Aulos Player, Cyclades

Aulos Player, Cyclades


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Dithyramb

The dithyramb (Ancient Greek: διθύραμβος , dithyrambos) was an ancient Greek hymn sung and danced in honour of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility the term was also used as an epithet of the god: [1] Plato, in The Laws, while discussing various kinds of music mentions "the birth of Dionysos, called, I think, the dithyramb." [2] Plato also remarks in the Republic that dithyrambs are the clearest example of poetry in which the poet is the only speaker. [3]

However, in The Apology Socrates went to the dithyrambs with some of their own most elaborate passages, asking their meaning but got a response of, "Will you believe me?" which "showed me in an instant that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them." [4]

Plutarch contrasted the dithyramb's wild and ecstatic character with the paean. [5] According to Aristotle, the dithyramb was the origin of Athenian tragedy. [6] A wildly enthusiastic speech or piece of writing is still occasionally described as dithyrambic. [7]


Ancient Greek aulos

The 'aulos' in the Ure Museum is the best known example of a popular musical instrument from ancient Greece. Although it looks like a flute, our single pipe was actually half of a double aulos, a wind instrument played by blowing through a reed. Blowing air through one reed to make noise on two pipes would have been hard work, resulting in red faced boys with puffed up cheeks and some ancient written sources tell us it caused people to make fun of each other. Our aulos, which seems to have a wooden core, encased in bronze and silver, has been mistakenly restored as a single aulos. The Ure Museum bought it in 1967 for £100 and it was perhaps undervalued because it was so rare and people were suspicious of its restoration. Reading's Classics Department, however, had on staff an expert in ancient music, Dr. John Landels, who advised the Ure's Curator, Annie Ure, of its value. He studied it using x-ray technology and concluded that most of the materials were original. Bone, ivory and wooden parts of similar instruments have been found in excavations in Greece and the Mediterranean but the metal parts have usually disappeared, degraded beyond recognition, or weren't used on some pipes

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Comments

The "Disfigurement of Athena" was caused by the playing technique known as "Circular Breathing" which was used to play the Aulos. This kind of breathing (also called "Nasal Inhalation") caused the player's cheeks to inflate, then sag down after some time. The Aulos itself, and the "Phorbia", a leather strap that fit over the player's head,was said to be the invention of the Goddess Athena. She invented the Phorbia, after the rest of the Gods and Goddesses laughed at her on Mt. Olympus. Athena looked for a reflection of her Face in the Water, and found that her Cheeks were sagging and her eyes were bloodshot.
The Leather Strap supported the player's Cheeks, to prevent any possible disfigurement.

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The significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic, flat sculptures carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age Minoan civilization arose in Crete to the south. (These figures have been looted from burials to satisfy a thriving Cycladic antiquities market since the early 20th century.)

A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer and wild-type barley, sheep and goats, pigs, and tuna that were apparently speared from small boats (Rutter). Excavated sites include Chalandriani, Phylakopi, Skarkos, Saliagos and Kephala (on Kea) with signs of copperworking, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities (Rutter), and when the highly organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.

Archaeology Edit

The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898–1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged, then picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuși. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose. The context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been mostly destroyed and their meaning may never be completely understood.

Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had emigrated from Anatolia c. 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 3300 – 2000 BCE, when it was increasingly swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is known as the Helladic period.

In recent decades the Cyclades have become popular with European and other tourists, and as a result there have been problems with erosion, pollution, and water shortages.

Traditional vraka (breeches) in the dress of the Aegean islands

The Cyclades includes about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Folegandros, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Syros, Tinos, and Thira or Santoríni. There are also many minor islands including Donousa, Eschati, Gyaros, Irakleia, Koufonisia, Makronisos, Rineia, and Schoinousa. The name "Cyclades" refers to the islands forming a circle ("circular islands") around the sacred island of Delos. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited.

Ermoupoli on Syros is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture.

The islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands, Milos and Santorini. The climate is generally dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not very fertile agricultural produce includes wine, fruit, wheat, olive oil, and tobacco. Lower temperatures are registered in higher elevations and these areas do not usually see wintry weather.

The Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete. [1]

The Cyclades Prefecture (Greek: Νομός Κυκλάδων ) was one of the prefectures of Greece. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, and its territory was divided into nine regional units of the South Aegean region:

Municipalities and communities Edit

The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well.


Cycladic art, an introduction

The Cyclades (often referred to as the Greek Islands) are a group of islands to the southeast of Mainland Greece in close proximity to one another, so much so, from each island you can nearly always see at least one other. This capacity to see each other, and invite travel between them, resulted in a common culture growing up among these islands in the Early Bronze age (around 3000 B.C.E.). For the next thousand years, until about 2000 B.C.E small farming settlements grew into large towns with neatly built stone buildings. Metal smelting became common and trade flourished with not only the mainland of Greece but also Crete and the Anatolian coast (today, Turkey).

Cycladic period figures, marble (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)

Male harp player from Keros, c. 2600–2300 B.C.E., Early Cycladic period, marble, 22.5 cm high (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)

Found in the tombs

The Early Bronze Age people of the Cyclades had a unique way of burying their dead, in stone slab lined pits, sometimes in two stories. But, what is really remarkable is what has often been found in these tombs: elegantly carved small-scale marble sculptures, nearly all of women, known as Cycladic figurines. These form the first stylistically coherent sculptural type to develop in Europe and have featured prominently in the prehistoric art history of Greece. Several Modern artists were influenced by Cycladic figurines as well, including Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brâncusi, and Amedeo Modigliani.

The use and meaning of these sculptures have been a mystery since their first discovery at the end of the 19th century. The fact that some 75% of Early Cycladic archaeological sites have been looted in search of figurines to sell on the antiquities market hasn’t helped looting destroys the contextual information which enables us to understand artifacts. However, recent archaeological excavations on the island of Keros, have produced some fascinating information. Specifically, at the site of Dhaskalio-Kavos two large deposits have been found filled with hundreds of figures which were all purposefully broken in the Early Bronze Age before their burial. Archaeologists believe that the site was an important religious sanctuary which drew people from all over the Cyclades.

Broken figurines found during archaeological excavations on the island of Keros (Island of Broken Figurines)

The dynamic early Bronze Age culture of the Cyclades ends abruptly, around 2000 B.C.E., when all settlement sites are abandoned. The reason for this abandonment remains a mystery. People don’t again settle on the islands in large numbers for another two hundred years.

Additional resources:

Marisa Marthari, Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd, eds., Kavos and the Special Deposits: The sanctuary on Keros and the origins of Aegean ritual (Oxbow Books, 2016)

Marisa Marthari, Colin Renfrew, Michael J. Boyd, eds. Early Cycladic Sculpture in Context (Oxbow Books, 2017).


Aulos Player, Cyclades - History

Flutist CHRISTOPHER KRUEGER received his formative musical training in Boston and graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music. He is principal flutist with the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, the Bach Ensemble, Smithsonian Chamber Players, and Boston Baroque. He has been featured as soloist on the Great Performers Series and Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, the City of London Festival and Lufthansa Festival in London, the Berlin Bach Festival, and at Tanglewood and Ravinia. Mr. Krueger has also performed with such diverse groups as the Drottningholm Theatre Orchestra, Aston Magna, Tafelmusik, Orpheus, and the Boston Symphony. He is Assistant Professor of Music at The University of Massachussets at Amherst, and on the faculties of the New England Conservatory and the Longy School of Music. He has recorded for DG, Sony, L'Oiseau-Lyre, RCA, Centaur, Nonesuch, and Telarc.

Oboist MARC SCHACHMAN was born in Berkeley, California and received his education at Stanford University and the Juilliard School where he was awarded the B.S., M.S., and D.M.A. degrees. He has performed as soloist and principal oboe with "original instrument" orchestras throughout America including Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Baroque (Boston), and Mostly Mozart and The American Classical Orchestra (New York). He is a founding member of the Amadeus Winds, and performs often with groups such as Aston Magna, Helicon, Orchestra of St. Lukes and the New York Chamber Soloists. His recordings can be heard on the MHS/Musicmasters, Harmonia Mundi, Sony, L'Oiseau-Lyre, Telarc, and Centaur labels. He recently moved back to the Bay Area where he has formed the Cantata Collective, an ensemble devoted to performing all the Bach cantatas.

