The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist. It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928; the instrument's controlling section consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, amplitude with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are sent to a loudspeaker; the sound of the instrument is associated with eerie situations. Thus, the theremin has been used in movie soundtracks such as Miklós Rózsa's Spellbound and The Lost Weekend, Bernard Herrmann's The Day the Earth Stood Still, Justin Hurwitz's First Man, as well as in theme songs for television shows such as the ITV drama Midsomer Murders; the theremin is used in concert music, in popular music genres such as rock. The theremin was the product of Soviet government-sponsored research into proximity sensors; the instrument was invented by a young Russian physicist named Lev Sergeyevich Termen in October 1920 after the outbreak of the Russian Civil War.
After a lengthy tour of Europe, during which time he demonstrated his invention to packed houses, Theremin moved to the United States, where he patented his invention in 1928. Subsequently, Theremin granted commercial production rights to RCA. Although the RCA Thereminvox was not a commercial success, it fascinated audiences in America and abroad. Clara Rockmore, a well-known thereminist, toured to wide acclaim, performing a classical repertoire in concert halls around the United States sharing the bill with Paul Robeson. During the 1930s, Lucie Bigelow Rosen was taken with the theremin and together with her husband Walter Bigelow Rosen provided both financial and artistic support to the development and popularisation of the instrument. In 1938, Theremin left the United States, though the circumstances related to his departure are in dispute. Many accounts claim he was taken from his New York City apartment by NKVD agents, taken back to the Soviet Union and made to work in a sharashka laboratory prison camp at Magadan, Siberia.
He reappeared 30 years later. In his 2000 biography of the inventor, Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage, Albert Glinsky suggested the Russian had fled to escape crushing personal debts, was caught up in Stalin's political purges. In any case, Theremin did not return to the United States until 1991. After a flurry of interest in America following the end of the Second World War, the theremin soon fell into disuse with serious musicians because newer electronic instruments were introduced that were easier to play. However, a niche interest in the theremin persisted among electronics enthusiasts and kit-building hobbyists. One of these electronics enthusiasts, Robert Moog, began building theremins in the 1950s, while he was a high-school student. Moog subsequently published a number of articles about building theremins, sold theremin kits that were intended to be assembled by the customer. Moog credited what he learned from the experience as leading directly to his groundbreaking synthesizer, the Moog.
Since the release of the film Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey in 1993, the instrument has enjoyed a resurgence in interest and has become more used by contemporary musicians. Though many theremin sounds can be approximated on many modern synthesizers, some musicians continue to appreciate the expressiveness and uniqueness of using an actual theremin; the film itself has garnered excellent reviews. Both theremin instruments and kits are available from manufacturers such as Moog Music Inc. Burns Theremins, Harrison Instruments, Inc. Theremaniacs LLC, PAiA Corporation USA, Jaycar Electronics; some inexpensive theremins may only have a pitch control and may be harder to play because of a non-linear relationship between the distance of the hand and resultant pitch, as well as a short span of hand-to-antenna distance for producing the available range of pitch. The theremin is distinguished among musical instruments in that it is played without physical contact; the thereminist stands in front of the instrument and moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas.
