I've been wanting to ask about the development of the Ancient Greek scales into the modern modes, but I keep putting-off the research that I feel would be necessary to make a really good question. There is this recent question which really doesn't get into what I consider the interesting stuff. Like what are the specific scales that Aristotle is complaining about the The Republic, the "bad" ones?
The pivotal figure in this mystery appears to be Beothius, author of a trilogy on music (Music of the Spheres, Instrumental Music, Music within the Human Body). It is Boethius who gave our modern names to these scales, but it's commonly regarded that he didn't mean the same things that Plato and Aristotle were talking about. And my alibris search has failed these last 10 years to turn up any English translations of these works (or even an affordable facsimile/transcription of the Greek).
There are just so many, many partial results and speculations and weird tangents that whenever I set out to nail down a specific question that I might post here, I just get inundated by the material I find, and can't seem to filter-out the truth for lack of ... energy, discipline, something-else?
How can I make a good, answerable question out of this mess?