to Nonnos’ Dionysiaka) and non-literary (proverbs) sources for such a simile.


Delavaud-Roux, Marie-Hélène / Université de Bretagne Occidentale-Brest, France

Marie-Hélène Delavaud-Roux, Maître de conférences in ancient history at  University of Western Brittany and HCTI EA4249, Brest, France. Thesis at University of Provence in 1991 (“Recherches sur la danse dans l’Antiquité grecque, VIIe-IVe s. av. J.-C). Three books at PUP (Publication de l’Université de Provence): Les danses armées en Grèce antique (1993), Les danses pacifiques en Grèce antique (1994), Les danses dionysiaques en Grèce antique (1995). She published a congress Musiques et danses dans l’Antiquit. (PUR 2011), that she organized in UBO in 2006.  

The voice of the frogs-swans in Aristophanes’ Frogs

The creation of the frogs-swans by Aristophanes seems unrivalled in the ancient Greek literature. A research in  the TLG shows that, apart from Aristophanes’ text, these two animals never hybridize. Aristophanes’ construction is unparalleled and it uses the voice. It is not simply a voice of a frog thinking itself as a swan, as C. Corbel-Morana wrote, but an amazing hybrid voice, combining the characteristics of two animals, about which Aristophanes conceived a traditional and archaic music, representative of the Ancient Muse, as shown by S. Perrot and A.-I. Muñoz’ s works.


Georgaki Anastasia / University of Athens, Greece

Anastasia Georgaki is Associate Professor in Music Technology at the Music Department of the University of Athens and head of the Laboratory of Music Acoustics and Technology at the same Department. Among her research projects are the analysis of the Greek singing voice, the development of tools for music education and musicological research, the impact of technology in contemporary music creation, the acoustic ecology and  the virtual soundscapes. 

From Archaeotettingology to the “virtual” cicada soundscapes: the effect of the cicada  chorus

Cicada singing and choruses are mentioned in the Ancient Greek and Roman Poetry and literature for the rhythmicity, the special effects on the human listening as also for their polymorphic symbolism as that of resurrection and spiritual ecstasy. In our days, the  Greek summer soundscapes in archeological sites dominated by cicada singing remind us this “anamnesis” of the past. Entomologists and poets are trying to decodify these hidden messages behind the singing”ethos” of the cicadas. In this paper I will try to go through specific adjectives that describe the cicada singing in  Ancient Greek poetry and philosophical texts to the audio “resurrection” through simulation : based on recent scientific researches on the acoustic behavior of the cicada according the natural conditions in different Greek landscape we will focus on the virtual “eternal” cicadas chorus in the present landscape (through signal processing) during summer by presenting several models of their "music" behavior.


Günther, Jutta / Saarland University, Germany

Jutta Günther studied classical guitar at the HfM Saar as well as Musicology and History at the Saarland University in Germany. After her studies, she started a dissertation project on music in Late Antiquity. She worked as a lecturer in ancient history and as a music teacher for classical guitar. In June 2016, she submitted her thesis with the title: “Music as an argument in the writings of the Church fathers. Studies on Lactantius, Eusebios, Chrysostomos and Augustinus”.

On the meaning of birds in the writings of the early Church fathers

The capacity of birds to sing beautifully is an ongoing topic in the writings of the early Church fathers, especially in the third and fourth centuries. It is part of a larger discussion about the human possibilities to make music and the creation of the human voice because of Godʼs will. Another aspect to this topic lies in the meaningless singing of birds which therefore differ from the human species. As the early Christians define their own musical style as a vocal one, the comparison to the singing birds is central to the discussion about singing. Is it allowed and willed by God to sing mindlessly but joyfully? In my paper, I would like to show and discuss some textual evidence of the Church fathers from the third and fourth centuries as they deal with the idea of the chant of birds and humans in comparison.


Hagel, Stefan / Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Austria

Stefan Hagel works as senior researcher at the Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His interests focus on ancient Greek music and metre, including reconstruction of instruments and performance techniques. He also creates dedicated software for scholarly purposes and his Classical Text Editor received the European Academic Software Award.

What did the the Megara aulos play?

Starting from Chrēstos Terzēs’ work on the aulos Megara Nr. Δ1964A, B, the only known extant specimen of an instrument type with six slider keys, I will try to determine the pitches it was designed to play, interpret these within the framework of what we know about contemporary Greek musical systems and discuss its place in their development. Based on my experience with playing a theory-based replica of a slider aulos as well as some reconstructed pipes with almost impossible finger spans, I will also discuss the feasibility of playing techniques in the light of the particular arrangement of sliders.


Karali, Lilian & Dellios, Paschalis & Yamaguchi, Daisuke / University of Athens, Greece

Lilian Karali-Giannakopoulou, studied History & Arcaheology, Byzantine & New Hellenic studies at the University of Athens (Ptychion), and Prehistory and Environmental Archaeology at the University of Paris I, Sorbonne (MA, DEA, PhD). She teaches Prehistoric and Environmental Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She participates in many excavations in Greece and abroad, she has published many books and articles, she organizes conferences and founded the Team and the Laboratory of Environmental Archaeoogy. Her research interests include Environmental Archaeology, Bioarchaeology (human and animal remains, shells) and Geoarchaeology.

