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Headword: Kukliôn te chorôn aismatokampas
Adler number: kappa,2647
Translated headword: and tune-benders of cyclic choruses.
Vetting Status: high
Aristophanes in Clouds [sc. uses the phrase].[1] The ancients considered dithyrambs to be a species[2] of music. And [Aristophanes] assailed them, saying "if one of them should play the fool and twist a tune, the sort of tune-twisting they now perform, he was severely beaten as one obscuring the muses".[3] And Callimachus alludes to them, attacking them in this kind of way: "they introduced bastardly songs".[4] Or he is hinting at the associates of Cinesias[5] and Cleomenes[6] and Philoxenos,[7] who composed dithyrambs. He means that the composers of dithyrambs were also sophists; for these men were the producers of the cyclic choruses. Since their compositions did not fall under [sc. the definition of] harmony, they have many bendings, which musicians call strophes and antistrophes and epodes. In this way too the choral parts in tragedies have been composed.
Greek Original:
Kukliôn te chorôn aismatokampas: Aristophanês Nephelais. hoi palaioi diaphoran tês mousikês hêgounto einai tous dithurambous. kai kathaptetai autôn legôn, ei de tis autôn bômolocheusaito ê kampseie tina kampên, hoias hoi nun tautas tas duskolokampous, epetribeto tuptomenos pollas, hôs tas mousas aphanizôn. kai Kallimachos de pros autous apoteinomenos houtô pôs autôn kathaptetai: nothai d' ênthêsan aoidai. ê tous peri Kinêsian kai Kleomenên kai Philoxenon ainittetai, ontas dithurambopoious. sophistas de einai bouletai kai tous dithurambopoious: tôn gar kukliôn chorôn êsan houtoi didaskaloi. dia de to harmoniai mê hupopiptein autôn ta sungrammata, kampas echousi pleionas, has hoi mousikoi kalousi strophas kai antistrophous kai epôidous. dio kai en tais tragôidiais suneistêkei ta chorika.
Cyclic choruses were a style of dithyrambic chorus, encircling the altar (opposed to square choruses: LSJ s.v. II). In their comedies Aristophanes, Pherecrates and others mocked the "light, trivial" new dithyramb (see references, and delta 1029). An important part of this criticism concerned the introduction of "twists" or "bends" in the musical structure (Pherecrates fr.155 PCG vol.7, see During; ps.-Plutarch, de Musica, see Barker pp.236-40), the abandonment of strophe/antistrophe responsion (alpha 1810; Dunbar p.661), and strange new compounds (epsilon 1174, sigma 1192). The exact nature of the modulations implied by "twists" in their music has raised lively debate (see West, Hagen and other references below, and beta 488 note 3, delta 1650, chi 296, chi 538).
[1] Aristophanes, Clouds 333 (part of a list of different kinds of charlatan there). The Suda draws on the scholia to this line.
[2] So the transmitted text, with diafora/n; but sense requires (and beta 488 confirms) that one should emend to diafqora/n, "a corruption". Pherecrates fr. 155 PCG also supports the notion of corrupting.
[3] Aristophanes, Clouds 969-72, here slightly abridged (971 should read "they now perform in the manner of Phrynis", a Mytilenean citharode (phi 761), but see beta 488 and delta 1650.
[4] Callimachus fr. 604 Pfeiffer (279 Schneider).
[5] kappa 1639, phi 459, delta 1029, pi 3225; cf. alpha 2657, alpha 2862, delta 1178, lambda 264, lambda 278, tau 693, kappa 822; OCD(4) p. 319; RE 11.479-80.
[6] Cleomenes of Rhegium is a dithyramb poet mentioned only in Athenaeus (Deipnosophists 9.402A [9.65 Kaibel], cf. 13.605E [13.84] and 14.638D [14.43]), who had read his work Meleagros; in it Cleomenes described the Calydonian boar as white (cf. perhaps Epicrates fr. 4 Kassel-Austin). See D.L. Page, Poetae Melici Graeci fr. 338, p. 442; D.A. Campbell, Greek Lyric 5.204.
[7] phi 393, phi 397, sigma 1192; cf. alpha 2862, delta 1178, epsiloniota 291; OCD(4) pp.1137-8 s.v. Philoxenus(1).
OCD(4) pp. 469 (s.v. dithyramb), 978 (s.v. music: History).
Anderson, W.D. Music and Musicians in Ancient Greece (1994) pp.126-34
Barker = pseudo-Plutarch, De Musica, translated in A. Barker (ed.) Greek Musical Writings I: The Musician and his Art (1984) pp. 204-57, esp. notes, pp.236-40
Dunbar = Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (1995) pp. 660-73
During, I. "Studies in musical terminology in 5th. Century literature," Eranos 43 (1945) pp.176ff. (a study of Pherecrates fr.155)
Hagel, S. Modulation in altgriechischer Musik: Antike Melodien im Licht antiker Musiktheorie (2000)
P-C2 = A.W. Pickard-Cambridge, Dithyramb, Tragedy and Comedy, 2nd. Edn. rev. T.B.L. Webster (1962) pp.38ff.
West, M.L. Ancient Greek Music (1992) pp.356-72 ("The new music")
Zimmermann, B. Dithyrambos (Hypomnemata 98, 1992), esp. ch.7 "Der neue Dithyrambos" (117-136)
Keywords: biography; comedy; ethics; imagery; meter and music; poetry; rhetoric; tragedy
Translated by: Nathan Greenberg ✝ on 4 March 2002@19:30:38.
Vetted by:
Robert Dyer (Added reference. Upgraded status, as the entry has already received appropriate vettings) on 5 March 2002@04:11:17.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 25 June 2004@08:56:30.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 20 March 2013@07:19:34.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule, coding, deleted link) on 5 September 2013@00:26:41.
David Whitehead (updated some refs) on 2 August 2014@07:20:34.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 15 December 2014@15:35:12.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 30 December 2014@07:53:45.
David Whitehead (expanded Athenaeus refs) on 16 January 2015@05:15:05.


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