Tag Archives: musical notation

The Sirens’ Song

– The Sound of Ancient Music

In this short video, professor D’Angour gives a lively introduction to the subject covered in more detail by the article that follows. Video courtesy of professor D’Angour and producer Steve Crabtree.

What song did the Sirens sing? As a classicist and trained musician, the idea of knowing the sound of ancient Greek music long fascinated me, but when I looked into the scholarship as a student I found it technical and unrewarding. In 1983 I sat the exams for the All Souls Prize Fellowship, and at the viva in a room packed with Fellows, Isaiah Berlin asked me ‘Since you’re a musician, aren’t you interested in investigating ancient Greek music for a few years?’ I replied ‘The evidence is too slight for an extended investigation’. After a shocked silence, one of the Fellows coldly observed ‘All the more reason to do it, you might think’. Having failed to impress the Fellowship, I embarked on a career as a cellist. Continue reading The Sirens’ Song