Daisuke Yamaguchi, born in Fukuoka, Japan, studied Archaeology at Kumamoto University (BA), and Environmental Studies at the University of Tokyo (MA). During his undergraduate education at Kumamoto University he had the opportunity to work at ancient Messini. Since then he has participated in many excavations in Japan, Syria and Greece. From 2002 he is a member of the Team and the Laboratory of Environmental Archaeology at the University of Athens. From 2004 he is a PhD candidate at the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Athens.

Paschalis Dellios holds a B.A. in Archaeology and History of Arts from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and he is a postgraduate student of Prehistoric Archaeology of the same department. He has participated as research associate in various excavations and scientific projects, among which the most important were as an assistant researcher in the Department of Prehistoric, Ancient Greek and Roman Collection of the Benaki Museum, in the Laboratory of Archaeoenvironmental Studies of the University of Athens and in the European Research Programme of the Academy of Athens DARIAH- ATTIKI-DYAS.

Musical instrument out of seashell. A parallel study of the Triton seashell in Greece and Japan.

In Greece and Japan shell remains are often found in excavations, from prehistory to the present day. Among the mollusk species the triton shells have diachronically been among the most renowned seashells in most maritime cultures all around the globe.  More specifically the species Triton (Charonia Tritonis L. / Charonia Sequaenzae / Charonia Nodifera / Cymathium Parthenopium / Cymathium Cutaceum) has had a large spectrum of uses. Triton flesh has served as food and bait and its shell worked or with no intervention at all have been used as a tool, vessel and instrument. Furthermore in many cases Triton has a symbolic function in rituals, cult and music. The purpose of this presentation is to examine the parallel invention, use and symbolic meaning of the Triton shell as a musical instrument in Greece and Japan, focusing mainly on the data from the prehistoric era, especially the Neolithic and the Bronze Age.  The locations and find spots within graves and settlements will be taken into consideration in particular, as well as the depictions of Triton shells in seals, in pottery, in frescos and elsewhere.


Kavadia, Eleni / University of Athens, Greece

Eleni Kavadia is a Greek, Canadian and Italian educated zoologist and ecologist, currently a PhD candidate at the Department of philosophy, University of Athens, studying the deep ecological approach to nature. She has done extensive work on the Bestiario, the mythological, fantastic, immaginary animals and mixanthropic forms.  She has linked cubism to avant-garde ecology and studied the common character of the species that take the place of the extinct. She is also an amature cello player.

The notion of ‘contrapuntal duet’: from Aristotle to Pliny to contemporary biosemiotic theory

Biosemiotics as a study of the use of sign processes both whithin and between organisms, sign being something that stands for something other than itself, accepts no bifurcation between the material and the mental and sees humans, culture, animals and nature as a continuum.  Biosemiotics pioneer Uexkull following Aristotle does not see nature as the modernists do, that is as matter in motion, but as organised according to a plan.  Using the musical metaphor Uexkull sees nature as a composition and takes as the basis for the various relations the counterpuntual duet, two notes being the minimum needed to make harmony.   Aristotle mentions the animal cries as a means to communicate, Pliny observes that everything in nature has it’s opposite in the endless battle of nature against herself   while Dawkins and Krebs wonder if the counterpuntual duet is based only on the exchange of true information or rather on the advantage gained by misinforming and manipulating.


Kılıç, Sinem Derya / Humboldt University-Berlin, Germany

Sinem Derya Kılıç holds an MA (Magister Artium) in Philosophy, Musicology and Classics from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. She is now a doctoral candidate at the Humboldt University of Berlin with a dissertation project focused on Plato’s philosophy of music and its impact on the Renaissance. Her research interests encompass philosophy of music, aesthetics, ancient and late ancient philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Apuleius), Renaissance philosophy, and 19th- and 20th-century philosophy (Schopenhauer, Hegel, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein).

Of cicadas and men: the role of animal music in Plato’s Phaidros

It is well known that music plays an important role in Plato’s philosophy. As a matter of fact, Plato doesn’t only attempt to philosophize the value of music, but he also turns philosophy itself into a kind of music: “the greatest music (μεγίστη μουσική),” as Socrates defines philosophy in Phaidon 61a. In addition to the loci classici about music, which can be found in the Republic and in the Laws, a very interesting passage is given in the dialogue Phaidros. There, Socrates presents the famous myth of the cicadas that is not, as has often been claimed, only an ornamental intermezzo, but rather a crucial passage of the whole dialogue. In the present paper, I want to show what kind of music the cicadas produce, in which way their music affects human beings, and how well embedded it is in Plato’s philosophy of music in toto.


