100th Podcast!

For my fans, followers, and friends – this the 100th podcast of The Musical Freebox. To celebrate this milestone with you, a special show that I have been saving. December 28, 2015.



                         Ancient Greek Music Show.

Note: Ancient Greek Music included Poetry and Drama.


1. Hermes Give Me A Coat, 2:07.
2. Hymn To The Muse, 2:32.
3. Arete and Bupalus, 1:56.
4. Fragment 16 Greek then English, 1:54.
5. Philosopher’s Way, 1:46.
6. Love Charm, Greek then English, 1:38.
7. Hymn To Aphrodite from Sappho(live), 5:44.
8. Hipponax Curse On Salmydessus, 1:59.
9. Catch A Thief Charm, Greek then English, 2:03.
10. Ancient Greek Scales, 2:33.
11. Up In Smoke, 1:09.
12. Stars Around The Moon, 1:57.
13. Fragment 94 Greek then English, 2:49.
14. Sappho’s Wedding Hymn (Epithalamion), 1:16.
15. Girls Scattered, 1:16.
16. Partheneion, 6:12.
17. Song of Seikilos, 4:31.
18. Fast Ship, 1:34.
19. Fragment 31 Greek then English, 1:40.
20. Hymn To The Sun, 5:37.
21. Ancient Melodies in Converging and Diverging Lines, 5:29.
22. The Sun Works Hard, 1:30.
23. Aphrodite It Isn’t, 1:25.
24. Don’t Know, 1:26.
25. Danae and Perseus, 2:04.
26. Fragment 1 Greek then English, 3:13.
27. Pythionicos, 4:20.
28. Evening Star, 1:37.

Total Time, 1:12:35.




1. The first two songs were written by poet Hipponax. Hipponax was an Ancient Greek iambic poet who composed verses depicting the vulgar side of life in Ionian society in the sixth century BC. He was celebrated by ancient authors for his malicious wit especially for his attacks on some contemporary sculptors, Bupalus and Athenis, and he composed
within the Iambus tradition which, in the work of Archilochus, a hundred years earlier, appears to have functioned as
ritualized abuse and obscenity associated with the religious cults of Demeter and Dionysus but which, in Hipponax’s day, seems rather to have had the purpose of entertainment. In both cases, the genre featured scornful abuse, a bitter tone and sexual permissiveness. Unlike Archilochus, however, he frequently refers to himself by name, emerging as a highly self-conscious figure, and his poetry is more narrow and insistently vulgar in scope: “with Hipponax, we are in an unheroic, in fact, a very sordid world”,amounting to “a new conception of the poet’s function.” Both songs are Mark Jickling and Chris Mason translating Archaic Greek poems (7 – 4th Century B.C.)and puting them to music. They say “We have been translating poems by Sappho, Archilochos, Hipponax, Alcman, Alcaeus, Xenophanes, and other Greek poets from the 7th century to the 4th century BC and making the poems into songs. Most of these poems actually were sung by the poets with Kithara (lyre) accompaniment or by a chorus of singers or chanted with a flute accompaniment. We have been recording them with singers such as Liz Downing, David Fair, and Pam Kraemer, and with musicians such as Anne Watts (accordion), Rebby Sharp (violin), Jamie Wilson (percussion), Allen Thrasher (flute), Lyle Kissack (percussion), Paul Jickling (guitar). Some of the songs have been recorded with a chorus of teenage girls (Emma Lee Thompson, Elizabeth Mason, Annatruus Bakker, Hannah Stahl, and Lucy Stahl). We have 4 CDs available now from Race of Bees: “19 Old Songs”, a sampler recorded at Birdhouse Studios in Baltimore; “Old Songs /Inner Ear Demo” recorded at Inner Ear Studio in Virginia; “Honey Nor Bee”, Sappho fragments sung in Greek and English, recorded at Birdhouse and featuring Liz Downing on vocals; and “Hipponax”, home recordings of Hipponax songs.” See their site http://www.mindspring.com/~oldsongs/  for more info.

2. From Music Of Ancient Greece by Mesomedes of Crete, arranged and performed by Christodoros Halarlis. Orata Ltd. ?– ORANGM 2013, Released:1992.

3. Hipponax. See note 1.

4. From Thomas McEvilley reads Sappho, fragments 1, 2, 16, 31, 94 and 96 (in English and Greek), March 25, 2009. He says about
the Sappho, “The Sapphic corpus consists today of about 50 pages   of fragments of lyric poems from the late 7th and early 6th centuries BC. These are chance survivors of the winnowing of time, some gleaned from quotations in the works of other ancient authors, some recovered from torn and ravaged scraps of papyrus which the dry, hot Egyptian climate allowed to survive. This slender and partly incomprehensible body of text is of immeasurable importance in the story of our culture. Its significance goes beyond the question of the work’s quality–though that has been much praised. Plato, for example, called Sappho the tenth Muse (Anth. Pal., 9.506), and Ezra Pound remarked that there was nothing better in literature than the one long passage (fr.1) which was known when he wrote. The scholar and translator Henry Wharton referred to Sappho in 1885 as “the Greek poetess whom more than eighty generations have been obliged to hold without a peer.” While judgments of quality are in general less stable nowadays than for a long time, this one seems to remain unvarying among those who bother to acquire the ability to read the relevant texts.”  See http://writing.upenn.edu/library/Sapho_McEvilley.html .

