Ancient Roman Music (Conjectured, Imagined)

The trouble with most of the “early music” groups that I have heard is that they take stuff originally played by drunken peasants (setting aside Christian church music) and make it sound like it is played by anorexic graduate students.

In this case, however, no one knows what ancient Roman music sounded like. They have the instruments and knowledge of ancient modes — and the rest is just conjectural.

But I still think they all need to slam back some of the good Falernian wine and then play.

4 thoughts on “Ancient Roman Music (Conjectured, Imagined)

  1. “…they take stuff originally played by drunken peasants… and make it sound like it is played by anorexic graduate students.” Oh, my. That made me snort so hard I really am glad my mouth was empty. Thank you for the chuckle. As for the “early music,” maybe it’s just me, but what little I have heard always strikes me as uptight or dreary and generally lacking passion… much like some graduate students I have known. Ah, but, I forget… those Romans, so stuffy.

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  3. Unfortunately we don’t know what music from ancient Rome actually sounded like, although we have some ideas based upon their love of Greek music. I do think you’re being a little hard on Synaulia, and if I may say so the track you linked to is one of the more boring ones.

    All music is better with bagpipes:

    Also keep in mind that their first album is over 15 years old, and that their newer material is more fluid. Synaulia was also behind the soundtracks to Gladiator and Rome, which were very good.

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