Pindar’s Voices: Music, Ethics and Reperformance

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This article analyses monodic reperformance of epinicians in the fifth century BC and argues that the musical and ethical dimensions of such performances were mutually reinforcing. Reperformances by solo singers would have strongly foregrounded the agency of the individual performer, while also enacting his understanding of musical conventions. This relationship forms a structural parallel with the function of ethical statements in epinicians, which are usually conventional in terms of their conceptual content and yet also emphasize the agency of individuals in responding to them. I argue that the parallelism between ethics and monodic reperformance is an important thematic strand in Nemean 4 and Isthmian 2, and prefigures the responses that the poems elicit from audiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142–62
JournalJournal of Hellenic Studies
Early online date7 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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