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Music and the MusesThe Culture of Mousike in the Classical Athenian City$
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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

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

The Politics of the New Music

The Politics of the New Music

(p.207) 8 The Politics of the New Music
Music and the Muses

Eric Csapo

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the New Musical ‘revolution’ by examining its historical context, its style, and its reception. It shows how the most radical innovations are to be found in the dithyramb, which came to typify the characteristics of New Music. Musicians themselves became increasingly professionalized, with pipers at the fore-front in developing techniques and styles which extended the range and versatility of instrumental performances. The consequent prioritization of sound over sense was another significant feature of New Music. But the critical responses it provoked have an important political dimension: for conservatives like Plato, one of our principal sources, New Music came to symbolise everything that was wrong with the radical democracy of late 5th-century Athens. But the timeless Dorian-inspired musical tradition to which it was allegedly opposed was itself a fiction embodying the values of the old fashioned political élite.

Keywords:   New Music, musicians, dithyramb, pipers

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