The lira follows the evolution of this system. At first its extension includes two joint tetrachords (lira heptachorde). Each of the strings has its own name deriving from its position on the instrument: ipate (ὑπάτη) means the highest string; paripate (παρυπάτη) closest to highest; licanos (λίχανος) index; month (μέση) mean; trite (τρίτη) third; paranete (παρανήτη) the closest to the lower; nete (νήτη) the lower. Then the lyre receives an octave string, paramese (παραμέση); then a ninth, with Laso d’Ermione (around 500 BC), added below the lower one. The doubling of two variable degrees leads it to the endecachord and the insertion of the chromatic month, which took place around 450 BC. C., enriches it with a new sound. Finally in the century. IV a. C. it has fifteen strings.
According to sunglassestracker, the rhythmic system was not developed and played by the Greeks that in the century. IV a. C. In the previous period, the teaching of rhythmopea was confused with that of metrics. The fundamental unit of Greek rhythmics is the prime time which, according to the Aristoxenic definition, is the one that cannot be further divided and on which neither two sounds, nor two syllables, nor two orchestic moments are placed. The union of various first tempos formed the foot, the duration of which was included between the quaver and the minimum. Longer durations were used by the Greeks only exceptionally and with a manifest caricature intention, as in the parodies of Aristophanes. The union of the various feet according to a determined rhythmic pattern (meter) constituted the verse, which is precisely the musical period. The artistically combined lines formed a system called stanzas. The primitive melodies of Greek music, mostly vocal and, however, linked to the properties of language, generally contained only two different values: simple tempos (eighth notes) and double tempos (quarter notes). The first corresponded to the short syllables of the Greek language, to the second the long syllables. Thus the rule was formed, erected as an axiom by the Alexandrian metrics, which assigns the duration of two short syllables to the long syllable. With the help of these two values alone, every kind of measure can be formed and, when long syllables are mixed with short ones, the former have greater intensity and are placed on the strong tempo, while the short ones are reserved for the weak tempo.
The ancient Greeks admitted three fundamental kinds of measures, which are also found among moderns: the binary, the ternary and the quinary. The first two were the most widespread in Greco-Roman music. As for the quinary genus, admitted in theory alongside the others, it was less practiced, although it was more so than by moderns. All three genres were divided into simple and compound measures. The former were irreducible, the latter could be reduced to smaller values. The three main categories of measures take names removed from the various metric forms in the Aristoxenic nomenclature. In addition to the thetic measures (ϑετικαί), that is, beginning in beats, the ancients also admitted anacrustic measures (from ἀνάκρουσις), beginning in the upbeat, unknown to modern rhythm. The grouping of various measures formed the rhythmic member or “positio and sublatio. From the percussion of the self and the thesis was born a division of the bar into two parts, sometimes equal, sometimes unequal. Measure and its division were the constituent and permanent elements of rhythm.
As for the modes and genres, so also for the rhythms there was an éthos, aimed at certain artistic and moral effects. Thus there were three tropes or rhythmic manners: the diastaltic or exciting, typical of the quinary rhythm; the sistaltic or intoxicating, also proper to the quinary and ternary rhythm, and the hexicastic, usually belonging to the binary rhythm. Each variety of measurement was analyzed and characterized by the ancients according to the convenience of its use.
The Greeks indicated not unlike us, with their notes, sounds at a determined pitch by adjusting to a fixed tuning fork, lower than ours by about a minor third (F sharp). They used different graphic signs according to whether it was a vocal part or an instrumental part. The rhythmic notation of values and times was indicated by signs placed above the vocal and instrumental letters. The instrumental notation is older, as its most original mechanism and the archaic alphabet of which it is made up attest. The use of instrumental writing, employing the Aeolian-Doric alphabet, was introduced to Argos. The vocal writing, on the other hand, which makes use of the Ionic alphabet, cannot be prior to the Persian wars, the time when this alphabet received its definitive order. The tables including all the signs of Greek musical writing, reproduced below (the instrumental above), were preserved by Alippio, a theorist of the 4th century AD. C.
The following remains of ancient Greek music have survived:
1.The first five lines of Pindar’s first Pythian ode; 2. the hymns that go under the name of Mesomedes (v.) To Calliope, to the Sun, to Nemesis (1st century AD); 3. a choral fragment of Euripides ‘ Orestes ; 4. two hymns to Apollo (from 2nd century BC inscriptions); 5. a melodic fragment found in Tralle, in Asia Minor, on the epitaph of Sicilo; 6. short melodies without words and various fragments; 7. five fragments, three vowels and two instrumentals, preserved in the Berlin museum and published by Th. Reinach (1919).