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The Sound of the Ancient Greek Music


The epigonion, a harp-like musical instrument, was last played in Ancient Greece. But computer scientists have managed to resurrect its sound as part of the Astra Project, conjuring up an orchestra of long-lost instruments. The technology used is the “physical modelling synthesis,” a complex digital audio rendering technique which allows modelling the time-domain physics of the instrument. In other words the basic idea is to recreate a model of the musical instrument and produce the sound by simulating its behaviour as a mechanical system. The ultimate aim is a concert played on instruments that have not been heard for more than 2,000 years. The revival of the sound of ancient instruments is done through data collected by archaeologists, engineers and historians, who help to describe the materials and shape of the ancient instruments. This is all translated into a computer programme that is run on hundreds of computers in Europe that make up the Grid. The process takes four hours to produce just 30 seconds of music. Times Online: Sound of long-lost Ancient Greek instruments recreated by computer experts; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Science and the Environment