The distance from one antenna determines frequency, the distance from the other controls amplitude. Higher notes are played by moving the hand closer to the pitch antenna. Louder notes are played by moving the hand away from the volume antenna. Most the right hand controls the pitch and the left controls the volume, although some performers reverse this arrangement; some low-cost theremins use a conventional, knob operated volume control and have only the pitch antenna. While called antennas, they are not used for receiving or broadcasting radio waves, but act as plates of capacitors; the theremin uses the heterodyne principle to generate an audio signal. The instrument's pitch circuitry includes two radio frequency oscillators set below 500 kHz to minimize radio interference. One oscillator operates at a fixed frequency; the frequency of the other oscillator is identical, is controlled by the performer's distance from the pitch control antenna. The
Radio is the technology of signalling or communicating using radio waves. Radio waves are electromagnetic waves of frequency between 300 gigahertz, they are generated by an electronic device called a transmitter connected to an antenna which radiates the waves, received by a radio receiver connected to another antenna. Radio is widely used in modern technology, in radio communication, radio navigation, remote control, remote sensing and other applications. In radio communication, used in radio and television broadcasting, cell phones, two-way radios, wireless networking and satellite communication among numerous other uses, radio waves are used to carry information across space from a transmitter to a receiver, by modulating the radio signal in the transmitter. In radar, used to locate and track objects like aircraft, ships and missiles, a beam of radio waves emitted by a radar transmitter reflects off the target object, the reflected waves reveal the object's location. In radio navigation systems such as GPS and VOR, a mobile receiver receives radio signals from navigational radio beacons whose position is known, by measuring the arrival time of the radio waves the receiver can calculate its position on Earth.
In wireless remote control devices like drones, garage door openers, keyless entry systems, radio signals transmitted from a controller device control the actions of a remote device. Applications of radio waves which do not involve transmitting the waves significant distances, such as RF heating used in industrial processes and microwave ovens, medical uses such as diathermy and MRI machines, are not called radio; the noun radio is used to mean a broadcast radio receiver. Radio waves were first identified and studied by German physicist Heinrich Hertz in 1886; the first practical radio transmitters and receivers were developed around 1895-6 by Italian Guglielmo Marconi, radio began to be used commercially around 1900. To prevent interference between users, the emission of radio waves is regulated by law, coordinated by an international body called the International Telecommunications Union, which allocates frequency bands in the radio spectrum for different uses. Radio waves are radiated by electric charges undergoing acceleration.
They are generated artificially by time varying electric currents, consisting of electrons flowing back and forth in a metal conductor called an antenna. In transmission, a transmitter generates an alternating current of radio frequency, applied to an antenna; the antenna radiates the power in the current as radio waves. When the waves strike the antenna of a radio receiver, they push the electrons in the metal back and forth, inducing a tiny alternating current; the radio receiver connected to the receiving antenna detects this oscillating current and amplifies it. As they travel further from the transmitting antenna, radio waves spread out so their signal strength decreases, so radio transmissions can only be received within a limited range of the transmitter, the distance depending on the transmitter power, antenna radiation pattern, receiver sensitivity, noise level, presence of obstructions between transmitter and receiver. An omnidirectional antenna transmits or receives radio waves in all directions, while a directional antenna or high gain antenna transmits radio waves in a beam in a particular direction, or receives waves from only one direction.
Radio waves travel through a vacuum at the speed of light, in air at close to the speed of light, so the wavelength of a radio wave, the distance in meters between adjacent crests of the wave, is inversely proportional to its frequency. In radio communication systems, information is carried across space using radio waves. At the sending end, the information to be sent is converted by some type of transducer to a time-varying electrical signal called the modulation signal; the modulation signal may be an audio signal representing sound from a microphone, a video signal representing moving images from a video camera, or a digital signal consisting of a sequence of bits representing binary data from a computer. The modulation signal is applied to a radio transmitter. In the transmitter, an electronic oscillator generates an alternating current oscillating at a radio frequency, called the carrier wave because it serves to "carry" the information through the air; the information signal is used to modulate the carrier, varying some aspect of the carrier wave, impressing the information on the carrier.
