The Music of Ancient Greece - ON A BANJO!





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Uploaded on Sep 8, 2011

The MOTHER of remixes, this video features first a detailed discussion, followed by a live performances of "The 1st Delphic Hymn To Apollo" (c.138 - 128BCE) & "Epitaph of Seikilos"...BARN DANCE STYLE - pass me that Amphora of Moonshine, Dionysus !!

My considerably more authentic arrangement for replica ancient Greek Kithara-style lyre of "The First Delphic Hymn To Apollo" & "Epitaph of Seikilos" can be heard on my album, "The Ancient Greek Lyre" - available now, from iTunes: http://bit.ly/bxO7Ra

There are two Delphic Hymns that have been discovered, and they were dedicated to the god Apollo. The two Delphic Hymns are tradtionally dated c.138 BC (for the Pythian Games) and 128 BC (fro the Pythian Festival) but modern scholarship seems to suggest that both were written in 128BCE for the Pythian Festival, dedicated to the god Apollo. My (somewhat unique!) rendition here, is of the First Delphic Hymn.

The First Delphic Hymn to Apollo was discovered in 1893 by a French archaeologist. It was inscribed in marble, carved on an outside wall of the Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi.

All that is known about its composer is that it was written by an Athenian, around 138 - 128BC, since the part of the inscription giving the name of the composer is too difficult to read. The Second Delphic Hymn has been dated to precisely 128 BC; evidently it was first performed in the same year. The name of the composer of the Second Delphic Hymn has also survived, in a separate inscription: he is called "Limenius".

The translation of the fragment of text which has survived of the this, the First Delphic Hymn to Apollo, is as follows:

"Hear me, you who posses deep-wooded Helicon,
fair-armed daughters of Zeus the magnificent!
Fly to beguile with your accents your brother,
golden-tressed Phoebus who, on the twin peak of this rock of Parnassus,
escorted by illustrius maidens of Delphi,
sets out for the limpid strams of Castalia, traversing,
on the Delphic promontory, the prophetic pinnacle.
Behold glorious Attica, nation of the great city which,
thanks to the prayers of the Tritonid warrior,
occupies a hillside sheltered from all harm.
On the holy alters Hephaestos cosumes the thighs of young bullocks,
mingled with the flames, the Arabian vapor rises towards Olympos.
The shrill rustling lotus murmurs its swelling song, and the golden kithara,
the sweet-sounding kithara, answers the voice of men.
And all the host of poets, dwellers in Attica, sing your glory, God,
famed for playing the kithara, son of great Zeus,
beside this snow-crowned peak, oh you who reveal to all mortals
the eternal and infallible oracles.
They sing how you conquered the prophetic tripod
guarded by a fierce dragon when, with your darts
you pierced the gaudy, tortuously coiling monster,
so that, uttering many fearful hisses, the beast expired.
They sing too, . . . ."

The Epitaph of Seikilos is unique, as the complete melody has survived. This piece was found on an ancient burial Stele. The words of the song are:

Ὅσον ζῇς, φαίνου,
Hoson zês, phainou,
While you live, shine,
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ·
mêden holôs su lupou;
don't suffer anything at all;
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν,
pros oligon esti to zên,
life exists only a short while,
τὸ τέλος ὁ xρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.
to telos ho chronos apaitei.
and time demands its toll.

My Albums of Ancient Lyre Music are available, anywhere in the world, from iTunes:


They are also available from Amazon MP3 Store:


Also, my 3 CD albums, "King David's Lyre; Echoes of Ancient Israel", "An Ancient Lyre" & "Lyre of the Levites" are available anywhere in the world from CD Baby:


For full details, and all the historical research behind my myriad of "Musical Adventures in Time Travel", please visit my official website:


Many thanks for watching!

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