The Magic Music of Orpheus and Apollo

apollo-iconBelief in a mystical or spiritual dimension of music is illustrated in early myths about the magic lyre of Orpheus, Apollo, and Hermes. The practice of the “ancient singing of songs to the Orphic lyre” lay at the heart of the esoteric activities of the Platonic Academy under Ficino and Pico della Mirandola in the Renaissance. The idea of a special natural power inherent in speech, song and music was believed by many ancient peoples, including the Celtic bards and Druids, and later, in Christian writings. In the beginning, was ‘the word’…

apollinisCome and learn about ‘the magic of music’, the connections between certain musical tones, colours, and visual images, and ‘the music of the spheres’ idea in Platonic writings. Listen to, or sing along with, special chants and songs from earlier times, and hear a live harp demonstration of ancient songs and meditative music. We will learn about how the ancient Greeks viewed the connection between sound and visual images/geometric shapes, and will explore our individual responses to certain sounds or music. Meditation, dancing and storytelling will complete our journey into the world of sound, music and harmony.

Karen will also do some storytelling and play the wire-strung Celtic harp and flute. Explore with us… This workshop is led by Dr. Karen Ralls (University of Edinburgh), author of Music and the Celtic Otherworld (2000), Indigenous Religious Musics (2001), The Quest for the Celtic Key (2002), and The Templars and the Grail (May 2003).


Other topics can be arranged – see the Seminars and Books pages for topics and subject ideas that might suit your organisation or venue.

If you would like to bring Karen to speak about her books, or teach in your area, or if you know of an organisation that sponsors similar workshops and Seminars, please contact Ancient Quest for further details.