Kokkoliou, Antonia / Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens, Greece

Antonia Kokkoliou completed both her under- (1979-1983) and postgraduate (DEA) studies in Montpellier, University Paul Valéry. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris and at the University of Genève, investigating “The cemetery of the so-called Eriai Gates and the topography of their vicinity”. Since 1986 she holds a post in the Archaeological Service (Samos, Delphoi, Eleusis), and is currently working in the Archaeological Ephorate of Athens. She has taken part in the Athenian underground network excavations, and contributed with several entries in the volume Stambolidis, N. & Parlama, L. (eds) (2001) Athens: the city beneath the city. Antiquities from the metropolitan railway excavations. Athens: Greek Ministry of Culture & Museum of Cycladic Art.   

Lyres and aulos from two Classical Athenian burials

During rescue excavations, 300 metres from the site of Kerameikos, and next to the ancient road joining that of the Demosion Sema with that of the so calles Eriai Gates, part of a cemetery was unearthed, dated to the period from Geometric to Hellenisitc times. Amongst the 91 graves, two were of special interest. Grave T48 probably belonged to a 17 year-old youth, and  contained a lyre, an aulos, lekythoi and a strigil. Grave T63 seems to have belonged to a boy about 4 years old, and contained 36 offerings, amongst which were lekythoi, an idol and a lyre. In this paper the issues addressed are: 1) the connection between the presence of lyres in children’s graves and the lives they led before they passed away; 2) the role the instruments played in the education of the young aristocrats; 3) the grief these instruments express for the unduly deaths of those who can now only celebrate their wedding in the Underworld.


Kordellou, Aggeliki / Athens, Greece

Received a Bachelor degree in Musical Studies from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, a Master degree from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne and a PhD in analysis of 20th century music. She has taught at Institutes of professional formation, the STEI of Ionian Islands and at the primary education. She has participated in music conferences in Greece and abroad and published several articles of musicological and pedagogical interest (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Bird singing in Giorgos Koumendakis’ compositions

Several compositions of Giorgos Koumendakis’ have been inspired by the ancient Greek literature of different ages. The magical, metaphysical sound of the birds, as it mentionned in Iphigenia in Tauris of Euripides becomes an important source for the writing of Koumendakis’ composition for dance Iphigenia on the bridge of Arta (1994-95) in collaboration with the choreographer Dimitris Papaïoannou. In this piece the innocent victim Iphigenia meets her alter ego in a more recent traditional myth of The bridge of Arta. The presence of the bird’s voice (which represents the voice of Kalchas) imitated by the human voice of the soprano transfers in this way its metaphysical connotation from one period of time to another. This first piece involving bird singing will find its successors in instrumental pieces as the symphonic Amor fati (2007), the cycle Mediterranean desert (1998-2004) and the opera The murderess (2014).


Leitmer, Florian / University of Würzburg, Germany

2000-2009: Study of Classical Archeology, Ancient History, Late Antique Archeology and Byzantine Art History in Munich, Florence and Freiburg (Dr. phil.). 2009-2011: Research Assistant at the Staatlichen Antikensammlungen and Glyptothek Munich.Since 2012: Assistant Professor at the University of Würzburg (Classical Archeology). (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Locusts, cicades and crickets as Muses – Different ways of visualizing insect music in Antiquity

Angeliki LiveriRecent scholarship has stressed the dark side of the locusts as a real danger in the ancient (and modern) world. In my paper instead I will focus on the positive aspect, their ability of making music. Ancient written sources compare the songs of the tettixorakriseven to the Muses. In my paper I will focus the – often neglected – visual representation of these insects as musicians. On the one hand, the insects are depicted like humans playing the lyra and the aulos. On the other hand there are also some images showing the animals in the moment of chirring, the so-called stridulatio. Instead of the first group, the latter is – as I can see – not get noticed in modern research. How could we explain these remarkable different concepts of visualizing music? Are there similar concepts in the written sources? How could this positive aspect be combined with the other, the destructive side?


Liveri, Angeliki / Athens, Greece

Angeliki Liveri studied Archaeology, Philology and History of Arts in the universities of Ioannina, Vienna and Munich. She is holder of a BA from the department of Archaeology of the University of Ioannina and a PhD from the University of Vienna. She has taken part in different projects in Archaeology and Art in Greece and abroad, and has worked in different posts as an archaeologist and philologist in Greece and in Germany. She was Lecturer at the University of Cologne, has participated in excavations, and has published on Greek, Roman and Byzantine Art and Archaeology.

Music and songs of the Sirens from Archaic to Classical Times. Representations and interpretations on vase paintings of metropolitan Greece and the Greek colonies in South Italy and Sicily

In this paper a selection of representations of the Sirens, as singers and musicians as a team or individually will be presented, in combination with literary sources from Archaic to Classical times. We can see the transformation of their iconography and significance on vase paintings produced in metropolitan Greece from Archaic to Classical times. A comparison with similar themes on vases and in cult of the Greek colonies in South Italy and Sicily will show affinities and differences among them. Sirens are to be seen on vases of various shapes and uses. Usually they are singing; sometimes they are holding musical instruments, eg aulos, cithara, lyre, tympanon and kymbala. In ancient Greek religion the Sirens were often associated with the afterlife and with burial rituals. Their role in the ancient Greek literature and philosophy was very important as well.


