Lic. Kunstgeschiedenis en archeologie, oudheid (Vrije universiteit Brussel)
Aggr. S.O. groep2, Latijn (Vrije universiteit Brussel)
D.E.A. Philosophie et lettres, histoire des religions (Université de Liège)
Μούσαι φιλαύλοι. The role of the aulos in images of myth and cult on Attic vases.
Since ancient Greece has been recognized as a traditional “oral” performance culture rather than the first “literate" society, its pervasive category of Mousike has started to enjoy unprecedented attention and expansion in classical scholarship, reaching beyond the traditional confines of the branch of music history. In line with this new movement, this project approaches the ancient Greek aulos from the viewpoint of the study of ancient Greek religion. The aulos (“double flute") was the predominant wind instrument used throughout Greek history. However, it gained the dubious reputation scholarship of being an outsider and quintessentially Dionysian instrument, that was mostly played by satyrs, slaves, foreigners, prostitutes and the like, but abandoned to the contrary particularly by the Athenian citizen elite, who preferred the 'Apolline' lyres. Admittedly, this polarized musical perception roots largely in a predominant philosophical discours (Plato, Nietzsche) and can be qualified by integrating the visual sources and the religious perspective into this inquiry. Arguable an integrated approach is more adequate.
In the ancient Greek Mousikè (“of the Muses") musical and religious behavior intertwine. However, the musical dimension has largely escaped the view of the specialists of Greek religion, tending to leave it to the separate domain of expertise of ancient Greek music history. This project elaborates a more integrated approach. It concentrates on the place of the aulos in the intersection between music and religion in Athens. More specifically, it focuses on the representations of the aulos in images of myth and cult in Attic vase-painting. The myth of Marsyas and the ritual of animal sacrifice serve as the central cases. In these contexts, this study investigates: 1) the variety of religious associations and functions of the aulos attested in the images, 2) the musical debates concerning the aulos reflected and formed by the imagery, 3) the transforming cultural attitudes to which they were related. This research aims to produce a new and more complex understanding of the role of the aulos in classical Athens, that goes beyond the classical separations of music and religion, myth and history, Apollo and Dionysus, texts and images, object and concept, past and present, etc. They all interrelate in intricate ways and it is ultimately this complexity we aim to understand.
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- "Musicians in images of animal sacrifice on Attic Vases" Article.