MUSICAL AND DANCE ARTS
At first the music was vocal - recitative and the instruments
had just supporting role. Later on with the development of the techniques
and musical culture, some of the instruments were favourite for solo performance.
The music in Thrace was not a privilege of the chosen of God. It was a
popular art, sprung out of their spirit, out of the vitality of Dionysus
his fellow-traveler the god of the forest Pan. The Thracians used music
during fiestas, funerals, while negotiations took place, in time of wars
and in peace.Theodor Cicilian considers the Thracians being the greatest
figures in music and in religion in the ancient world. Some of the eminent
Greek philosophers and music teachers used the thracians methods of performance
of music and its instruments. Flues, reed pipe, oboes and clarinets were
well known in the ancient world including Thrace.
Strabon speaks about the wooden single-barreled
flue, used and improved by the Thracians; he describes as well some instruments
with barbaric names as nabla, sambiska, barbit, and magadida.
Trumpet possessed mainly military usage - for call
signals on horse march and attacks.
The most famous stringed instruments were thrionosa,
nabla, lektisa, and different types of harps from Syrian, Fynikian and
Lydian origin, and magadika as well. But the most useful were the lyre
and the guitar.
From the group of the percussion instruments in
Thrace were famous: kimvali - made of copper or bronze with smaller size
than today's cymbals. Their land is Asia. The kettle - drums and bronze
bells were used as music necessity for the rituals, cults and festivals.
In spite of the percussion instruments the Thracians
knew and tumultuous instruments such as krotali (a kind of castanets) and
The Thracian dances have their beginning still from
ancient times, as the other nations. They played mimic dances, cult dances,
dances, which they played like animals during, rain, thunders, after battles…
the cult and the folk- dances were played mostly with the percussion instruments.
The Thracian dances were played with poly-semantic symbolism and with a
full energy of the bacchans who were at the cults to god Dionysus. They
also played dances over a sparkling live coils bear-legged in a trance
- the so-called nestinarski dances.