Violinist LINDA QUAN was born in Los Angeles, California and graduated from the Juilliard School with the B.M. and M.M. degrees. She has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and has served as Concermistress with various American "original instrument" orchestras including the Handel and Haydn Society, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Mostly Mozart, and the American Classical Orchestra. She is a member of the Bach Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, and the Atlantic Quartet, and appears frequently with groups such as Aston Magna, St. Lukes, and Helicon. Ms. Quan has recorded for Sony, L'Oiseau-Lyre, MHS/Musicmasters, CRI, Nonesuch, Centaur, and Opus One, and is on the faculty of Vassar College.

Cellist MYRON LUTZKE was born in Newark, New Jersey, and received his education at Brandeis University and the Julliard School, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. Mr. Lutzke is a member of the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, the Mozartean Players, and the Bach Ensemble and is the principal cellist for many of this country's "originial instrument" orchestras, including the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and Mostly Mozart Original Instrument Orchestra,and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. He is an artist-in-residence at the Caramoor Festival and teaches at the Mannes School of Music. His recordings can be heard on the Harmonia Mundi, MHS/Musicmasters, Sony, L'Oiseau-Lyre, Nonesuch, Centaur,and Arabesque labels.



The turntables keep getting smaller in diameter as the price goes down 9-incher on the Model II. $10=$218 USD in 2015.
Lastly, the budget-minded Model I. "Fumed oak" cabinet, 8-inch turntable, and the single-spring motor will get you one full play of a 12-inch disc.
$5=$109 USD in 2015.

Sears catalogs seemed to be as much encyclopedias as they were catalogs back then.

There were also fascinating accessories sold, like this Haile's Modulator, that isolated the playing needle in a rubber sleeve, attenuating the vibration transmitted to the phonograph reproducer, and also 'gave' enough to lessen the impact of a steel needle riding through the grooves of your records.

Or the "Tusko" brand phonograph needle, made from a cactus thorn!


The J. Paul Getty Museum

This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

A Satyr Playing an Aulos

Bernardo Parentino (Italian, 1437 - 1531) 20.2 × 10.3 cm (7 15/16 × 4 1/16 in.) 88.GA.91

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Not currently on view

Object Details

Title:
Artist/Maker:
Culture:
Place:
Medium:
Object Number:
Dimensions:

20.2 × 10.3 cm (7 15/16 × 4 1/16 in.)

Mark(s):

Label: "C.1 N-105. Andrea Mantegna 1431-1505. A Bacchante pen + bistre. Fine. From Sir Anthony Westcombe's Collection. W. Bateman" by William Bateman typed on a label.

Inscription(s):

Secondary Inscription: (Recto) at lower right, inscribed by Lord John Somers "g.53" in brown ink on the mount, inscribed by Jonathan Richardson, Sr. "Mnntegna" in brown ink (verso) on the mount, inscribed by Jonathan Richardson, Sr. "JJ.53" in brown ink.

Alternate Titles:

Bacchus Playing Pipes (Alternate Title)

Satyr Playing the Double Pipes (Display Title)

Previous Attribution:

Unknown maker, Paduan School

Department:
Classification:
Object Type:
Object Description

Playing a double flute called an aulos, the long-legged figure of a satyr seems to dance on the balls of his feet. Probably intended as a figure in the retinue of the classical god Bacchus, the satyr is naked except for the skin of a panther, with its claws and tail still attached, that hangs over his left shoulder. The figure's proportions and pose resemble those of classical reliefs or vase paintings. Deftly handling the point of the quill, the artist indicated both light and shade, suggesting the three-dimensionality of his body with a delicate network of hatching and cross-hatching. Numerous fine lines suggest the muscles on his legs and torso and create texture on the panther pelt.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
North Italian Drawings of the 15th through the 17th Century (July 27 to October 10, 1993)
Jonathan Richardson Senior as a Collector of Drawings (November 14, 1995 to January 28, 1996)
The Body Beautiful: Artists Draw the Nude (1440-1880) (December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000)
Drawing the Classical Figure (December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009)
Gods and Heroes: European Drawings of Classical Mythology (November 19, 2013 to February 9, 2014)

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Ancient Greek Theatre

Aulos Player: Altes Museum Berlin


Aulos, an oboe-like reed wind instrument, often with two pipes. It was sometimes mistakenly called and translated by the word flute in books and articles on ancient Greece which it is not.