Lloyd, James / University of Reading, UK

James Lloyd is a first year PhD student at the University of Reading, supervised by Prof. Ian Rutherford and Prof. Lynette Mitchell (Exeter). He is funded by the SWW-DTP. His main area of study is music in Sparta, with specific interests in the Sanctuary of Orthia, the lead figurines, and material culture more generally. Other interests include the role of 3D technologies in teaching Classics.

Swans and songs

This poster will explore why swans were so heavily associated with singing, lyres, and Apollo, arguing that in each case a different characteristic of the swan is alluded to (its bird-cry, its shape, and the shared locale of Delos). This multi-layered association seems to have created a confusing situation whereby the swan was poetically μελῳδὸς (Euripides Iphigeneia in Tauris 1104-1105) but not actually very tuneful: τὰ μὲν ἄλλα ὅπως μούσης τε καὶ ᾠδῆς ἔχει εἰπεῖν οὐκ οἶδα (Aelian On animals 2.32).


Mâche, François-Bernard / France

(see biographical notes of composers, below)

Philology and Zoomusicology

After an initial survey of a few texts which radiate the prevailing feelings commonly associated with the animal voices in ancient Greece, particular attention will be given to a comparison between some onomatopoeic words and their corresponding sound models. In a civilization exalting the privileges of mankind, there seems to exist a somewhat ambiguous attitude concerning its relationships with the animal world, either as divine attributes or just as ordinary pets. Is the Aristotelean theory of mimēsis limited to literature? Eventually, what does ancient Greece still represent for somebody like me, having created the study of a novel field for which I coined the term zoomusicology?


Mantzilas, Dimitrios / University of Thrace, Greece

Dimitrios Mantzilas studied Classics at the Universities of Athens (BA) and Paris-Sorbonne (DEA, Doctorat). Since 2004 he has taught as Adjunct Lecturer in Latin language, literature and civilization and in Translation Theory and Practice of Ancient Greek at the Universities of Ioannina, Thrace, and Patra. In the past, he taught Modern Greek to Foreigners and worked as a text editor and translator. He has presented papers in 22 conferences and has written five books. 18 of his articles are either published or under publication.

Bird voices in Aristophanes’ Birds

In Aristophanes’ Birds there is a series of bird voices presented by onomatopoeia in the verses, specific metrical schemes and live music which imitated them. Many of these sounds gave birds their actual names. We will try to demonstrate the connection between phonemes, fictitious words, meters, melodies and screams, bird names and characteristics. Moreover, we will examine their distinction in categories (land birds, divided into birds of the fields and birds of gardens and mountains and water birds, divided into shorebirds and seabirds) as it is shown in the play. Last but not least, we will locate information from various sources, such as didactic poems, glossaries and treatises (eg Aristotle, Dionysios, Pliny, Nemesianus, and others) about bird sounds and their musicality.


Moore, Timothy / Washington University-St. Louis, Missouri-USA

Timothy J. Moore is John and Penelope Biggs Distinguished Professor of Classics at Washington University in St. Louis. His publications include Artistry and ideology: Livy’s vocabulary of virtue, The theater of Plautus, Music in Roman comedy, Roman theatre, a translation of Terence’s Phormio, and articles on Latin literature, the teaching of Greek and Latin, ancient music, American musical theater, and Japanese comedy.

Stinging auloi: Aristophanes’ Acharnians 860-869

In Aristophanes’ Acharnians, a Theban enters, accompanied by auloi, which are described as buzzing like wasps (σφῆκες) and bees (βομβαύλιοι). “Buzzing” describes well the sound of reed instruments like the aulos; but the context of the words here suggests something more strident than the sound usually produced by most reed instruments.  The Theban says to the auletai, φυσεῖτε τὸν πρωκτὸν κυνός. S. Douglas Olson is probably correct in translating this phrase as something like “take your playing where the sun doesn’t shine.” Thebans were known for their obsession with the aulos (Roesch), but evidence for multiple auletai playing together is exceedingly rare in Greece. Even for an aulos-loving Theban, the dissonance produced by several pipers playing together at loud volume would have sounded cacophonous. This passage thus joins other analogies between the aulos and animal noises in shedding important light on how the instrument sounded and how it affected those who heard it.


Mystrioti, Georgia / University of Athens, Greece

Georgia Mystrioti is a graduate student of Ancient Greek Literature in the University of Athens. Her Master of Arts thesis is entitled “The poetics of prophetic dreams in Homer, ancient Greek lyric poetry and tragedy”. Her research interests include ancient Greek music, the status of women in Ancient Greece, and the reception of Classical themes in contemporary music and modern literature.

