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Musics ! Echoes of Antiquity

Sep 13, 2017 - Jan 15, 2018

10am - 6pm



Last wednesday the exhibition “Musics ! Echoes of Antiquity” opened at the Louvre-Lens,

to which IRCAM contributed by reconstructing the sound of the cornua of Pompeii (roman trumpet).

This exhibition is the result of a joint research program initiated in 2012 within the French Schools abroad, involving researchers, academics and curators. Eight commissioners, but also laboratories – IRCAM, C2RMF – an acoustician, an archeometallurgist,…took up the challenge of evoking sound universes for none of us ever knew or heard. Its in particular, IRCAM’s Sound Systems and Signals: Audio/Acoustics, InstruMents (S3AM) team that contributed to this project. They develop theoretical, technological and experimental tools dealing with multiphysical systems and the sound signals they produce within IRCAM.

With music as a guideline, involve on a unprecedented and exciting journey to discover the great civilizations of Antiquity: the East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Miraculously preserved, remains of musical instruments, scraps of musical notations and magnificent performances of musicians listen to 3000 years of history. From Mesopotamian tablets to Roman monumental remains, through Egyptian papyrus and sarcophagi as well as Greek vases, the exhibition gather about 400 works of great diversity. For the first time, discover the worlds of sound forever gone and listen to the oldest song known to date in the world !

Exhibition’s intention

In ancient societies music is omnipresent. The exhibition “Musics ! Echoes of Antiquity ” invites you to travel, by following this common thread, four major cultural areas of antiquity: the East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. The course enable to discover that music is everywhere backing into power. Present on the battlefields, it also resonates in the temples; it is combined to the sacred and its magical effects go beyond the aesthetic pleasure of hearing. The aim of this exhibition is to introduce the importance of this extraordinary musical heritage and to show the diversity of its cultural use, from Iran to Gaul. Thanks to the rich contributions of the current research, it aims to reconstruct the sound landscapes of each culture, that is to say the set of sounds then perceived and their interpretation.


Atelier AtoY – Naori Yamazoe et Chiaki Yatsui.

Useful informations 
Open every day from 10am to 6pm, except Tuesdays. 
Closed on December 25 and January 1. 
Free for children under 18 / 18-25 years old : 5 € / full rate : 10 €