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Mousikê and cultural heritage

The Greek term "mousikê", the art of the Muse, which consists primarily of the art of singing and playing instruments, corresponds to our notion of music and what we would today refer to as culture.


The Mouseion of Alexandria was the place where the first scholars of philology and Alexandrian science lived and worked. It was here, close to the great library, that the following were established :

 the conventions of Greek writing, particularly with regard to the separation of words and their pronunciation stresses ;

  commentaries on the works of Homer, which gave rise to our grammatical tradition (Dionysius of Thrace for word classification, Apollonius Dyscole for syntax and the tradition of grammatical theory, amongst others) ;

 the entire body of Greek mathematical, astronomical and geographical science.

This all-encompassing scholarship was to form the basis of the liberal arts identified by Boethius, the guiding light of scholarship in medieval universities. Accordingly, having mastered grammar and rhetoric by studying the poets, a medieval student applied himself to logic, the principal subject of the trivium, and then the quadrivium, in which music represented the crowning glory of the body of scholarship composed of arithmetic, geometry and astronomy. .