Learn how Classical Music harbors subliminal and not-so subliminal Pagan messages.
We know that the ancient Romans and Greeks played and sang lots of music and performed lots of dances and dramas and SACRIFICES!!!! MWA HA HA HA! AND THEN THEY SANG ABOUT THE SACRIFICES! (I like to say sacrifices).
The ancient Greeks and Romans worshipped multiple deities; this we know. But how did it happen? What were their rituals, and more importantly, was there any music in those rituals? Why, yes! Yes there was! And what with sacrifice being the most evil...*cough* I mean, frequent, ritual, what sort of music was played at sacrificium? PIPE MUSIC!
According to "Music in Pagan and Christian Antiquity" by Johannes Quasten, the bad bad ancient Pagans used to celebrate evil animal sacrifices with loud, blaring, and annoying aulos music. Today, we know that the sacrifices weren't evil at all. According to "Introduction to Roman Religion" by John Scheid:
So what was that loud blaring instrument? A reed instrument known in Greece as the Aulos and in Rome as the Tibia. Made from canes of the arundo donax plant (nowadays used to fabricate saxophone reeds), each aulos was a pair of instruments made from the sounding reed (which went in the mouth), two carven bulbs under that, and under that was the long cane with holes bored for the fingers to play on.
Both canes were played at the same time, most often strapped to the face (with a phorbeia) to add stability to an instrument that could be long and unwieldy, especially the bombyx, named for its "booming" sound.
On YouTube, there are a number of good recordings of this instrument, my favorite being the one I've linked to below. In addition to playing a bombyx with a phorbeia, this player is using a technique called 'circular breathing' (also used by players of the Australian didgeridoo) to make continuous sound.
So, since I generally answered my own question in the first paragraph, what do you all think? Should we take up the Aulos and blare the awesomeness of the Gods at rituals and festivals?
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