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The Prosthetic Voice in Ancient Greece

The Prosthetic Voice in Ancient Greece

(p.277) 13 The Prosthetic Voice in Ancient Greece
The Voice as Something More
Sarah Nooter
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines instances in Greek literature where the voice is conceptualized as transformed through objects that act as prostheses for the vocalizing body. The particular objects under discussion are two musical instruments: an oboe (the aulos) and a war-trumpet (the salpinx). Both of these instruments were perceived as shifting the boundaries of human voice and body, the aulos by summoning dangerous affective power and the salpinx by producing an aura of invulnerability. The voice in these transformations becomes both an extension of ability and a displacement of identity. The chapter explores the descriptions and implications of these transformations in texts by Aristophanes, Pindar, Homer, Aeschylus, and Aristotle in view of the theories of Mladen Dolar, Steven Connor, and Adriana Cavarero.

Keywords:   voice, prosthesis, musical instruments, ancient Greece, Aristophanes, Pindar, Homer, Aeschylus, Aristotle

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