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Choruses, Ancient and Modern$
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Joshua Billings, Felix Budelmann, and Fiona Macintosh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670574.001.0001

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Greek Festival Choruses in and out of Contex t

Greek Festival Choruses in and out of Contex t

(p.81) 5 Greek Festival Choruses in and out of Context
Choruses, Ancient and Modern

Felix Budelmann

Oxford University Press

In ‘Greek Festival Choruses in and out of Context’, Felix Budelmann explores the paradoxical status of Archaic and Classical Greek festival choruses as both of and not of the occasion. These choruses—maiden songs, paeans, dithyrambs, and so on—can be looked at in two ways: as fulfilling a specific function in the specific context for which they were composed, but also as transcending that context and function. Using Alcman’s Partheneion 1 and Pindar’s Paean 9 as examples for close reading, Budelmann argues this case for reperformance divorced in space and time from the original occasion as well as the original performances. The two perspectives were closely interrelated in early Greece, but, ending with a reception perspective, the chapter defends the benefit of keeping them distinct and of treating the paradox as a challenge.

Keywords:   choral lyric, Alcman, Pindar, ritual, aesthetics, occasion, partheneion, paean, chorus, festivals, reperformance

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