A computer music realization of the discourses of Dionysus, from The Bacchae
Christie, George (Student of music)
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A method was desired to set to music the discourses of Dionysus from Euripides' The Bacchae, with the use of computer music system. It is agreed that the ancient Greek language was pitched and that poetic verse was written for musical accompaniment. Musical materials from Aristoxenus' Greater Perfect System of modal scales have also been documented. A PDP11/04 computer utilizing the PIE language and interface was programmed to play a Buchla Electric Music Box synthesizer. The ancient Greek outer metric pattern (in iambic trimeter) of each of the lines spoken by Dionysus in the play was collected. Each spoken syllable was then given a pitch equivalent from an equal-tempered scale. Contrapuntal lines of random material were also included. It was found that there was a high degree of repetition in metric line and melodic pattern. The work as executed was cohesive and combined aspects of what ancient Greek music might have sounded like, combined with the modern effects that a synthesizer can produce. Further development of this work would include programming the entire play, using tunable intervals and using all the nodes. The results should be of interest to nusicians, theater groups, philologists, and the computer programmer and technologist.