Marsyas: The Satyr Pioneer of Greek Music

Music has been an integral part of Ancient Greece, both in everyday life and literature. One of the pioneers of Ancient Greek Music is considered to be Marsyas, as evidenced not only by pseudo-Plutarch’s On music, but also by Pausanias (8.9.1) and other sources, such as Pliny the Elder. The widespread use of an instrument named aulos, which was used in tragedies, is attributed to Marsyas. According to the legend, Marsyas discovered the aulos discarded by Athena. In another myth, Marsyas challenged Apollo in a music competition; Marsyas ended up losing and Apollo punished him for his hubris. It is noteworthy that despite Marsyas’ wild nature (a horse/goat-human hybrid), he contributed to the progress of music, a great, noble aspect of ancient Greek and Roman civilisation.


Papadopoulou, Zozi / Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cyclades-Athens, Greece

Archaeologist. Head of the Department of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at the Ephorate of the Cyclades. Studied Archaeology in the Faculty of Letters of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Awarded her PhD from the Ionian University for a thesis related to ancient music and the cults of Delos. Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University.  Has taught at the Ionian and Athens Universities. Her principal interests are Cycladic archaeology, ancient Greek music and cults.

Τhe Delian geranos revisited: an interpretative approach of choreia

One of the most important choral rituals in Delos was geranos (the crane dance). The investigation of the literary sources in relation to the various – mainly epigraphical – testimonies proves that the geranos had various musical and choral phases and can be considered as a thanksgiving dance with a courotrophic character. Moreover, the choice of the name seems to be indicative of some sonic and choreographic elements related to certain of the ‘Delian’ elements of the dance.


Perrot, Sylvain / École Française d’Athènes, Greece

Sylvain Perrot is a former student of the École Normale Supérieure (Paris) and a former member of the École Française d’Athènes. He has received a PhD thesis on music and musicians in Delphoi and has written another thesis on the handcraft of ancient Greek sound artefacts. Since 2011 he coordinates a program on ancient soundscapes. His interests also include the reception of ancient sound theories and ancient scores up to the modern world.

Timotheos’ Skylla and the barking of dogs

We do not know so much about Timotheos’ Skylla, but this dithyramb may be replaced in the context of kainotomia, ie the thematic and melodic evolution of the genres at the end of 5th c. BC, and of Timotheos’ interest for Homeric themes, especially monsters. While remembering that Plato regrets the increasing use of animal calls in the musical genres of this period, we may wonder how Timotheos put Skylla on stage, as far as it could have been a challenge for him to integrate barks of Skylla’s dogs. Since his style was full of pathetic effects, the composer likely tried to imitate barks for aesthetical purposes and anthropological as well. Indeed, considering the meaning of barking in ancient Greek literature, we realize that it is firmly related to supernatural beings, a strange and terrifying sound, which is difficult to characterize. Then, the question is whether barking has got musical properties for ancient Greeks, melodic and/or rhythmical.


Pitropou, Ekaterini / Athens, Greece

Ekaterini Pitropou Studied Classics at the University of Athens, from where she obtained her MSc in Comparative Classics and PhD in Ancient Greek (2011). She is currently working as a Teacher of the Greek Language in a public high school in Athens. She has participated in research programmes and conferences regarding ancient Greek literature and ancient Greek language didactics. Her fields of interest are: ancient Greek literature (history, poetry, rhetoric), narratology, didactics.

Λιγύφωνοςἀοιδοτάτηπετεηνῶν: animal voices in Theokritos’ Idyllia

Animals in Theokritos’ poetry have multiple functions. It is thus intriguing to investigate the circumstances under which they are given a voice: do animals form a type of co-hero, playing a supporting role in the poem’s plot, or are theya narratological tool, reflecting the heroes’ feelings, the views of the narrator and abiding by the rules of the various literary genres that are merged intheocritean poetry? Moreover, what are the morphological features of such a dramatization? Is this voice realistically represented, through the use of specially selected vocabulary, or is it represented through common verbs, used invariably for various animal species? And, finally, on the basis of their role, representation and species, to what extentdoes animal voice contribute totextual musicality?


Pöhlmann, Egert / University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Phil. Dr.h.c Friedrich Egert Pöhlmann, born 19.06.1933 in Nürnberg. Examination as church musician on 05.08.1953. Promotion to Dr. Phil. on 09.05.1958. Examination for high school teacher on 30.10.1958. Teacher in high schools from 1958-1962. Assistant at University of Erlangen (FAU) 1962-1968. Assistant Professor at FAU 1968-1973. Associate Prof. at FAU 1973-1976. Full Professor at the University of Giessen 1976-1980. Full Professor of Greek Philology at FAU 1980-2001. From 30.09.2001 Prof. emeritus of FAU. Visiting Professor in Athens and Corfu 1998, 2003, and 2005. Dr.h.c of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens on 20.11.2003. Corresponding Member of the Academy of Athens on 13.12.2011. Subjects: ancient Greek drama, theatre and music, church organ and its history.

