Audio-Visual Technology and Greek Tragedy

Audio-Visual Technology and Greek Tragedy

Audio-Visual Technology and Greek Tragedy

The history of audio-visual technology spans thousands of years. Probably the earliest piece of audio-visual technology in Western civilisation is the mask used by actors in Greek tragedy, which flourished around 2500 years ago in Athens. The mask is large and has an exaggerated, stylised expression to indicate to the audience what kind of character is being played. It also has a horn piece extending from the mouth to amplify what the speaker is saying. This mask was the only real piece of audio-visual technology available to the actors of Greek tragedy.

Have Things Really Changed That Much?

Today, we have so much audio-visual equipment available to us: lighting, sound systems, video walls, stages etc. But have things really changed that much? The ancient Athenians got on fine with only the mask to rely on. They had no need of artificial lighting as Greek tragedies were performed in the day time so everyone could view them. They didn’t need a P.A. system as the shape of the theatre enhanced the natural acoustics so that everyone could hear the performance. There was also the chorus which served as a lead for emotional responses, very much in the same way that music manipulates us in mainstream film entertainment today. Also, as a visual aid, the characters moved with expanded gestures so the spectators could follow the action.

Early Audio-Visual Technology - Audio Visual Rental

If You Had A Time Machine

If you had a time machine and you transported yourself back to ancient Athens during the tragic festival at the theatre of Dionysus, how would it compare to our forms of art and entertainment today? It is likely that it wouldn’t be all that different. And if you were to take an ancient Athenian back with you to today’s world and show him a music festival, it is likely that he wouldn’t be shocked or freaked out at all, that he would fully understand what is going on. In fact, he would probably want to stay and have a few beers!

Audio Visual Technology Hasn’t Changed Events In Any Fundamental Way

Audio-visual technology makes life easy for performers and entertainers today. They don’t have to exert themselves to be seen or heard. However, it is likely that there is only a very small leap from ancient Greek tragedy to modern films and music concerts. Audio-visual technology hasn’t changed performances and entertainment events in any fundamental way. It is like putting a frame on a photograph or painting: it enhances its beauty and impact without changing it in any essential way.

Audio-Visual Technology and Greek Tragedy - AV Rental

Audio Visual Technology Have Given Artists More Tools To Work With

However, audio-visual technology is evolving fast and while it won’t change the fundamental play and dynamic of spectator and performer, it has given artists more tools to work with and express themselves with. No doubt, if those venerable ancient Greeks had access to today’s technology they would have embraced it fully. So, if you have an event coming up and you are thinking of putting on a show and making an impact, or letting the artist in you out, then go for it! We are here to advise and serve you in the best way we can so give us a call now on +353 1 4133 892 or contact us online!

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