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Alcaeus  

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Lesbos, c620 bc; d after 580 bce). Greek lyric poet. The earlier tradition of sung poetry on Lesbos had been choral, religious, impersonal; now choral lyric faced the challenge of monody. In contrast to the impersonality of the earlier poets, Alcaeus wrote as an individual, describing in an intensely personal manner his chequered political fortunes. Many of his poems, however, were amatory or convivial, consisting of drinking-songs and after-dinner verses (...

Article

Alcman  

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl c. 630 bce). Greek lyric poet. He was possibly a native of Sardis in Lydia. Alcman spent his entire professional life in Sparta. This city was then startlingly different from the grim barracks state that it had been and would again become: its citizens cultivated art, poetry, music, and dance with intensity and brilliance. The poet himself commented on this: ‘To play well upon the lyre weighs evenly with the steel’, that is, military valour (Edmonds, frag.62)....

Article

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl ?650 bce). Greek iambic and elegiac poet. He was a native of the Ionian island of Paros. ‘I am the squire of lord Ares’, he sang, ‘and skilled in the lovely gift of the Muses’ (Edmonds, frag.1). More artist than military man, he expressed both the external world and his responses to it in a remarkably personal tone....

Article

Arion  

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Methymna [now Molyvos], Lesbos; fl 625–600 bce). Greek singer to the kithara and choral lyric poet. He was associated with the beginnings of the dithyramb. None of his works has survived. According to Herodotus he spent most of his life at the court of Periander, tyrant of Corinth (...

Article

Alexander Lingas

(b Constantinople, ?1665; d ?1725). Romaic (Greek) composer and cantor. Though undoubtedly influenced by the works of Panagiotes, Germanos and Balasios, he appears never to have been directly associated with the patriarchal court that nurtured his older colleagues. His own substantial contributions to their continuing renewal of Byzantine chanting were made instead from the Constantinopolitan parish church of St Constantine (in the district of Hypsomatheia), where Bereketes held successively the offices of reader, ...

Article

Alexander Lingas

(b Tyrnavo, Thessaly, ?1625; d ?Wallachia, 1685). Romaic (Greek) composer, cantor, and hymnographer. He studied Byzantine chant in Constantinople under the patriarchal prōtopsaltēs Panagiotes. Some time before 1665 he was elevated to the episcopacy, possibly at the instigation of Patriarch Dionysios III (a fellow native of Thessaly), becoming Metropolitan of New Patras (now Ypati). He appears to have resigned from the see before ...

Article

Edward V. Williams and Christian Troelsgård

(fl c1300–50). Singer, composer and reviser of Byzantine chant. Traditionally known as the maïstōr (‘master’), the ‘second source of Greek music’ (the first being John Damascene, 8th century) and angelophōnos (‘angel-voice’), he was one of the most eminent Byzantine musicians during the Palaeologan dynasty (...

Article

Alexander Lingas

(b? 1620–25; d after 1682). Romaic (Greek) composer, cantor, and hymnographer. As prōtopsaltēs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople from about 1655 to 1682, he helped bring to fruition the revival of Byzantine chanting initiated by his predecessor, Theophanes Karykes. He was a student of the patriarchal ...

Article

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(fl c580 bce). Greek aulos player and poet. He wrote lyric and elegiac poems, but none has survived. He provided his elegiac verses with musical settings (during the central classical period elegy had no accompaniment). According to Pseudo-Plutarch (On Music, 1134a–c, 1135c), he was a skilled aulete who three times carried off the prize at the Pythian games, beginning in 586 ...

Article

Warren Anderson and Thomas J. Mathiesen

(b Miletus, c450 bce; dc360 bce). Greek composer and singer to the kithara. He represented the more extreme manifestations of the ‘new music’ that dominated the final decades of the 5th century bce and the succeeding period in Greece. The Suda...