Audio

Bastille’s “Pompeii”: A Modern Song About An Ancient Place

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

Thank you for joining us today, whether it is your first time or you’ve been with us from the start. We try our best to bring you as many forms of media about Ancient Rome as possible.

Today we bring back the music as we share a modern take on an ancient location as we share Bastille’s Pompeii!

And if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like you’ve been here before?

Pompeii is a song by English indie rock band Bastille. It is the 4th single from their debut studio album Bad Blood and the first to get major airplay and promotion.

The video follows Bastille frontman Dan Smith, as he wanders about an empty-looking Los Angeles, before realizing the few people around all have unnatural vacant black eyes. He steals a car and drives into the desert to escape them, but the car breaks down and he soon realizes he’s been infected as well.

He climbs a mountain and looks out at the view, before turning around to reveal his own eyes meanwhile have turned black as well. The story is an allegory for the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii.

The official music video was filmed in Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California. The video was first released onto YouTube on 20 January 2013.

Lyrically, the song is about the Roman town of the same name, which met its fate with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It was nominated for British Single of the Year at the 2014 BRIT Awards.

We hope you enjoyed today’s musical interlude. Maybe you’ll even have a Pompeii experience of your own, real or imagined.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

 

Even More Music from Ancient Rome

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

Since our inception, we have shared written articles, quotations, images and videos. About a month ago we did a RAE first and shared acoustic presentations (Music of Ancient Rome and More Music from Ancient Rome).

Let’s keep that trend going as today we bring you even more music of Ancient Rome!

Musicians in a detail from the Zliten mosaic (2nd Century AD), originally shown as accompanying gladiator combat and wild-animal events in the arena (from left: the tuba, hydraulis, and 2 cornua).

Roman-style instruments are found in parts of the Empire where they did not originate, and indicate that music was among the aspects of Roman culture that spread throughout the provinces.

The Roman tuba was a long, straight bronze trumpet with a detachable, conical mouthpiece like that of the modern French horn. Extant examples are about 4.3 feet long, and have a cylindrical bore from the mouthpiece to the point where the bell flares abruptly, similar to the modern straight trumpet seen in presentations of ‘period music’.

Since there were no valves, the tuba was capable only of a single overtone series that would probably sound familiar to the modern ear, given the limitations of musical acoustics for instruments of this construction. In the military it was used for bugle calls, while the tuba is also depicted in art such as mosaics accompanying games (ludi) and spectacle events.

The cornu (horn) was a long tubular metal wind instrument that curved around the musician’s body, shaped rather like an uppercase G. It had a conical bore (again like a French horn) and a conical mouthpiece.

It may be hard to distinguish from the buccina. The cornu was used for military signals and on parade.

The Cornicen was a military Signal Officer who translated orders into calls. Like the tuba, the cornu also appears as accompaniment for public events and spectacle entertainments.

The tibia, usually double, had 2 double-reed (as in a modern oboe) pipes, not joined but generally played with a mouth-band capistrum to hold both pipes steadily between the player’s lips. Modern changes indicate that they produced a low, clarinet-like sound.

There is some confusion about the exact nature of the instrument. Alternate descriptions, however, indicate each pipe having a single reed (like a modern clarinet) instead of a double reed.

We hope this struck a chord with you. Hopefully we shall be able to bring you more music, along with more information about the music of Ancient Rome.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

More Music from Ancient Rome

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

Since our inception, we have shared written articles, quotations, images and videos. A little over a week ago, we did a RAE first and shared an acoustic presentation (Music of Ancient Rome).

Let’s keep that trend going as today we bring you the music of Ancient Rome!

Trio of musicians playing an aulos, cymbala, and tympanum.

Etruscan music had an early influence on that of the Romans. During the Imperial period, Romans carried their music to the provinces, while traditions of Asia Minor, North Africa and Gaul became a part of Roman culture.

Music accompanied spectacles and events in the arena, and was part of the performing arts form called pantomimus, an early form of story ballet that combined expressive dancing, instrumental music and a sung libretto.

Clicking the play button below will give you almost 2 hour’s worth of music that will take you back in time.

This was “Ludi Inter Pana Atque Nymphas” by Synaulia.

We hope this struck a chord with you. Hopefully we shall be able to bring you more music, along with more information about the music of Ancient Rome.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!

Music of Ancient Rome

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

Since our inception, we have shared written articles, quotations, images and videos. Never, though, have we brought you an acoustic presentation.

That all ends now as today we bring you the music of Ancient Rome!

The music of Ancient Rome was a part of Roman culture from earliest times. Song (carmen) was an integral part of almost every social occasion.

Etruscan music had an influence on that of the Roman Kingdom (Rēgnum Rōmānum) and Roman Republic (Res Publica Romana). During the Roman Empire (Imperium Rōmānum), Romans carried their music to the provinces (provinciae), while traditions of Asia Minor, North Africa and Gaul (Gallia) became a part of Roman culture.

Clicking the play button below will give you over an hour’s worth of music that will take you back in time.

Music accompanied spectacles and events in the arena, and was part of the performing arts form called pantomimus, an early form of story ballet that combined expressive dancing, instrumental music and a sung libretto. Music was also customary at funerals, and the tibia (Greek aulos), a woodwind instrument, was played at sacrifices to ward off ill influences.

The Secular Ode of Horace, for instance, was commissioned by Emperor Augustus and performed by a mixed children’s choir at the Secular Games in 17 BC. Under the influence of ancient Greek theory, music was thought to reflect the orderliness of the cosmos, and was associated particularly with mathematics and knowledge.

We hope this struck a chord with you. Hopefully we shall be able to bring you more music, along with more information about the music of Ancient Rome.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!