Tag Archive: music


Ancient Hymns

I’ve had a few things that I wanted to write about, but for various reasons have not gotten much computer time aside from the time spent job searching since my last post. I may very well just give myself a break from job applications for today.

Last night, in a fit of being unable to sleep, I spent a brief few minutes poking around forums for something to do for a short bit that didn’t require a lot of thought on my part. I found a post over at Hellenistai forums where someone was inquiring about the Delphic hymns, the second of which was composed for the Pythian games,  which are dated 138 and 128 BC

I remember hearing about these hymns a couple of years ago, and at the time, spending a night at work googling them, hoping to find a translation of the text into English. At the time, I found a Wikipedia article, complete with photos of the stone containing the surviving fragments and a um, translation, of the music of the first Delphic hymn into modern musical notation…but no translation of the text.

So last night, I decided to give it another quick whirl and within a minute or two, I found this page of a musician promoting his CD of ancient lyre music played on a modern replica of a ten-stringed Lyre of the Ancient Hebrews. The musician, Michael Levy, also has his official website here- looks like an interesting resource for anyone interested in all things having to do with the lyre, including building your own and some online lessons. (Note: I don’t know anything about the guy, I’m getting nothing for promoting his site, I just thought that since I was mentioning the other page, and because the lyre is Apollo’s instrument, that it was relevant and possibly of interest to some of my readers.  speaking of interest to some of my readers, some of his recordings are of ancient Egyptian and Syrian songs, you can see more about them on the linked pages. )

Anyway…this was particularly cool because he provides an English translation of the text of the first hymn. (He does not indicate who the translator is)

“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 illustrious maidens of Delphi,
sets out for the limpid streams 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 consumes 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, . . . .”

He also provides a translation of the text of another surviving fragment of a hymn (titled here as Hymn to the Muse)

‘Sing for me, dear Muse, begin my tuneful strain; a breeze blow from your groves to stir my listless brain…Skillful Calliope, leader of the delightful Muses, and you, skillful priest of our rites, son of Leto, Paean of Delos, be at my side’. (translation by J. G. Landels).

There is a lot of information on these historical hymns within this page- the Delphic hymns and the Hymn to the Muse, of course, are the most interesting to me- and relevant to this blog- and so I will not go into detail about the other pieces but anyone interested should certainly go and check out the sites linked.

As his tracks are available for purchase online on several sites, I think I might have to acquire the ones I mentioned here.

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Gravity

This is a really beautiful  song by Vienna Teng that I associate very strongly with Apollo most particularly for the lyrics in the final stanza:

Hey, love
I am a constant satellite
Of your blazing sun
My love
I obey your law of gravity
This is the fate you’ve carved on me

It’s available on her website in mp3 format- http://viennateng.com/listen/ (it’s the last song on the page, click the link to listen or right click and save link to download)

Yesterday morning, I was talking to Sannion and mentioned this song being stuck in my head for several hours. He wanted to hear it, so went off in search and found this video on Youtube…it’s nothing but a bunch of still shots and videos of, if you can believe it, wolves.  (Really, taken on its own, it’s not all that interesting, but coming across it now, with this song, that’s pretty laoded for me.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2cJabIxHRU

I’ve been seriously thinking for a while of getting those lines tattooed on me somewhere. I received another swipe by a wolf’s claws over the weekend in a trance while doing a ritual. This was on my upper left arm. I think that’s where it’s going to go.

I’m seriously considering this font:

http://www.dafont.com/marka.font?nb_ppp=50

or this one: http://www.dafont.com/joehand-2.font

Dali is always a favorite http://www.dafont.com/dali.font

Another that I like, but probably way too thin for tattoo work: http://www.dafont.com/honey-i-stole-your-.font

Songs for the God of Song

Been trying for quite some time now to compile a list of songs that remind me of Apollo. Slowly, I am finding them. Very slowly. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Airlock- Alpha
Airlock- Quiet Hour
Violet Indiana- Sky
Mr. Mister- Kyrie*
Rhea’s Obsession- Dreaming Blade
The Moody Blues- The other Side Of Life
The Moody Blues- Breaking Point
Vienna Teng- Gravity

*Yes. I am well aware of the meaning of “kyrie”/”kyrie eleison”, thanks.