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Reconstructing DamonMusic, Wisdom Teaching, and Politics in Perikles' Athens$
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Robert W. Wallace

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685738.001.0001

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Êthos theories of music and poetic metre

Êthos theories of music and poetic metre

(p.22) (p.23) 2 Êthos theories of music and poetic metre
Reconstructing Damon

Robert W. Wallace

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with Damon’s work on the psychological, behavioural, and hence social and political affects of music and poetic metre, together with parallel fifth-century work on rhetoric and the physical environment. It argues that harmoniai (‘musical scales’) themselves were not affective, concluding that affect derived from variations within scales, for example of pitch and tempo, which Plato called tropoi (‘styles’), linked with Damon. Similar conclusions are reached in regard to poetic metres, which Damon dissected, classified, and named. It is uncertain if Damon studied music’s medical or curative properties, and unlikely that he experimented in symposia. Our sources associate him especially with stringed instruments.

Keywords:   music affect theory, Gorgias, Antiphon, harmonia, poetic metre, music and medicine, music experimentation, stringed instruments

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