[Smt-talk] a la mode

Nicolas Meeùs nicolas.meeus at scarlet.be
Sun Dec 8 08:15:23 PST 2013


I never said that "it is counterproductive to derive contemporary 
musical-theoretical concepts from Greek concepts", I will therefore not 
"insist"on this.

What I had written is "It is counterproductive to believe that 
"diatonic" may have kept the same sense from Greek Antiquity to our 
days." I was not speaking of musical-theoretical concepts in general, 
but only on this very specific term, "diatonic", of which I certainly do 
not deny the Greek origin. I consider it counterproductive to believe 
that the "sense" of the word did not change for now about 2500 years – 
all the more so that the Greek meaning is not entirely clear and remains 
open for discussion. For sure, our concept of what is diatonic derives 
from the Greek concept; but the derivation itself has been a complex and 
rich process.

In a similar "sense", I consider it counterproductive to claim that the 
Greek knew Dorian, Phrygian and Lydian tetrachords (and to believe that 
claiming their existence can be validated by their alleged Greek 
origin), when there exists not a _single_ ancient Greek text mentioning 
such tetrachords.

It is counterproductive to our Greek heritage to believe that it 
includes modern fantasies. Our duty is to do our best to understand it 
in its own terms – its own terms, both in concepts and in words. Modern 
informed readers of Greek theories do not do so to "challenge" the 
heritage, on the contrary.

Nicolas Meeùs
Université Paris-Sorbonne

Le 2013-12-07 18:44, Ildar Khannanov a écrit :
> [...] If, after that, Nicholas would still insist that it is 
> counterproductive to derive contemporary musical-theoretical concepts 
> from Greek concepts, it will be quite dubious and far-fetched. We have 
> been there, have seen that. In the 20th century many thinkers dared 
> to challenge our 2500 years of heritage.

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