Stasimon

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Stasimon (Ancient Greek: στάσιμον) in Greek tragedy is a stationary song, composed of strophes and antistrophes and performed by the chorus in the orchestra. The Greek word ὀρχήστρα means "place where the chorus dances".[1]

Aristotle states in the Poetics (1452b23) that each choral song (or melos) of a tragedy is divided into two parts, first the parodos (Ancient Greek: πάροδος) (para + hodos road) and then the stasimon. He defines the latter as "a choral song without anapaests or trochaics".[2] This comment about the absence of anapest and trochee has been interpreted to mean that the music was not based on the usual “walking” meters, since the chorus sings the stasimon while remaining in the orchestra. After making its entrance singing the parodos, it does not usually leave the orchestra until the end of the play.[3]

The Suda, an 11th-century Byzantine encyclopedia, attributes the establishment of the choral singing of a stasimon to the celebrated kitharode Arion of Hermione.[4]

References[edit]

  • LSJ:stasimos Act. stopping; Pass. standing, stationary.
  1. ^ Pierre Chantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque: histoire des mots (Paris: Éditions Klincksieck, 1968–80): 3:830.
  2. ^ Translation by William Hamilton Fyfe, in Aristotle in 23 Volumes (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1932).
  3. ^ Thomas J. Mathiesen, Apollo's Lyre: Greek Music and Music Theory in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Publications of the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature 2 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999): 97.
  4. ^ Thomas J. Mathiesen, Apollo's Lyre: Greek Music and Music Theory in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Publications of the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature 2 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999): 74.