Different radio systems use different modulation methods: AM - in an AM transmitter, the amplitude of the radio carrier wave is varied by the modulation signal. FM - in an FM transmitter, the frequency of the radio carrier wave is varied by the modulation signal. FSK - used in wireless digital devices to transmit digital signals, the frequency of the carrier wave is shifted periodically between two frequencies that represent the two binary digits, 0 and 1, to transmit a sequence of bits. OFDM - a family of complicated digital modulation methods widely used in high bandwidth systems such as WiFi networks, digital television broadcasting, digital audio broadcasting to transmit digital data using a minimum of radio spectrum bandwidth. OFDM has higher spectral efficiency and more resistance to fading than AM or FM. Multiple radio carrier waves spaced in frequency are transmitted within the radio channel, with each carrier modulated with bits from the incoming bitstream
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
Compact disc is a digital optical disc data storage format, co-developed by Philips and Sony and released in 1982. The format was developed to store and play only sound recordings but was adapted for storage of data. Several other formats were further derived from these, including write-once audio and data storage, rewritable media, Video Compact Disc, Super Video Compact Disc, Photo CD, PictureCD, CD-i, Enhanced Music CD; the first commercially available audio CD player, the Sony CDP-101, was released October 1982 in Japan. Standard CDs have a diameter of 120 millimetres and can hold up to about 80 minutes of uncompressed audio or about 700 MiB of data; the Mini CD has various diameters ranging from 60 to 80 millimetres. At the time of the technology's introduction in 1982, a CD could store much more data than a personal computer hard drive, which would hold 10 MB. By 2010, hard drives offered as much storage space as a thousand CDs, while their prices had plummeted to commodity level. In 2004, worldwide sales of audio CDs, CD-ROMs and CD-Rs reached about 30 billion discs.
By 2007, 200 billion CDs had been sold worldwide. From the early 2000s CDs were being replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution, with the result that by 2010 the number of audio CDs being sold in the U. S. had dropped about 50% from their peak. In 2014, revenues from digital music services matched those from physical format sales for the first time. American inventor James T. Russell has been credited with inventing the first system to record digital information on an optical transparent foil, lit from behind by a high-power halogen lamp. Russell's patent application was filed in 1966, he was granted a patent in 1970. Following litigation and Philips licensed Russell's patents in the 1980s; the compact disc is an evolution of LaserDisc technology, where a focused laser beam is used that enables the high information density required for high-quality digital audio signals. Prototypes were developed by Sony independently in the late 1970s. Although dismissed by Philips Research management as a trivial pursuit, the CD became the primary focus for Philips as the LaserDisc format struggled.
In 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the Red Book CD-DA standard was published in 1980. After their commercial release in 1982, compact discs and their players were popular. Despite costing up to $1,000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984. By 1988, CD sales in the United States surpassed those of vinyl LPs, by 1992 CD sales surpassed those of prerecorded music cassette tapes; the success of the compact disc has been credited to the cooperation between Philips and Sony, which together agreed upon and developed compatible hardware. The unified design of the compact disc allowed consumers to purchase any disc or player from any company, allowed the CD to dominate the at-home music market unchallenged. In 1974, Lou Ottens, director of the audio division of Philips, started a small group with the aim to develop an analog optical audio disc with a diameter of 20 cm and a sound quality superior to that of the vinyl record.
However, due to the unsatisfactory performance of the analog format, two Philips research engineers recommended a digital format in March 1974. In 1977, Philips established a laboratory with the mission of creating a digital audio disc; the diameter of Philips's prototype compact disc was set at 11.5 cm, the diagonal of an audio cassette. Heitaro Nakajima, who developed an early digital audio recorder within Japan's national public broadcasting organization NHK in 1970, became general manager of Sony's audio department in 1971, his team developed a digital PCM adaptor audio tape recorder using a Betamax video recorder in 1973. After this, in 1974 the leap to storing digital audio on an optical disc was made. Sony first publicly demonstrated an optical digital audio disc in September 1976. A year in September 1977, Sony showed the press a 30 cm disc that could play 60 minutes of digital audio using MFM modulation. In September 1978, the company demonstrated an optical digital audio disc with a 150-minute playing time, 44,056 Hz sampling rate, 16-bit linear resolution, cross-interleaved error correction code—specifications similar to those settled upon for the standard compact disc format in 1980.