5. Philosopher’s Way by Xenophanes, performed by Old Songs (see above). From Xenophanes of Colophon in the Elegiacs. Xenophanes is another interesting person from ancient Greece, and Jickling and Mason chose interesting songs to perform. James Adams, in The republic of Plato, said “Among the first to rebel against their authority were Pythagoras, Xenophanes, and Heraclitus (D. L.VIII 21, IX 18, IX I). Xenophanes’ protest was particularly famous in antiquity: see Sext. Emp.”

6. Love Charm from The Vault Of Antiquity Vol.3. The website says “In this 3rd installment of From the Vault of Antiquity, Joe
McDonald sifts through the garbage filled detritus heaps of the ancients. Truly, this show features writing that had been
thrown away by someone at that time. He culls together various papyri from the first 4 centuries of the current era and by so
doing provides us with a glimpse of the ordinary human mind. Passions, hopes and fears are delivered to the listener in the
original Greek and his new English translations.”  https://archive.org/search.php?query=vault%20of%20antiquity .

7. Ed Sanders’ interpretation and performance of Fragment 1 from the Sappho, called The Hymn to Aphrodite. Several different translations of Fragment 1 can be found here: http://classicpersuasion.org/pw/sappho/sape01.htm#wharton001 . “Dionysius of Halicarnassus, writing at Rome about 25 B.C., quotes this, commonly called The Ode to Aphrodite, as a perfect illustration of the elaborately finished style of poetry, showing in detail how its grace and beauty lie in the subtle harmony between the words and the ideas. Certain lines of it, though nowhere else the whole, are preserved by Hephaestion and other authors.” From The Nova Convention, Giorno Poetry Systems ?– GPS 014-015, Released 1979. Ed Sanders is a poet and musician. During the 1960s he ran the Peace Eye Bookstore on the Lower East Side and edited Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts. He is also a founding  member of the Fugs alongside Tuli Kupferberg.
8. From Hipponax, see note  1.

9. From The Vault Of Antiquity Vol.3.

10. Iasos playing the electric flute; reverb in the original recording. See http://iasos.com/videoclp/Flute.html. From his
site: “Iasos (pronounced ya’ sos) was born in Greece in 1947, and his family moved to America when he was four. He began studying piano at age 8 and flute at age 10. In 1967, to his surprise, Iasos began spontaneously “hearing” a new type of music in his mind, which he then referred to as “paradise music”.  After graduating from Cornell in anthropology in
1968, Iasos decided to move to California and to dedicate his life to manifesting this “heavenly music” he was experiencing
internally, since he was convinced it would have an uplifting, healing, spiritually-invigorating and harmonizing effect on
many potential listeners.  And that in many cases, this music would help people to connect to heavenly realms of existence.In
1975 Iasos, along with his colleague Steven Halpern, pioneered and began what is now known as “New Age music” – with both
Iasos and Steven each releasing their first album at that time.In 1982 Iasos, spear-headed what has now come to be called “New
Age videos” with his release of one of the very first new age videos – “Crystal Vista” – created as visualizations to his own
11. Written by Crates of Thebes. Mason and Jickling chose famous characters for the songs they recorded. About the song, Up In Smoke, a note “The word tuphos (Greek: τῦφος) in the first line, is one of the first known Cynic uses of a word which  
literally means mist or smoke. It was used by the Cynics to describe the mental confusion which most people are wrapped-up in. The Cynics sought to clear away this fog and to see the world as it really is.” from several fragments surviving of a poem Crates wrote describing the ideal Cynic state which begins by parodying Homer’s description of Crete. Crates’ city is called Pera, which in Greek refers to the beggar’s wallet which every Cynic carried. More info at (short version)
http://www.quickiwiki.com/en/  }Crates_of_Thebes; and at (long version)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crates_of_Thebes. For Classical writers and literature including all in this show, use this link
from JKU Academic Research List: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/  }Perseus Digital Library;  
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/searchresults?target=en&all_words=Crates&phrase=&any_words=+poem+song&exclude_words=&documents=   }the page of references to Crates (pronounced “crah-teez”) of Thebes.

