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Musical instruments in the Roman world

Wardle, M.A.; (1981) Musical instruments in the Roman world. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

Recent studies have clearly shown that the musical life of the Romans was active and varied. This work is a survey of the musical instruments played in the Roman world, broadly defined as the Empire at its greatest extent, The instruments, classified generally as wind (woodwind), the organ, brass strings and percussion, including drums, are studied individually. The history of each instrument is traced together with its form structure and development. Playing techniques are examined where relevant and the musical role of the instrument assessed. A descriptive catalogue gives details of surviving instruments and a selective list of pictorial representations, although comprehensive lists have been attempted for instruments which are infrequently illustrated. Material, which includes relevant literary and epigraphic evidence, has been gathered from as wide a sphere as possible in an attempt to assess the extent of regional variations and developments until the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Interpretation of the monumental record however presents a considerable problem as the distribution and popularity of particular art forms are often reflected more clearly than is the presence of a particular instrument. Similarly, the archaeological record is very scanty arid one has to rely perhaps too heavily on a small number of surviving fragments that may not be typical. Despite this, however, be1des providing information about the instruments themselves, the survey gives some idea of the musical activity within the Roman world and of the many influences that contributed to that activity.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Musical instruments in the Roman world
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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