Aristoxenoy Armonika stoicheia: The harmonics of Aristoxenus by Aristoxenus, Henry Stewart Macran

By Aristoxenus, Henry Stewart Macran

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Extra info for Aristoxenoy Armonika stoicheia: The harmonics of Aristoxenus

Sample text

Drawing upon the same archival materials a generation later, Hornbostel compiled the set of recordings known as Music of the Orient, which were disseminated commercially in 1934 on 78 rpm discs on the Odeon label, intended for more general consumption (see Hornbostel 1979). Both sets were later re-recorded on LP technology by the Ethnic Folkways label, extending their historical scope in the second 8 PHILIP V. BOHLMAN half of the twentieth century to a growing public interested in the folk-music revival, but especially the expanding discipline of ethnomusicology.

There is a widely accepted chronology following on the single-origin theory in which a single moment of invention leads to inexorably increasing levels of complexity, from ditonic and tritonic melodies to pentatonic, heptatonic, chromatic; or from monophony to simple harmony to homophony and counterpoint, and eventually to dissonance. I am more persuaded by the suggestion that various kinds of sound communication were established at different times, in different societies or proto-societies, sometimes preceding and sometimes following the development of language, and that all of these were eventually many millennia later united under the concept of music in only a few cultures.

The discourses of object and subject – what ethnomusicologists study and how they go about studying – follow surprisingly disjunct paths in the foundational years of ethnomusicology. Disciplinary discourse takes shape cautiously in the Ethno-Musicology Newsletter (Vol. 1, December 1953), the publication that documented and consolidated the membership of what would become the Society for Ethnomusicology in 1955, but as a historical text it provides an interesting focus of the debates about gathering world music and distilling a common historiography from its many forms.

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