Ancient Greek dramatic festivals were not just theatrical spectacles but were also music and dance ones. Almost every tragedy featured a chorus comprising twelve or fifteen choreutai (members of a chorus) accompanied by an instrumentalist, principally a player on the aulos, an aulete. Between intervals of speech and dialogue performed by the actors, the chorus would sing and dance for the audience. The chorēgos (the leader of the chorus) was responsible for recruiting, training, maintaining, and costuming of the choreutai for competitive performance at the festival. The chorēgos (the leader of the chorus) who was just the financier was not the same as the leader of the chorus during the actual dancing, who was called a coryphaeus.

Phorbeia. A leather strap worn by an aulos player [aulete] to avoid excessive strain on the lips and cheeks due to continuous blowing.

Metrik der griechischen Dramatiker und Lyriker II : Rossbach, August, 1823-1898 - Internet Archive https://bit.ly/3aIwxTM

Metrik der griechischen Dramatiker und Lyriker III : Rossbach, August, 1823-1898 - Internet Archive https://bit.ly/3aIGGzL

Hagel, Stefan. “Twenty-Four in Auloi. Aristotle, Met. 1093b, the Harmony of the Spheres, and the Formation of the Perfect System.” Isbn (2005): n. pag. Print. https://bit.ly/2TKTJhb

Hughes, A. (2011). Music in comedy. Performing Greek Comedy (pp. 95-105). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511920820.006

Wilson, Peter. "The aulos in Athens" Chapter 3 in .
Simon Goldhill Robin Osborne (13 June 1999). Performance Culture and Athenian Democracy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 58–. ISBN 978-0-521-64247-7.

The Reconstruction of Ancient Greek auloi
J. G. Landels
World Archaeology
Vol. 12, No. 3, Archaeology and Musical Instruments (Feb., 1981), pp. 298-302
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/124241

The Αὐλός or Tibia
Albert A. Howard
Harvard Studies in Classical Philology
Vol. 4 (1893), pp. 1-60
Published by: Department of the Classics, Harvard University
DOI: 10.2307/310399
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/310399

An Early Fifth-Century Athenian Revolution in Aulos Music
Robert W. Wallace
Harvard Studies in Classical Philology
Vol. 101 (2003), pp. 73-92
Published by: Department of the Classics, Harvard University
DOI: 10.2307/3658525
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3658525

A Newly Discovered Aulos
J. G. Landels
The Annual of the British School at Athens
Vol. 63 (1968), pp. 231-238
Published by: British School at Athens
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30103192

Landels, J. (1963). The Brauron aulos. The Annual of the British School at Athens, 58 , 116-119. doi:10.1017/S0068245400013824

(PDF) Traces of Folk Music in Ancient Greek Drama | Eleonora Rocconi - Academia.edu https://bit.ly/2H2dtqb

Giulio Colesanti Laura Lulli (7 March 2016). Case Studies. E. Rocconni: Traces of Folk Music in Ancient Greek Drama: De Gruyter. pp. 339–. ISBN 978-3-11-042863-6 .

Auloi grecs du Louvre
A Bélis - Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 1984 - persee.fr
Annie Bélis. "Aulos." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press,
http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/01532.

La phorbéia
A Bélis - Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 1986 - persee.fr
M. L. West (1992). Ancient Greek Music. Chapter 4: Wind and Percussion: Clarendon Press. pp. 81–. ISBN 978-0-19-158685-9.

