Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Music and the MusesThe Culture of Mousike in the Classical Athenian City$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Penelope Murray and Peter Wilson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199242399.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

Changing Choral Worlds: Song-Dance and Society in Athens and Beyond

Changing Choral Worlds: Song-Dance and Society in Athens and Beyond

(p.39) 2 Changing Choral Worlds: Song-Dance and Society in Athens and Beyond
Music and the Muses

Barbara Kowalzig (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is concerned with the changes in choral performance between the archaic world and that of classical Athens. It notes the paradox that whereas democracy brought with it a widening in the social background of choric performers, the chorus itself became increasingly associated with Dionysus. Such exclusivity seems to be at odds with traditional Greek polytheism and the system whereby each god is worshipped individually. Plato's Laws — a fundamental text for our understanding of the relationship between mousike, religion, and society — offers an image of a world in which different gods were worshipped with different types of choral practice. But it does not reflect the reality of contemporary Athens. We are left with a curious contradiction: Dionysus is the democratic god whose worship is open to all, but the Athenian democratic polis dances only for Dionysus.

Keywords:   chorus, Dionysus, polytheism, Plato's Laws, mousike, religion

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .