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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2022
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Book description

This is a captivating story of music-making at social recreations from Homeric times to the age of Augustine. It tells about the music itself and its purposes, as well as the ways in which people talked about it, telling anecdotes, picturing musical scenes, sometimes debating what kind of music was right at a party or a festival. In straightforward and engaging prose, the author covers a remarkably broad history, providing the big picture yet with vivid and nuanced descriptions of concrete practices and events. We hear of music at aristocratic parties, club music, people's music-making at festivals, political uses of music at the court of Alexander the Great and in the public banquets of Roman emperors in the Colosseum, opinions of music-making at social meals from Plato to Clement of Alexandria, and much more, making the book a treasure-trove of information and a fascinating journey through ancient times and places.

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