Ancient Greek Music

Gayle and Phil Neuman as Ensemble De Organographia have received international recognition as performers and scholars of Ancient Greek Music and have several recordings of this repertoire on the Pandourion label available at North Pacific Music (see Store).  The Neumans have built copies of period instruments appropriate to the surviving Ancient Greek repertoire (c. 500 BCE to 300 CE); these include lyra, kithara, aulos, syrinx monokalamos, trichordon, syrinx, photinx, kroupezon, and others.

From right to left: kithara, pair of auloi, and syrinx monokalamos built by the Neumans; ancient kymbala.

From right to left: kithara, pair of auloi, and syrinx monokalamos built by the Neumans; ancient kymbala.

Gayle sings many of the songs including the Delphic Paean and Processional, Invocation of the Muse, Song of Seikilos, Hymn to the Sun, and Hymn to Nemesis while playing the lyra or trichordon.  This repertoire, which consists of more than 60 whole and fragmentary compositions, includes paeans, instrumental pieces, dramatic music, and hymns in a wide variety of meters, modes, and tunings, from the western-sounding diatonic genus to the more exotic chromatic and enharmonic genera.  Their presentations combine expert performance with engaging commentary.  They also perform Ancient Sumerian and Egyptian Music, which includes the world’s oldest surviving musical notation from c. 1950 BCE.

Phil Neuman demonstrates playing an ancient Greek horn.

Phil Neuman playing a salpinx, an ancient Greek military trumpet

The Neumans with ancient Greek aulos and lyra. Photo by Charles Waugh

The Neumans with ancient Greek aulos and lyra. Photo by Charles Waugh

The Neumans have performed at the Smithsonian Institution, The Getty Center, Cleveland Museum of Art, Rice University, Amman Conservatory in Jordan, the Bodrum Crusader Castle Archeological Museum in Turkey, and at ancient theater sites in Epidaurus, Delphi, and Rhodes.  The Neumans performed music on ancient instruments for the new version of the movie “Ben-Hur” released in August, 2016.

1 thought on “Ancient Greek Music”

  1. realy good stuff. I started listening to it lately

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