III. Fragments d'auloi
A Bélis - Bulletin de correspondance hellénique. Supplément, 1984 - persee.fr
L'Aulos Phrygien
Annie Bélis
Revue Archéologique
Nouvelle Série, Fasc. 1 (1986), pp. 21-40
Published by: Presses Universitaires de France
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41736329

L'aulète et le jeu de l'oie
A Bélis - Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 1992 - persee.fr
The Reconstruction of Ancient Greek auloi
J. G. Landels
World Archaeology
Vol. 12, No. 3, Archaeology and Musical Instruments (Feb., 1981), pp. 298-302
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/124241

Professional Musicians in Ancient Greece
J. A. Kemp
Greece & Rome
Vol. 13, No. 2 (Oct., 1966), pp. 213-222
Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/642604


Aristotle, "Poetics" 1447a13-16 and Musical Contests
Andrea Rotstein
Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik
Bd. 149 (2004), pp. 39-42
Published by: Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn (Germany)
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20191884

Alexander Lee | Published in History Today Volume 68 Issue 4 April 2018
The Lost Classics | History Today

Simon Goldhill Robin Osborne (13 June 1999). Performance Culture and Athenian Democracy. 3. Aulos in Athens: Cambridge University Press. pp. 58–. ISBN 978-0-521-64247-7.

William C. Scott (26 September 2000). Musical Design in Sophoclean Theater. Dartmouth College Press. ISBN 978-1-61168-151-2

William C. Scott (26 September 2000). Musical Design in Aeschylean Theater. Dartmouth College Press. ISBN 978-1-61168-181-9.

Hagel, S. "Calculating auloi–the Louvre aulos scale." E. Hickmann/R. Eichmann (edd.), Studien zur Musikarchäologie 4 (2004): 373-390.

Naomi A. Weiss (2018). The Music of Tragedy: Performance and Imagination in Euripidean Theater. Chapter 1: Words, Music, and Dance in Archaic Lyric and Classical Tragedy: Univ of California Press. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-0-520-29590-2.

Rosa Andújar Thomas R. P. Coward Theodora A. Hadjimichael (5 February 2018). Paths of Song: The Lyric Dimension of Greek Tragedy. De Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-057591-0.

Irina Windhaber Peter Anreiter (26 July 2013). Proceedings of the 4th Austrian Students’ Conference of Linguistics. Vereno The BagPipe: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-1-4438-5088-9.


Aulos Player, Cyclades - History

Cycladic art during the Greek Bronze Age is noted for its abstract, geometric designs of male and female figures.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the form and function of the Cycladic marble figurines

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The Cyclades are a chain of Greek islands in the middle of the Aegean Sea. They encircle the island of Delos.
  • Cycladic marble figurines of abstract male and female forms have been found at burial sites. These figurines are small, abstract, and rely on geometric shapes and flat plans for their design and would have been painted.
  • The female figurines depict a woman with her legs together and arms folded over her abdomen, with her breasts and pubic region emphasized.
  • The male figures are often depicted sitting in a chair and playing a harp or a lyre .

Key Terms

  • incised:To mark or cut the surface of an object for decoration.
  • Cycladic:Of, or relating to the Cyclades.

The Cyclades are a group of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea that encircle the island of Delos. The islands were known for their white marble, mined during the Greek Bronze Age and throughout Classical history.

Their geographical location placed them, like the island of Crete, in the center of trade between Greece, Egypt, Asia Minor, and the Near East. The indigenous civilization on the Cyclades reached its high point during the Bronze Age. The islands were later occupied by the Minoans, Mycenaeans, and later the Greeks.

Map of the Cyclades islands: A map marking the Cyclades islands.

Cycladic Sculptures

Cycladic art is best known for its small-scale, marble figurines. From the late fourth millennium BCE to the early second millennium BCE, Cycladic sculptures went through a series of stylistic shifts, with their bodily forms varying from geometric to organic. The purpose of these figurines is unknown, although all that have been discovered were located in graves. While it is clear that they were regularly used in funerary practices, their precise function remains a mystery.

Some are found in graves completely intact, others are found broken into pieces, others show signs of being used during the lifetime of the deceased, but some graves do not contain the figurines. Furthermore, the figurines were buried equally between men and women. The male and female forms do not seem to be identified with a specific gender during burial. These figures are based in simple geometric shapes.