12. From the Sappho (Fragments), on the album & CD Honey Nor Bee by Chris Mason and Mark Jickling.

13. From Thomas McEvilley reads Sappho, fragments 1, 2, 16, 31, 94 and 96 (in English and Greek), March 25, 2009. © 2009  
Thomas McEvilley. All rights reserved. These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. Used with permission. Distributed by PennSound.

14. E-notes said “Most of Sappho’s poems are monodies, songs composed for the single voice and intended to be sung to the
accompaniment of the lyre. Much of her verse was also occasional, usually meant to commemorate some event taking place in her thiasos, but she also composed narrative poetry, religious hymns, and epithalamia, or wedding songs.” -http://www.enotes.com/.  The song is ΕΠIΘAΛAMIO THΣ ΣAΠΦOYΣ (Epithalamio tis Sapfous), taken from the collection of recreated Greek music made by Petros Tabouris (ΠΕΤΡΟΣ ΤΑΜΠΟΥΡΗΣ): Melos Arheon (MEΛOΣ APXAION) – Vol.1 Secular Music of Greek Antiquity.

15. from the Alcman. See Alcman: the choral poetry of ancient Sparta, spelled Alkman in ancient greek. Regarding Alcman, this
is written: “Sardis was capital of the Lydian kingdom in Asia Minor; Alkman’s poetry certainly reflects a society of high
culture open to eastern influences and fascinated by the exotic; he was interested in cosmogony and in stories from the  
distant Black Sea, and delights in foreign names and objects. Despite their role in public performance, his poems are intimate
and full of personal references – to his own skill, his relations with the dancers and theirs with each other; his touch is
lighter and more playful even than Sappho’s. His dancers have aristocratic names, Agido (‘leader’), Astumeloisa (‘favorite of
the city’), Hagesichora (‘leader of the dance’); some of them are known to have been related to royal houses. Their attributes
are those of an aristocracy; they recall an earlier age, when Sparta was famous only for her women; they move like racehorses, they are compared with precious metals, their hair is long and flowing.” -http://www-personal.umich.edu/~artsfx/alcman.html.

16. There were six books of Alcman’s choral poetry in antiquity (c. 50-60 hymns), but they were lost at the threshold of the
Medieval Age, and Alcman was known only through fragmentary quotations in other Greek authors until the discovery of a papyrus in 1855(?) in a tomb near the second pyramid at Saqqâra in Egypt. The fragment, which is now kept at the Louvre in Paris, contains approximately 100 verses of a so-called partheneion, i.e. a song performed by a chorus of young unmarried women. Alcman was an Ancient Greek choral lyric poet from Sparta. He is the earliest representative of the Alexandrian canon of the nine lyric poets. Song 1 in the Loeb Classics Edition.

17. Here is performed by the music group : SAVAE. The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest surviving example of a complete musical
composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its
lyrics, in the ancient Greek musical notation, was found engraved on a tombstone, near Aidin, Turkey (not far from Ephesus). The find has been dated variously from around 200 BC to around AD 10. While older music with notation exists (for example the Delphic Hymns), all of it is in fragments; the Seikilos epitaph is unique in that it is a complete, though short, composition. The following is a transliteration of the words which are sung to the melody, and an English translation:
Hoson zēs, phainou        While you live, shine
Mēden holōs sy lypou;        Don’t suffer anything at all;
Pros oligon esti to zēn        Life exists only a short while
To telos ho chronos apaitei        And time demands its toll.

18. Background to this song by Solon, the Lawmaker of  Athens (approx. 640 – 560 B.C.).  “Salamis was occupied at the time by
the Megarians. Solon sent a spy there to tell the Megarians of a great opportunity to kidnap the most noble ladies of Athens,
who were celebrating a festival at the temple of Venus.  This was true, but what the Megarians failed to realize was that Solon knew that they would be coming. When he saw their sails coming from Salamis, Solon replaced the women with beardless men dressed in women’s clothes.  From a distance, the Megarians could not tell the difference.  They landed and anchored their ships, jumping out into the water in their eagerness to get at the women.  The last thing on their minds was defense, and  every one of them was killed.  Then the Athenians sailed to Salamis in the Megarians’ ships and took the island by surprise.” “A great Athenian legislator, philosopher and poet. Solon belonged to a rich and aristocratic family, the Codrids, and his father’s name was Eksikestides. From a young boy he was raised and educated in a harmonious environment. After suffering the loss of his property and wealth, he turned to trade and travelled to Egypt and Asia Minor and took benefit of his journeys, which lasted decades, to study a number of foreign civilizations, their laws and political and social life. This knowledge he used when the time was right, for the rebuilding the social and political status of his hometown, thus becoming the greatest man of his time.”

19. From Thomas McEvilley reads Sappho, fragments 1, 2, 16, 31, 94 and 96 (in English and Greek), March 25, 2009. © 2009  
Thomas McEvilley. All rights reserved. These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. Used with permission. Distributed by PennSound.

