Archaic and Classical Choral Song
Performance, Politics and Dissemination
Ed. by Athanassaki, Lucia / Bowie, Ewen Lyall
Aims and Scope
This book addresses the many interlocking problems in understanding the modes of performance, dissemination, and transmission of Greek poetry of the seventh to the fifth centuries BC whose first performers were a choral group, sometimes singing in a ritual context, sometimes in more secular celebrations of victories in competitive games. It explores the different ways such a group presented itself and was perceived by its audiences; the place of tyrants, of other prominent individuals and of communities in commissioning and funding choral performances and in securing the further circulation of the songs' texts and music; the social and political role of choral songs and the extent to which such songs continued to be performed both inside and outside the immediate family and polis-community, whether chorally or in archaic Greece's important cultural engine, the elite male symposium, with the consequence that Athenian theatre audiences could be expected to appreciate allusion to or reworking of such poetic forms in tragedy and comedy; and how various types of performance contributed to transmission of written texts of the poems until they were collected and edited by Alexandrian scholars in the third and second centuries BC.