Technical details of Sony's digital audio disc were presented during the 62nd AES Convention, held on 13–16 March 1979, in Brussels. Sony's AES technical paper was published on 1 March 1979. A week on 8 March, Philips publicly demonstrated a prototype of an optical digital audio disc at a press conference called "Philips Introduce Compact Disc" in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Sony executive Norio Ohga CEO and chairman of Sony, Heitaro Nakajima were convinced of the format's commercial potential and pushed further development despite widespread skepticism; as a result, in 1979, Sony and Philips set up a joint task force of engineers to design a new digital audio disc. Led by engineers Kees Schouhamer Immink and Toshitada Doi, the research pushed forward laser and optical disc technology. After a year of experimentation and discussion, the task force produced the Red Book CD-DA standard. First published in 1980, the stand
Lev Sergeyevich Termen, or Léon Theremin in the United States, was a Russian and Soviet inventor, most famous for his invention of the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments and the first to be mass-produced. He devised the interlace technique for improving the quality of a video signal, still used in video and television technology, his listening device, "The Thing", hung for seven years in plain view in the United States Ambassador's Moscow office and enabled Soviet agents to eavesdrop on secret conversations. Léon Theremin was born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire in 1896 into a family of French Huguenot and German ancestry, he had a sister named Helena. In the seventh class of his high school before an audience of students and parents he demonstrated various optical effects using electricity. By the age of 17, when he was in his last year of high school, he had his own laboratory at home for experimenting with high-frequency circuits and magnetic fields, his cousin, Kirill Fedorovich Nesturkh a young physicist, a singer named Wagz invited him to attend the defense of the dissertation of Abram Fedorovich Ioffe.
Physics lecturer Vladimir Konstantinovich Lebedinskiy had explained to Theremin the dispute over Ioffe's work on the electron. On 9 May 1913 his cousin attended Ioffe's dissertation defense. Ioffe's subject was on the elementary photoelectric effect, the magnetic field of cathode rays and related investigations. In 1917 Theremin wrote that Ioffe talked of electrons, the photoelectric effect and magnetic fields as parts of an objective reality that surrounds us everyday, unlike others that talked more of somewhat abstract formulae and symbols. Theremin wrote that he found this explanation revelatory and that it fit a scientific – not abstract – view of the world, different scales of magnitude, matter. From on Theremin endeavoured to study the microcosm, in the same way he had studied the macrocosm with his hand-built telescope. Kyrill introduced Theremin to Ioffe as a young experimenter and physicist, future student of the university. Theremin recalled that while still in his last year of school, he had built a million-volt Tesla coil and noticed a strong glow associated with his attempts to ionise the air.
He wished to further investigate the effects using university resources. A chance meeting with Abram Fedorovich Ioffe led to a recommendation to see Karl Karlovich Baumgart, in charge of the physics laboratory equipment. Karl reserved a room and equipment for Theremin's experiments. Abram Fedorovich suggested Theremin look at methods of creating gas fluorescence under different conditions and of examining the resulting light's spectra. However, during these investigations Theremin was called up for World War I military service. Although only in his second academic year, the deanery of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy recommended that Theremin go to the Nikolayevska Military Engineering School in Petrograd, which only accepted students in their fourth year. Theremin recalled that Ioffe reassured him that the war would not last long and that military experience would be useful for scientific applications. Beginning his military service in 1916, Theremin finished the Military Engineering School in six months, progressed through the Graduate Electronic School for Officers, attained the military radio-engineer diploma in the same year.
In the course of the next three and a half years he oversaw the construction of a radio station in Saratov to connect the Volga area with Moscow, graduated from Petrograd University, became deputy leader of the new Military Radiotechnical Laboratory in Moscow, finished as the broadcast supervisor of the radio transmitter at Tsarskoye Selo near Petrograd. During the Russian civil war, in October 1919 White Army commander Nikolai Nikolayevich Yudenich advanced on Petrograd from the side of Detskoye Selo intending to capture the radio station to announce a victory over the Bolsheviks. Theremin and others evacuated the station. Theremin detonated explosives to destroy the 120-meter-high antennae mast before traveling to Petrograd to set up an international listening station. There he trained radio specialists but reported difficulties obtaining food and working with foreign experts whom he described as narrow-minded pessimists. Theremin recalled that on an evening when his hopes of overcoming these obstructing experts reached a low ebb, Abram Fedorovich Ioffe telephoned him.
