Ancient Greek Music
by: Christian

“Even though we have many documents of music in Ancient Greece, little is known about it.” (Sandels
) Historians are still learning about the music of Ancient Greece. In mythology music is associated with multiple gods, including Apollo, Hera, the Sirens, and Pan; all were involved in Ancient Greek music. We have most of our knowledge of music from art. The god of music is often referred as Apollo. It is said that Apollo carried around a lyre while riding his chariot. Apparently music played a big part in Greek lifestyle, especially in theater. The Greeks, who invented theater, used music in many of their plays called musicals. Music was used in poetry as well. It is said that Homer sang to a tune while telling the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Music Note

Music Note
Through the research historians hope to learn more about Ancient Greek Music, since little is taught about it in schools. So far what is known is not that much, considering music was a major part of Ancient Greek lifestyle. Music was one of the most interesting things so it was very easy to make the decision. If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a historian or a school teacher looking to find more about Ancient Greek music and how it was incorporated into everyday life. Greeks used music on holidays, festivals, parties, and even in simple daily life. Story tellers would often interpret their stories into songs, much like musicians of today who tell stories with their music. The art of dance was first used by the Greeks in honor of Zeus’ wife Hera. In some villages, they have preserved their traditional music (Sandels). The ties between music and literature in Ancient Greece were very close. People would sing tales from certain epics. It is said that Homer would sing his tales, and people would sing songs of the main parts in the Iliad and Odyssey to memorize them, one of the earliest study methods. The word music is derived from the Greek word mousike, which ties in with the muses, who were believed to have given music as a gift. (Lahanas, Michael) Some even believed music had healing powers (Litchfield, Martin. Ancient Greek Music. New York City: M.L. West, 1992. Print.).

Ancient Greek Lyre

Ancient Greek Lyre
In Ancient Greece there were two main instruments. The first was the lyre, the lyre is basically a small harp. The other is a lute, it was said that Pan, a faun, is usually seen playing his lute, or panpipes. The lyre was like an early guitar, shaped like to bull horns attached together, with string for strumming. The lute was also a miniature guitar, smaller than the lyre. The lute actually survived Ancient Greece and was played throughout the Renaissance. Panpipes were also common, named after the nymph/faun Pan. They were little pipes tied together; you would blow into them to make sounds. Today you can see the musical instruments in museums, and some are still played today. Instruments are one of the few Ancient Greek musical objects we know most about.From what we know of Ancient Greek music, compared to other cultural backgrounds in their society. The closest thing we have to Ancient Greek music is their theater. Surprisingly, it was easy to find enough information. Though there are many holes in what Ancient Greek music really was like. If you want to learn more about Ancient Greek music you can go on the internet, or visit a Greek music.