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Non-Western Medieval/Ancient music
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You are currently reading a thread in /his/ - History & Humanities

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There's a huge repertoire of music from the medieval and early modern West which you can easily find on the internet, plus a good deal of early modern music from places like the Ottoman Empire and Qing China.

What I hardly ever see are specific compositions (as opposed to speculative 'reconstructions') from ancient or non-Western medieval times. Are there any compositions surviving from the medieval Middle East, India, or Southeast Asia, for example?

Here are some examples of the kind of stuff I'm looking for:

>The Seikilos epitaph, a short Greek composition from around the 1st century AD

>The Hurrian hymn to Nikkal, from Ugarit around 1400 BC. Keep in mind there are other interpretations of the hymn, which you can listen to at the bottom of this page; http://individual.utoronto.ca/seadogdriftwood/Hurrian/Website_article_on_Hurrian_Hymn_No._6.html

>Jieshi Diao You Lan (Solitary Orchid), possibly the oldest surviving composition from East Asia, composed around the 6th century AD in China and preserved in Japan
Cool thread. Two of my favorite topics
Don't know if this music is closely related to its ancient version, but taking into account that Afghanistan and eastern Korasan are regions where times almost stood still, I dare to post this:

Also here are some Song dynasty compositions: http://www.silkqin.com/06hear.htm#tangsong

Then there's this; Etenraku, a traditional Japanese court melody (gagaku) dating from at least the Heian period.

That's funky as hell.
damn thats actually kind of sick -imagining Sassanians listening to this kind of music .
Hey, I've been looking for something and unable to find it:

Japanese drums used for religious purposes. Got anything?
I looked but I couldn't really find much. Taiko drums are used for some festivals and drums are used in ceremonial Gagaku music (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG9efSXLGDw) as well as in some Shinto ritual music and alongside dance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbGP_McNBjk), but I couldn't really find any good recordings focusing on religious drumming.
I'm personally a big fan of Ancient Chinese music played on a guzheng, essentially a 25 or 28-stringed zither.
I'm unsure which compositions are truly ancient and which are modern versions, but it has that classic "mysterious Far-eastern" sound to it.
Does anybody play or know anything about balalaikas? I want to learn to play one but there are no balalaika instructors or sellers around me nor do I know anything about where to get one or which brand is reliable. I want to get a regular sized one, a "prima".
>There's a huge repertoire of music from the medieval and early modern West which you can easily find on the internet

Not quite, it's mostly religious music and it's not really representative of the music of the day.


The Kora and griot tradition can be dated back to the renaissance and probably was a continuation of earlier musical traditions.

Toumani Diabate claims his is the 70th generation in a line of griots
>There's a huge repertoire of music from the medieval and early modern West which you can easily find on the internet
Like some anon said it's all religious music. Only after 1500 with the invention of musical bookpressing do you see a rise in the amount of literature we have on secular music.
Before that we have absolutely nothing aside from some acounts and hearsay.
And that's also why I rarely ever trust those "reconstructions", because there's absolutely nothing to base it on.
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In the vein of this anon, I too want to show you that there is a rich musical tradition in that area, in Persian classical music:

Here's a film I love that has a wonderful sampling of Persian classical, The Lovers' Wind (Baadeh Sabah):


It's about the narrator-voiced personification of a wind that blows all around Iran and describes its travels. It was shot a few years before the Revolution, and sadly, the director died while filming in a helicopter crash :(

My personal favorite composition in the film begins at 36:38, a feather-light santur number when the wind travels from the oil fields near Bandar-e Abbas to the Caspian shore. Makes me want to get one and learn...

Also, copypasta گلهاي رنگارنگ (Gulhaye Rang-a-Rang, Flowers of Many Colors) into YouTube. It's a HUGE anthology of videos with dastgahs, vocal ensembles, ensembles of various instruments, and poetry, each one 20 minutes-1 hour in length, all from different artists. These show the range of the classical system very well, and the introduction of the Western violin to the traditional arrangement only enriches its beauty IMHO. This is what I suggest for understanding the spectrum of Persian classical music.

Also a good concept to research:
>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dastgah or google it
>all the different Persian instruments


btw, don't paste

(Gulhaye Rang-a-Rang, Flowers of Many Colors), just

گلهاي رنگارنگ

into YT. There's no English translation for any of it.

Celtic (I think) carnyx

>you will never be a Roman on the march when you hear ten of these echoing from the woods towards you and know that they are coming for you
Good feel desu


Why didn't you post actual Celtic music?
Cause he said ancient, and I think the Iron Age brass war didgeridoo is cool as hell.
get some hindustani music in this bitch (carnaticfags can go to hell)
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Carnyx was celtic indeed.

m8, Jordi Savalli's based but he has a tendency to make everything similar to European classical music.

For OP, I know it's not ancient but I'm going to post some historical Irish music anyway.

Classical Harp music of the Gaelic aristocracy. Earliest known tunes are from the renaissance era but the tradition dates to the first millenium. Tunes were composed by travelling Bards, often in honour of a noble patron. The harp was associated with nobility. To this day the harp is a symbol of Ireland. The most famous harper is Turlough O'Carolan (Toirdhealbhach Ó Cearbhalláin), considered by many to be Ireland's national composer. The gaelic harp differed significantly in construction and technique from it's continental counterparts, most notably it was wire strung and played with the fingernails and not the tips.

Celts are a part of the western tradition
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>War Marches
Marching music has a long history in Ireland, again dating from the Gaelic aristocracy. Notably Irish martial music was played on the warpipes, rather than the more common trumpets and bugles.


This was remarked upon by the English on arrival, and mentioned further afield. Galilei's father wrote about the warpipes.

Clans often had their own marches and every army had pipers to accompany them.




This horn has been used since the Dacian times and most likely even before that.
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>Celts are a part of the western tradition
yes and no. I don't really care, anyway, I'm going to keep shilling Irish music. If you want you can have some Turkroach music too, and I'll post African shit when I'm done


Another significant form of historical Irish music is the Aisling. Aisling/Aislinn is an archaic Irish word meaning "dream" or "vision" and was the name of a type of political song in the late 16th and 17th centuries. In the Aisling a woman, symblolising Ireland would appear to a young man, lamenting the situation Ireland was in, inciting rebellion or preaching hope variously. Aislingí developed from older poems wherein the woman would signify spring or some other fortunate future and were adopted due to the dangers of political expression during the Jacobite period.


This is the most famous Aisling, originally written as a love song for Hugh O' Neill's daughter in the 16th century, it was adopted and given a political dimension later. It is sung here in the "Sean Nós" style, specifically the Conamara style of Sean Nós"
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