Ioffe asked Theremin to come to his newly founded Physical Technical Institute in Petrograd, the next day he invited him to start work at developing measuring methods for high-frequency electrical oscillations. The day after Ioffe's invitation, Theremin started at the institute, he worked in diverse fields: applying the Laue effect to the new field of X-ray analysis of crystals. He built a high-frequency oscillator to measure the dielectric constant of gases with high precision. While adapting the dielectric device by adding circuitry to generate an audio tone, Theremin noticed that the pitch changed when his hand moved around. In October 1920 he first demonstrated this to Ioffe who called in other professors and students to hear. Theremin recalled trying to find the notes for tunes he remembered from when he played the cello, such as the S
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, song and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality and immediacy of the experience; the specific place of the performance is named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον, itself from θεάομαι. Modern Western theatre comes, in large measure, from the theatre of ancient Greece, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, many of its themes, stock characters, plot elements. Theatre artist Patrice Pavis defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts and the arts in general.
Modern theatre includes performances of musical theatre. The art forms of ballet and opera are theatre and use many conventions such as acting and staging, they were influential to the development of musical theatre. The city-state of Athens is, it was part of a broader culture of theatricality and performance in classical Greece that included festivals, religious rituals, law and gymnastics, poetry, weddings and symposia. Participation in the city-state's many festivals—and mandatory attendance at the City Dionysia as an audience member in particular—was an important part of citizenship. Civic participation involved the evaluation of the rhetoric of orators evidenced in performances in the law-court or political assembly, both of which were understood as analogous to the theatre and came to absorb its dramatic vocabulary; the Greeks developed the concepts of dramatic criticism and theatre architecture. Actors were either amateur or at best semi-professional; the theatre of ancient Greece consisted of three types of drama: tragedy and the satyr play.
The origins of theatre in ancient Greece, according to Aristotle, the first theoretician of theatre, are to be found in the festivals that honoured Dionysus. The performances were given in semi-circular auditoria cut into hillsides, capable of seating 10,000–20,000 people; the stage consisted of a dancing floor, dressing scene-building area. Since the words were the most important part, good acoustics and clear delivery were paramount; the actors wore masks appropriate to the characters they represented, each might play several parts. Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE, continued to be popular until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. No tragedies from the 6th century BCE and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in during the 5th century BCE have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus and Euripides.
The origins of tragedy remain obscure, though by the 5th century BCE it was institutionalised in competitions held as part of festivities celebrating Dionysus. As contestants in the City Dionysia's competition playwrights were required to present a tetralogy of plays, which consisted of three tragedies and one satyr play; the performance of tragedies at the City Dionysia may have begun as early as 534 BCE. Most Athenian tragedies dramatise events from Greek mythology, though The Persians—which stages the Persian response to news of their military defeat at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE—is the notable exception in the surviving drama; when Aeschylus won first prize for it at the City Dionysia in 472 BCE, he had been writing tragedies for more than 25 years, yet its tragic treatment of recent history is the earliest example of drama to survive. More than 130 years the philosopher Aristotle analysed 5th-century Athenian tragedy in the oldest surviving work of dramatic theory—his Poetics. Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, "Old Comedy", "Middle Comedy", "New Comedy".
Old Comedy survives today in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes, while Middle Comedy is lost. New Comedy is known from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander. Aristotle defined comedy as a representation of laughable people that involves some kind of blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster. In addition to the categories of comedy and tragedy at the City Dionysia, the festival included the Satyr Play. Finding its origins in rural, agricultural rituals dedicated to Dionysus, the satyr play found its way to Athens in its most well-known form. Satyr's themselves were tied to the god Dionysus as his loyal woodland companions engaging in drunken revelry and mischief at his side; the satyr play itself was classified as tragicomedy, erring