Ancient Music

Can we know what music sounded like before the use of standard notation? In recent years attempts have been made to re-create the music of ancient times, from Assyria to Greece, and even back into the caves of the Paleolithic. This course presents a survey of some of the most exciting music made from research in this area, opening a portal into an often-overlooked dimension of history.
Focusing primarily on evidence from Europe and the Middle East, this course will introduce you to a wealth of recovered and re-imagined music from the ancient past. We will hear the sounds of Neanderthal bone flutes and Assyrian lyres; we will compare different interpretations of the 'Hurrian Hymns' from Ugarit (in modern-day Syria); we will listen to the music that brought Greek tragedy to life on the stage; and we will discover the most covered of ancient songs, the 'Seikilos Epitaph' (from the second century AD). The course offers a thrilling insight into the emotional and cultural lives of people in ancient civilisations.

Who is this course for

No prior knowledge required.

What does this course cover

Focusing primarily on evidence from Europe and the Middle East, this course will introduce you to a wealth of recovered and re-imagined music from the ancient past. We will hear the sounds of Neanderthal bone flutes and Assyrian lyres; we will compare different interpretations of the 'Hurrian Hymns' from Ugarit (in modern-day Syria); we will listen to the music that brought Greek tragedy to life on the stage; and we will discover the most covered of ancient songs, the 'Seikilos Epitaph' (from the second century AD). The course offers a thrilling insight into the emotional and cultural lives of people in ancient civilisations.

By the end of the course you should be able to:
' understand the types of evidence used for remaking ancient music
' discuss the historical and social context of ancient music performances
' share knowledge of instruments, musical styles, and functions of music from a variety of ancient cultures

What will it be like

Teaching methods include tutor presentations, with slides and musical extracts; and class discussion topics. Students will be assessed by individual learning plans and class participation.

What else do you need to buy or do

You may wish to have a pad and pen for note-taking.

The course will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

https://zoom.us/support/download

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.
Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session.
By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes

What this course could lead to

Other Humanities courses at Mary Ward Centre or elsewhere.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’