The Monody of the Hoopoe in Aristophanes’  Birds

Animal chorusses are familiar in ancient Greek comedy.They had to sing the melic parts of the parabasis and the agon, but also other lyric pieces. In Aristophanes’ Frogs they had to sing an extended parodic amoibaion with Dionysos. Morover, with the song of the Hoopoe in the Birds 227-262 Aristophanes presents an animal as soloist, singing after an anapaestic prelude an extended monody. The monody of the Hoopoe is a perfect example of the astropha which are familiar in Euripides’ monodies and the parodies of them by Aristophanes. The structure of them is defined by the content, by changes of the metron and probably of the music. Often these sections are marked off by lines extra metrum. It can be demonstrated that the monody of the Hoopoe is a brilliant counterfait not only of the musical extravagancies of the New Dithyrambos, which included the imitation of birds’ sounds (Plato Republic 397 ὀρνέων φωνὰς), but also of  the late astrophic monodies of Euripides. These followed the astrophic structure of the New Dithyrambos, which is parodied by Aristophanes later in Birds 1372-1411, in the appearance of the dithyrambic poet Kinesias and his ἀναβολαί..


Polymeni, Maria-Roza & Pafilis, Panayiotis / University of Athens, Greece

Rosa-Maria Polymeni is Asssistant Professor in Ecology and Animal Systematics at the Section of Zoology and Marine Biology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her main scientific interests are the ecological, systematic and genetic approach of the Amphibians, the stydy of the skin peptides and the scientific interpretation of ancient Greek texts of zoological interest. She has published 22 papers in research journals and 45 communications in scientific meetings.

Panayiotis Pafilis is a trained biologist who serves as an Assistant Professor in Animal Diversity at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He defended his PhD thesis in 2003 and since then he worked as a Post Doc Researcher at NKUA (2004-2006), Lecturer at the University of the Aegean (2006-2007) and Research Fellow at the University of Michigan (2007-2010). He has published 53 papers in research journals, presented 158 communications in scientific meetings and co-authored 17 books. 

The animal ‘sound identity’ from Aristotle to our days

Aristotle was the first to observe that every animal species has its own special cry. In his numerous books referring to wildlife, he meticulously described the voices of many different animal groups. Most interestingly, he recognized the importance of the ‘sound identity’ of each species in the overall biology of animals. For instance, when writing about frogs, he observed that females mate with males only after recognizing the particular call of their species and also noted that all animals have special cries for this purpose. Though the main concepts in systematic and taxonomy have largely changed since Aristotle made the first animal descriptions, his approach regarding sound proved to be, at least partially, correct. Bioacoustics, a discipline combining biology and acoustics to investigate sound production and its implications in animals, develop the Aristotelian conception on the vocal abilities of animals. As such, animal sounds can be used to identify one species from another or even to infer about several biological features (eg the effectiveness of its immune system or its parasite load).


Psaroudakēs, Stelios / University of Athens, Greece

Stelios Psaroudakēs is Assistant Professor in Ancient Hellenic Music at the Department of Music Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. His research and teaching areas are: theory, notation, instruments, genres, and history, of the music of the ancient Hellenes from Prehistory to Late Antiquity. (MSc in naval architecture; Postgraduate Diploma in mechanical engineering; Diploma in piano performance; MMus in ethnomusicology; PhD in classics-music). (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) (publications in pdf form at: scholar.uoa.gr/spsaroud).

Lyres and aulos from two Classical Athenian graves

In May 2007, during a controlled rescue excavation in the area of the ancient cemetery just outside of the Dipylon, two musical instruments, a chelys and an aulos, were brought to light by archaeologist Antonia Kokkoliou and her team (Grave 48). The burial has been dated to the middle of the 5th c. BC. A second, smaller chelys was retrieved from another grave, apparently that of a child (Grave 63), an earlier burial, dated 500-470 BC. The first chelys, still embeded in the surrounding it soil, is at the moment undergoing X-ray examination and other tests, in hope of identifying remains of leather, wood, or cloth. Of the bone aulos, only three out of the originally eight sections remain. The tortoise carapace of the small chelys, despite its tattered condition, offers significant organological information.    


Rodríguez-López, María-Isabel / Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Romero-Mayorga, Claudina / The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology-Reading, UK

María Isabel Rodríguez López is a specialist in Classical Iconography, Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in the Department of Historiographic Sciences and Archaeology, where she directs the research group called Seminar of Iconographic Studies. She also holds a degree in Musicology.

Claudina Romero Mayorga has just completed her PhD in Archaeology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where she researched the iconography of Mystery Cults, especially the cult of Mithras. Her postdoctoral research focuses on the sensory aspects of these religious phenomena. She is now Research Associate in The Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology (Reading).

Centaurs Musicians in Classical Iconography

The iconography of centaurs appeared in Greek art during the second half of the 8th century BC, probably in relation to the Homeric texts that presented Chiron as Achilles's mentor. Taught by Apollo and Artemis in the arts of Music, there is no explicit representation of this myth in the Classical period. Young or old, centaurs are generic beings in Roman art, usually depicted playing musical instruments. Their presence in funerary context deserves special mention, where marine and terrestrial centaurs blow their instruments, preceding Dionysus and Ariadne carriage or engaging in idylls with Nereids, while the deceased is transported to the Afterlife.


