‘Musics’, Bellermann’s Anonymi, and the Art of the Aulos

In: Greek and Roman Musical Studies
Stefan Hagel Institute for the Study of Ancient Culture, Austrian Academy of Sciences

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Apart from the better studied musical ‘handbooks’ of the Roman period, mostly focused on matters of harmonics and sometimes rhythmics, there was a type of text known as ‘Musics’. The article discusses their characteristics, their function in ancient schooling and their relation to extant texts and excerpts, most notably the collection known as Bellermann’s Anonymi. The ‘instrumental exercises’ found at the end of these are evaluated as instrumental pieces posing various challenges to beginners on the aulos; a new rhythmical reconstruction is proposed for one of them.

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