From the very beginning, music has helped us create our world – everything from language, to technology, to philosophy and religion. The Art of Ancient Music discusses the important role music has played in shaping human development. While emphasizing shared human themes, the text has a special focus on the rise of Western music in the ancient Near East, the Bible, and the Classical worlds. A final chapter provides a discussion of the way music helped bridge the gap between the ancient world and the Middle Ages, especially in the guise of Church music.
David Leinweber is associate professor of history at Oxford College of Emory University.
Chapter 1: The Voice: History’s First Musical Instrument
Chapter 2: Early Musical Instruments
Chapter 3: The Bow of Music
Chapter 4: Music and Storytelling
Chapter 5: Festivals and Parties
Chapter 6: Church Music as an Heir of Ancient Music
Epilogue: The Art of Ancient Music
A Select Bibliography
The book's chief strength lies in its almost sociological approach; the author emphasizes culture, material culture especially, as a determinant of musical style and substance.
Interdisciplinary scholarship is critically important work, yet fraught with peril. That David Leinweber recognizes the significance of interdisciplinary scholarship is laudable, and the casual reader will find much of interest in this book.
David Leinweber has given us a thoroughly researched book in the best tradition of humanistic scholarship. He presents a clear and readable narrative describing the intertwined origins of music and musical instruments, poetry, and dance in the civilizations of antiquity. He then proceeds to show how ancient ideas about the arts found resonance in Western culture of the early Middle Ages that influenced future generations. The text is accessible to the college student beginning the study of music history, as well as the general reader who is interested in how ancient ideas of music and the arts remain relevant in the culture of today.
In lucid and succinct language, Leinweber's fine study relates the development of music to a wide range of human endeavors. Accessible to students and general readers alike, this book traces the history of music from its beginnings to the medieval period in original and insightful ways.