Sfyroeras, Pavlos / Middlebury College-Middlebury, Vermont-USA

Pavlos Sfyroeras is Professor of Classics at Middlebury College, Vermont. In addition to several articles that he has published on a number of Greek poets, including Aristophanes, Euripides, and Pindar, his book The feast of poetry: sacrifice and performance in Aristophanic comedy is forthcoming (Center for Hellenic Studies / Harvard University Press).  He is currently working on a book-length project tentatively entitled Pindar and Athens: epichoric traditions of mythmaking.

Frogs and aulos from Pratinas to Aristophanes

This paper explores an association of aulos music with frogs in Pratinas (Poetae melici graeci 708) and Aristophanes’ Frogs (206-268). The “singing match” between the Frogs and Dionysus illustrates the analogy: timbre and rhythm, mode of playing (ie puffed cheeks of amphibians and auletai), location (the frogs’ habitat is the source of the aulos’ vibrating reeds), word-play (linking phryneos / phrynê “toad” with Phrygia and aulos’ origins), and function (the Frogs’ choral song accompanies Dionysus’ rowing, replicating the aulos on Athenian triremes). In both texts, moreover, the analogy between animal and instrument is part of an argument that is aesthetic but also broadly cultural and political. While Pratinas engages in a polemic on the relative precedence of aulos and voice, Frogs seeks to resolve cultural dichotomies surrounding the aulos and recover the elemental power of music.


Solomon, Jon / University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, Illinois-USA

Robert D. Novak Professor of Western Civilization and Culture, Professor of the Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, faculty of Media & Cinema Studies and Medieval Studies Program. Twelve books and five dozen scholarly articles and chapters in classical reception in popular culture in cinema, opera, mythology, ancient Greek music, and ancient Roman cuisine.

Python: the mythical serpent in musical history

One of the signature musical performances of Archaic Greece was the auletic representation of the fight between Apollo and the mythical Python by Sakadas of Argos at Delphoi in 586 BC. Seven centuries later, Pollydeukes (Onomastikon 4.84) recorded that part of this performance was intended to imitate the sounds and movements of the serpent. Sakadas’ legacy is continued more than a millennium later in Rinuccini’s Pythikos nomos performed in a dramatic intermedio in 1589, refurbished in 1598 in La Dafne, the first opera. This paper will examine this tradition, concluding that as an auletic recreation of the death of the Delphic serpent, Sakadas’ high-profile Delphic performance was the first to establish a conscious and historical association between music and a monstrous animal that would be repeated often in Western musical and dramatic arts.


Takakjy, Laura / University of Texas-Austin, Texas-USA

Laura Takakjy is a doctoral candidate in Classical Languages at The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation concerns the themes of family and of marriage in Lucretius’ De rerum natura.

The aesthetic and didactic qualities of birdsong in Lucretius’ De rerum natura

This paper provides a thorough examination of birdsong in De rerum natura. It connects Lucretius’ views on birdsong to his philosophical goal of destabilizing an anthropocentric hierarchy among animals. Furthermore, it shows how Lucretius establishes song as a pleasure readily available for all species, which is consistent with the Epicurean teaching that pleasure was the highest good for all animals.


Terzēs, Chrēstos / University of Athens, Greece

As a post PhD researcher in the field of Archaeomusicology, Chrēstos Terzēs focuses on the study of ancient Hellenic music: harmonic and acoustic theory, organology (lyres, harps, auloi), notation, prosody. As freelance researcher he has collaborated with the Institute for Mediterranean Studies, the Academy of Athens, and the University of Athens, and has been appointed as freelance lecturer by the Universities of Athens and of the Peloponnese. He has lectured in universities, research institutes and cultural organizations, and has offered papers at archaeomusicological conferences in Greece and abroad.

The Megara aulos Δ1964 Α, Β: organology and reconstruction

Excavation in 2005 at the district of Megara, in West Attica, brought to light a grave, most probably of the late Hellenistic period. In the grave were found parts of a whole aulos pair. The paper presents and discusses the find, and an attempt is made to reconstruct its original form and reveal its function.


Theodorou, Georgia / Archaeological Museum of Megara, Greece

Georgia Theodorou studied Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, first in the  private school PETRA (1994) and later in the Department of Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art at the Athens TEI (2002). Later on, she got a scholarship fromtheGreekState ScholarshipsFoundationfor postgraduate studies at Cardiff University from where she received her Master of Science in Conservation (2006). In 1994 she worked in the Netherlands on the  conservation of textiles, and since 1995 she has been working for the Ministry of Culture as Conservator of Antiquities, mostly in Northern Greece (Pella); since 2006 she has been working as permanent employee of the Ministry of Culture in the Archaeological Museum of Megara.