Cycladic Female Figures

The abstract female figures all follow the same mold. Each is a carved statuette of a nude woman with her arms crossed over her abdomen. The bodies are roughly triangular and the feet are kept together. The head of the women is an inverted triangle with a rounded chin and the nose of the figurine protrudes from the center.

Each figure has modeled breasts, and incised lines draw attention to the pubic region with a triangle. The swollen bellies on some figurines might indicate pregnancy or symbolic fertility. The incised lines also provide small details, such as toes on the feet, and to delineate the arms from each other and the stomach.

Their flat back and inability to stand on their carved feet suggest that these figures were meant to lie down. While today they are featureless and remain the stark white of the marble, traces of paint allow us to know that they were once colored. Paint would have been applied on the face to demarcate the eyes, mouth, and hair. Dots were used to decorate the figures with bracelets and necklaces.

Cycladic female figure: A Cycladic female figure. Marble. Cyclades, Greece. c. 2500 BCE

Cycladic Male Figures

Male figures are also found in Cycladic grave sites. These figures differ from the females, as the male typically sits on a chair and plays a musical instrument, such as the pipes or a harp. Harp players, like the one in the example below, play the frame harp, a Near Eastern ancestor of the modern harp.

The figures, their chairs, and instruments are all carved into elegant, cylindrical shapes. Like the female figures, the shape of the male figure is reliant on geometric shapes and flat planes . The incised lines provide details (such as toes), and paint added distinctive features to the now-blank faces.

Cycladic male figure: A Cycladic male figure with the harp. Marble. Santorini, Greece. c. 2500 BCE.

Other Cycladic Figures

While reclining female and seated male figurines are the most common Cycladic sculptures discovered, other forms were produced, such as animals and abstracted humanoid forms. Examples include the terra cotta figurines of bovine animals (possibly oxen or bulls) that date to 2200–2000 BCE, and small, flat sculptures that resemble female figures shaped like violins these date to the Grotta–Pelos culture , also known as Early Cycladic I (c. 3300–2700 BCE). Like other Cycladic sculptures discovered to date, the purposes of these figurines remain unknown.

Terra cotta figurines (2200–2000 BCE): These bovine figures may be oxen or bulls.

Violin-shaped female figurines (c. 3300–2700 BCE): These flat, abstracted figurines of the female body provide one example of how its representation evolved in Cycladic art.


I have probably quoted some extracts before but published in its entirety no. Way back in the 1970's I read my way through the Edinburgh Courant from its first edition to around 1850 and extracted all the competition reports along with other material I was interested in, Donald MacDonald for example. The way it seems to have worked was that after each competition the secretary of the HSS would write a report which was sent to the newspapers and also to some of the regiments serving overseas.

Angus MacKay's accounts have been copied by him from those newspaper reports, but shortened and occasionally 'edited' when they involved him or his family. The original reports from the newspapers often include additional comments on the pipers who did not get prizes, sometimes mention the judges and so on.

I also worked my way through the HSL papers in the National Library of Scotland where the reports and accounts sent down to them from the HSS were quite comprehensive. After all although the HSS ran the competition the HSL paid for it. It was in those reports that mention is made of the bellows pipers who turned up as the expense money they were given to go away had to be accounted for to the HSL.

Some of those non competitors can sometimes be identified from other sources. For example there was a young man who was for want a better expression a little soft in the head. On the occasions he turned up they would give him his expense money plus a little extra. Subsequently while reading a book called 'Reminiscences and Reflections of an Octogenarian Highlander' whose author was a Perthshire man, published in 1910 it all came together. In it among other things he mentions a local lad who was a bit daft and a likely candidate for the one tune piper, who would most years head off to the piping competition and come back with his 'prize' money.

Then after reading the whole book the penny dropped as the rest of the family was mentioned and the 'pipers' brother became a minister and turned out to be the father of Alexander MacGregor, another minister who was the man who related the details of an interchange between Donald MacDonald and his father while in Edinburgh over how he was playing one tune.