Archaeomusicology, a new way to learn about the ancient world


Ancient songs come to us from the distant past to influence our present through a new discipline that is gaining momentum and opening up new areas of research: Archaeomusicology.

"Archaeomusicology is a multidisciplinary research field that adopts the methods of archaeology in the study of music and musical life in the ancient world - explains Claudia Antonetti, professor of Greek history at Ca’ Foscari. I have investigated the archaeological finds of musical interest, from the figurative testimonies in ceramics, chloroplast, sculpture and musical instruments (and sound objects) from shrines, cemeteries and homes, analyzed in terms of their context of use and discovery."

Archaeomusicology aims to place performances and sounds of the past into a space, in one place and on one clearly defined occasion in order to interpret its cultural, religious and social significance and to understand what music and making music meant for ancient societies.
In addition to a strictly historicist method, which aims to investigate the sound events of the past in relation to culture and social and political changes to expand and integrate the contribution of written sources - historical, literary and epigraphic - archaeomusicology also uses a  religious-anthropological approach that intends to verify the profound relationship between the musical phenomena, cults, festive ceremonies and funerary ideology in close connection with architecture and the visual arts, not excluding the use of new technologies.
This area of research helps us to understand one of the most present aspects in the ancient world: through the investigation of different musical behaviors in social life, we can shed light not only on the circumstances, functions and purposes of the sound events of the past, but also on the emotions they generated, judgments they caused, and the memories they evoked.
There are interesting points of contact between different disciplines such as archaeology, musicology, epigraphy for a new way of doing research that is enriched by its interdisciplinary approach.

In this context we announce the Archaeomusicology Workshop "Music and sounds from ancient Sicily" to be held on Monday, February 27th at the Sala Consiglio of Palazzo Malcanton Marcorà.
The programme includes a focus on the recent discoveries of the archaeological park of Selinunte and a musical performance with wind instruments of Pitano Perra.

Archaeomusicology Workshop

Music and sounds from ancient Sicily
curated by Claudia Antonetti

February 27th 2017
Sala Consiglio, Palazzo Malcanton Marcorà

9.30 introduction from Claudia Antonetti
with Clemente Marconi
9.45 Angela Bellia Archaeomusicology: a new way to learn about the ancient world
10.30 Pitano Perra on the research of ancient musical instruments
11.30 Enrico Caruso Recent discoveries of the archaeological park of Selinunte
12.15 Angela Bellia The aulos of the Temple R in the Acropolis: the archaeological study and 3D reconstruction

Lunch Break
15.00 Pitano Perra  The aulos of the Temple R in the Acropolis: typological study and traditional reconstruction
15.45 Stefania De Vido – conclusion
16.00 Execution of ancient sounds: vibration laboratory from Pitano Perra