The Megara Δ1964 Α, Β aulos: restoration

During a rescue excavation in the archaeological area of Megara in Attica, a bone aulos with its six bronze keys was discovered, among other findings, in a box-shaped tomb. The restoration the reconstruction and the assembling of all the existing parts of the aulos started years after the excavation and a possible further degradation may have been occurred during the storage period. The restoration methodology and techniques applied to each of the different materials of the pipe (organic and inorganic parts) are described. The consolidation and the reinforcement of the bone parts of the aulos, as well as the esthetic interventions, were performed respecting the originality of the object and the current Ethics and Policy in Conservation and Restoration.


Ulieriu-Rostás, Theodor E. / École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales-Paris, France

Currently ​PhD candidate in ancient history at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris) under the supervision of Prof. Claude Calame (2010-16, final year) and research fellow at the New Europe College, Bucharest (2015-16). BA degree in History (University of Bucharest, 2008), MA in History (EHESS Paris, 2010). Other short-term affiliations: École Française d’Athènes, Fondation Hardt pour l’Étude de l’Antiquité Classique (2013).

For whom do satyr musicians stand? A fresh look at the semantics of Attic vase-painting (6th – 4 th c. BC)

From the frenzied witnesses of musical inventions in Athenian satyr plays to the Hesiodic “good-for-nothings” and Telestes’ treatment of Marsyas as a “handclapping beast”, satyrs seem to cover a rather narrow spectre of musical competence in the archaic and classical Hellenic poetic tradition. Yet Attic vase-painting makes out of satyrs one of its most frequent and enduring musical actors, clearly surpassing in numbers the occurrences of any other hybrid figures or animal musicians. Previous literature has explored the satyrs’ broad connection to music and the animal world, but the aim of these particular images remains little understood: are they mere visual puns, do they outline lineal or inverted paradigms of musical performance? Putting this question on firmer methodological ground, this paper will take a systematic approach to the relations, correspondences and construction of meaning around satyr musicians, as framed within the overall visual syntax and three-dimensionality of Attic painted vases.


Valetta, Lucio-Maria / University of Napoli ‘Federico II’, Italy

Lucio-MariaValetta obtained a BA Degree in Classics at the University of Pisa with a thesis in Greek Literature entitled “Il matrimonio di Trigeo e Opora. Momenti drammatici ed elementi rituali. Analisi di Aristofane Pax vv. 842-870 e 1318-1367”. In 2012 he obtained a MA Degree at the University of Pisa with a thesis in Greek Literature entitled “Mito e poesia nella Sparta arcaica. La testimonianza di Alcmane”. In 2016 he obtained a PhD in Ancient History at the University of Naples Federico II with a thesis entitled “Questioni di storia e di cultura spartana da Alcmane al IV secolo a.C.”.

The concept of nomos in Alkman fragment 140 Calame. From mimesis of nature to musical theory

Starting from the presence of the concept of nomos in Alkman fragment 140 Calame – concerned with the singing of birds and to the poet’s ability to recreate it – my paper aims to define the meaning of the concept of nomos in the Archaic period. We should think of a meaning that precedes the strictly technical one that we find in writings of later ages concerning musical theory and that, in a so early age, is rather to be understood in relation to the mimesis of nature that the poet is able to enact and, in doing so, to the ability of the poet to gain a knowledge of the natural elements that he reproduces, in a way that is precluded to ordinary people. It is precisely what we find implied in a source as Philolaos fragment 44 B 6 DK. On this basis, my paper aims to define the original meaning of nomos in the Archaic period – both in relation to the function of mimesis in musical activity and to the function of the poet in ancient societies.


Vespa, Marco / University of Siena, Italy & Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, France

Marco Vespa is a PhD candidate in Classics at the University of Siena (IT) and of Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (FR). His research explores the cultural construction of non-human primates in the ancient Greek world. Besides a few articles on non-human animals his interests include ancient Greek myth and pragmatics in Antiquity, with particular attention to ancient Greek drama. He is a member of the International Research Gourp Zoomathia sponsored by CNRS which deals with the cultural representation and transmission of zoological knowledge in Classical antiquity and the Middle Ages. He is furthermore alumnus at the Vatican School of Palaeography, Diplomatics and Archives where he obtained a diploma in Greek Palaeography.

A voice without Muse: the sound of primates in the Graeco-Roman culture

Non-human primates are often described by ancient sources as imitative animals, mimēloi, by adapting their bodily movements to those of humans they can dissimulate their own identity thanks to a perfect resemblance. But what about the world of sounds? Are non-human primates considered imitative and good performers also when it comes to music and singing? By reading ancient sources it seems clear that not monkeys, but rather other animal species were considered in the Graeco-Roman world as excellent singers and harmonious voices deserving of imitation on the part of humans. Through a detailed analysis of ancient Greek sources, above all some passages by Galen on the voice of monkeys, this paper aims at investigating why non-human primates were not considered good singers. In particular our survey will try to shed a new light on possible cultural associations linking the bad and weak voice of monkeys (μικροφωνία) with other figures of ancient society (actors, musicians, kids, eunuchs etc.) also marked out by the same kind of voice.


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