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Headword: *)/orqion no/mon kai\ troxai=on
Adler number: omicron,575
Translated headword: a steep-pitched style and a trochaic
Vetting Status: high
Terpander named the two styles from their rhythms. They were rising and vigorous. Homer [says]: "the goddess standing there uttered a great and terrible war-cry rising sharply upwards" to the Achaeans.
Greek Original:
*)/orqion no/mon kai\ troxai=on: tou\s du/o no/mous a)po\ tw=n r(uqmw=n w)no/mase *te/rpandros. a)natetame/noi d' h)=san kai\ eu)/tonoi. *(/omhros: e)/nqa sta=s' h)/u+se qea\ me/ga te deino/n te o)/rqi' *)axaioi=sin.
The adjective for 'steep, sheer, upright' is also used for a high, sharply rising cry, shout or musical pitch (see LSJ at web address 1). The example given here from Homer, Iliad 11.11, refers to a war-cry by the goddess Eris rising sharply in pitch (so Leaf in his edition, and Lexikon des frühgriechischen Epos III, fasc.18, 2000, 768: "aufwaerts gerichtet", cf. o)rqogo/h). For the vigorous, militaristic character of the nomos, see the story of Alexander and Timotheus at omicron 573.
By a nomos (nu 478) the ancients understood a style and prescribed harmony (alpha 3977) for "solo pieces whose formal and stylistic outlines were regulated and distinguished by fixed rules, not unnaturally in a competitive setting" (A.D. Barker in OCD(4) p.977, cf. p.1019 'nomos(2)' and West pp. 214-17, 352, with bibliography at note 69). The nomos or style to which the entry refers was one of the best-known in antiquity (LSJ II). According to this entry, it was based on the foot - - * (or - - u *) of the same name (cf. LSJ II b, web address 1, with references), in the same way that the trochaic nomos was based on the trochee. There were apparently seven citharodic nomoi (cf. omicron 574, nu 478) established by Terpander (tau 354), who himself used the nomos under discussion (alpha 1701, cf. alpha 1700). To the two nomoi named in this entry the Suda adds two at nu 478 (cf. Photius, Lexicon nu253 Theodoridis): tetra/dios, o)cu/s. Photius adds (pi410 Theodoridis): pari/amboi, pariambi/des, i)/amboi; Hesychius adds: kapi/wn, kolobo/s (kappa714, 3354). West adds many others and discusses ancient confusions in the use of the term to mean 'genre' (216-17).
Hagel, S. Modulation in altgriechischer Musik. Antike Melodien im Licht antiker Musiktheorie (2000)
West, M.L. Ancient Greek Music (1992).
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; definition; epic; military affairs; meter and music; mythology
Translated by: Robert Dyer on 30 May 2002@12:55:10.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (restorative and other cosmetics) on 12 September 2002@05:56:34.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 18 February 2010@19:53:26.
David Whitehead on 10 July 2013@09:39:49.
David Whitehead (updated some refs) on 2 August 2014@10:15:09.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 15 December 2014@16:25:01.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 16 December 2014@02:58:08.
David Whitehead (coding) on 20 May 2016@04:10:40.


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