20. Hymn To The Sun by Mesomedes of Crete, Track 8 on Music of Ancient Greece by Christodoulos Halaris. Includes Pindar’sFirst Pythionic Hymn, a chorus from Euripedes’ Orestes, a chant to Apollo, and a hymn to the Holy Trinity (based on ancient Greek musical theory). Includes 80 pp. booklet. $18.95. Available from Classics, P.O. Box 64502, St. Paul, MN 55164-0502; 1-800-949-9999, and no doubt other vendors. You might also contact the producer, Orata Ltd., Export Dept.: CBC, Athanassiou Diakou 8,  15237 Filothei (Athens) GREECE; Tel (1)6813168 – Telex 218344 IBS GR, Fax (1)7249508.

21. Mandolin solo by Michael Smetanin from Jazzwaves, Published by Jade Records JADCD1118 — 1 CD. From
http://drmichaelhooper.com/?page_id=16, Recommended music by Dr. Michael Hooper, musicologist.

22. “In striking contrast with Tyrtæus and Callinus, whose elegies are so full of martial spirit, stands Mimnermus, an Ionian poet of Smyrna, who flourished near the end of the seventh century B.C. This century witnessed the gradual subjection of the Asiatic Greeks to the Lydian yoke; and from Mimnermus we gather that his Ionian fellow-countrymen, who in former days had successfully resisted the barbarian might, were now sunk in inglorious inactivity and fettered in complacent slavery. … Mimnermus, a pure hedonist, lived only for the sensual pleasures that life could afford; and when these were withdrawn, life was to him no longer worth living. The poet had no sublime religious faith, no lofty philosophy, to guide and comfort his  soul; and at a time when Greece was still in her youth, and almost before she had entered upon her wonderful career of glorious achievement, this bright intellect sinks into a nerveless ennui, and gives way to a world-weary pessimism. Mimnermus lived before his time; and it is therefore a less remarkable fact that when elegiac verse was long afterwards cultivated by learned poets and versifiers in the artificial society of Alexandria and Augustan Rome, the sweet sentimental Mimnermus should have been more often taken as a model than were the saner and more robust writers of early Greek elegy.” –

23. From Alcman, see above.

24. From Sappho Fragment 36, Quoted by the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus, about 220 B.C. in Wharton; see above.

25. Simonides of Ceos (c. 556 – 468 BC) was a Greek lyric poet, born at Ioulis on Ceos. The scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets, along with Bacchylides (his nephew) and Pindar (reputedly a bitter rival). Both Bacchylides and Pindar benefited from his innovative approach to lyric poetry and he was more involved than either of them in the major events and personalities of their times. His fame owes much to traditional accounts of his colourful life. Today only glimpses of his poetry remain, either in the form of papyrus fragments or quotations by ancient literary figures, yet new fragments continue to be unearthed by archaeologists at Oxyrhynchus. Simonides wrote a wide range of choral lyrics with an Ionian flavour and elegiac verses in Doric idioms. He is generally credited with inventing a new type of choral lyric, the encomium, in particular popularizing a form of it, the victory ode. These were extensions of the hymn, which previous generations of poets had dedicated only to gods and heroes. This website has audio, etc., for Danae and Perseus: http://homoecumenicus.com/ioannidis_simonides_danae.htm.

26. From Sappho. Fragment 1 is also known as The Hymn To Aphrodite, see above. McEvilley’s translation of it is here:

27. Pindar, Greek Pindaros (born probably 518 bc, Cynoscephalae, Boeotia, Greece—died after 446, probably c. 438, Argos), the greatest lyric poet of ancient Greece and the master of epinicia, choral odes celebrating victories achieved in the Pythian, Olympic, Isthmian, and Nemean games. “First Hymn” we can understand to mean “first Ode”, since Pindar is not said to have written  hymns. “Pythian Ode 1” is one of the better known of the many victory poems (or “epinicia”) of the ancient Greek lyric poet Pindar. Like “Olympic Ode 1”, it celebrates a victory of  Hieron of Syracuse, this time in the chariot race at the
Pythian Games of 470 BCE. Hellenic composer and scholar Christodoulos Halaris is a leading expert on the study and
reconstruction of ancient  and Byzantine music. He turned to musicology and composing after studying mathematics in Paris.
Taking his cues from religious iconography and traditional popular Hellenic music, Halaris began reconstructing fragmentary  old Hellenic music documents. His re-imagining of secular Byzantine music, with what Hallaris identifies as roots in Hellenic song, has met with skepticism from some scholars, but it is based on a serious study of a number of sources and centuries of related developments in Hellenic music. He has published more than fifty compact discs of this music, and helped create the Museum of Thessalonica, devoted to Hellenic music and also engaged in a significant project revolving around European medieval music.

28. Sappho, Fragment 92. Honey Nor Bee, Mason and Jickling.