Amega: A synthesis of ancient, traditional and contemporary musics

Papaioannou, Vassiliki (2006) Amega: A synthesis of ancient, traditional and contemporary musics. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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Chapter 1 deals with the cultural context and the main philosophical concepts and musical methodologies that inspired the creation of this project. My intention is to signify the philosophical background of L\mega illustrating how music theory and
philosophy, as evolved in ancient Greece, showed the path for spiritual development.
This came through a symbolic understanding of the notion of cosmos which has determined western culture and can still be a live source of inspiration forcontemporary art creation.
In Chapter 2, I discuss how Amega redefines and explores ancient Greek philosophical ideas and Pythagoras's theories as a compositional stimulus and synthesises ancient, traditional and contemporary music forms. Ancient Greek philosophy can be seen as the origin of ways of thinking and seeing things that, to a large extent, define who we, modern westerners, are. Therefore, it is intellectually exciting and has in many cases been a source of inspiration 1 . It is also challenging to explore and to use as a stimulus the philosophical reasoning as expressed in ancient thought and to deal with central philosophical themes and terms and the ancient Greek spirit, in order to produce creative interdisciplinary work.
Chapter 3 explains the creative process I followed for the actualisation of the musical composition, as well as the nature of the musical structure and how this relates to and functions with elements of all the other chapters. Aspects of philosophy are combined with geometrical principles and traditional forms, in order to provide the structural framework of the music, and the number 3 is the determining factor within the musical construction.
In Chapter 4, I discuss the instruments used in this composition and their sonic properties, as well as how these have been sampled through the use of electronics. String, wind and percussion instruments are being explored through combinations of digital effects, influencing the form and the structure of the composition as well as the melodic material used.
Finally, chapter 5 defines the dithyramb with reference to both music and dance and establishes this kind of ancient interdisciplinary art form in the context of contemporary performance theory. Amega redefines the qualities of the traditional
dithyramb in contemporary terms, establishes a form for a contemporary dithyramb and explores appropriate methodologies for its public performance.

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