SYNAULIA - La Musica Dell'Antica Roma - Vol.1 Strumenti a Fiato

Product code RM745
Category CD
Brand Amiata Records
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Digipack 2 Panel 12.5x19.5 Booklet 32 Pages - Release Date: 1996 - Ancient Music - Lazio - Rome


1. Pavor
2. Animula Vagula
3. Etruria
4 . Baccus
5. Magna Mater
6. Mare nostrum
7. Imperium
8. Diana
9. Arena
10. Lares
11. Acutus
12. Pastorale
13. Tibiae impares
14. Pompei
15. Aetherius
16. Venus
17. Isis
18. Fortuna
19. Oraculum
20. Tibia duplex
21. Tympanum
22. Ludi inter Pana atque nymphas
23. Neniae
24. Juppiter
25. Salii

The first record of a series with which we have the honor of previewing a hypothesis of reconstruction of the music of ancient imperial Rome with original instruments and reconstructions of the same by the musician and musicologist Walter Maioli and his working group It uses the collaboration of archaeologists, musicologists, historians and instrument builders. This first record is dedicated to various aspects and instruments of Roman music. The production utilizes the collaboration of the Museum of Roman Civilization in Rome and is excellently interpreted by the Synaulia group.


Synaulia is a team of experimental archeology applied to music and dance.

The name comes from the Greek word synaulia, which in ancient Rome indicated an instrumental group composed mainly of wind instruments.

The group was created in 1995 in the PPaesi Bassia Leida by the Italian pale organologist Walter Maiolie by the choreographer and anthropologist Natalie VanRavenstein in the field of activities promoted by the local museum. Initially the work of the group was aimed at the reconstruction of musical instruments of antiquity for educational purposes The Archeon archaeological park. Subsequently, the activity extended to the study and re-design of music and dance of Italian antiquity, deepening in particular the period of ancient imperial Rome. The outcomes of this activity have been translated into a series of musical productions, partly intended or reused for film, screenplay and documentary about the period of ancient Rome, including The Gladiator Rydley Scoot and the TV series Rome; In the production of exhibition and educational instruments (226 replicas of instruments) as well as in the publication of some essays on the subject. Walter Maioli and the Synaulia Research Group are currently resident researchers and artists at the Vesuvian National Institute for Archeology and Humanities at Castellammare di Stabia (NA).

The rebuilding and study of ancient musical expression, since there was no musical notation at the time that allowed accurate reproduction, was based on comparative studies of iconography, textual analysis and social history and costume, Involving disciplines such as palaeorganogy, ethnomusicology, archeology and historiography.

Concerning the study of ancient musical instruments, the existence of some finds, the richness of iconographic documentation, the abundance of theoretical treatises and literary testimonies facilitated the reproduction of a large number of instruments, determining its melodic and harmonic possibilities And acoustic quality and their possible combinations. This allowed the definition of a hypothesis about the type of "atmospheres" that could be created.

The group's activity has been subdivided into major search sources

The first strand was dedicated to wind instruments and their reconstruction. The research has led to a reconstruction of instruments such as syringa or syrinx, fistulae, tibiae, cornu, tuba, bucina, iynx, rhombus.

The second line of research was dedicated to string instruments, of which were reconstructed among other lyra, cithara, sambuca, oblique and pandura cordae.

The Greeks and the Romans did not invent rope tools but perfected and created variants of existing ones. The first testimonies of string instruments of antiquity such as cetra, lire and harp are documented in the area from the Nile to Mesopotamia, around 3000 BC In particular, lira played an essential role in the Greco-Roman world. Greek lira was a highly symbolic instrument obtained by assembling a turtle carapace (representing the intermediate life between Heaven and Earth), a tense skin (symbol of sacrifice), and two horns on which the ropes were mounted (representing the Heavenly bull) thus represented a symbolic altar that united the Sky and the Earth. In the depictions rope instruments often appear together with other musical instruments. The most common combination he sees lyrae et citarae approaches Pan (syrinx) flute. Other combinations often depicted were those of rope and tibia instruments, namely double anchoring instruments and double flutes with tympanum and other percussion instruments.

The third strand is dedicated to percussion instruments, with the reconstruction of the tympanum, cymbalum, crotala, scabillum, sistrum, rasum and some particularly elaborate instruments of the late imperial period, the so-called "Age of Gold" aetas).

In Rome, the Synaulia project is based on the collaboration of renowned archaeologists including Dr. Anna Maria Liberati of the Museum of Roman Civilization and Maurizio Pellegrini of the Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia.

With Nathalie van Ravenstein and Luce Maioli rediscover musical heritage

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