Music formed an integral part of ancient Greek culture. From wedding to funerals, folk songs, and theatre, Ancient Greek Musical Instruments were used everywhere. The very word music comes from the name of Greek goddesses Muses, daughters of Zeus.
The ancient Greek philosophy of music is very interesting. They believed that music was necessary to form the relationship between man and God. The most important ancient Greek musical instrument is the lyre, associated with Zeus himself.
Ancient Greeks believed that god Apollo invented the lyre. They believe that Amphion, son of Zeus build the walls of Thebes by playing the lyre. When the music began, walls were magically formed from the stones.
Some ancient Greek musical instruments
The Ancient Greek Musical Instruments are into three categories. They were string instruments, drum instruments, and wind instruments.
Ancient Greece Musical String instruments
? Lyre was the most important string instruments from ancient Greece. It had a lot of religious value. The strings of the instrument were strum and not plucked. A plectrum was used to strum it. Many Greek recitations were made with the lyre playing in the background.
? Turtle shell was used to make the sound-chest which was hollow. Two arms curved both forward and outward extended from it. The strings did not differ much in length.
? Chelys was the most common Greek lyre, made of turtle shell. It is the oldest of all ancient Greek lyres. Many Greek vases show a representation of the chilies.
? Cithara was a seven-stringed lyre. It had a deep wooden box for producing the sound. This instrument was more complex than a simple lyre.
Ancient Greece Musical Wind instruments
? Aulos, a wind instrument from ancient Greece is often seen depicted in many Greek paintings and drawings. The person who played the aulos was known as aulete.The sound of this instrument is described as being penetrating, insisting and exciting. It sometimes has a single pipe and sometimes a double pipe. Reeds are included in all cases.
? Pan flute is named after the Greek god Pan. Made from bamboo, the instrument consisted of five or more pipes of varying length. It was a popular folk instrument. These are believed to have been invented by the gods themselves.
? Kera was another wind instrument. It was bigger than a conventional flute, with a curved body that became bigger towards its end.
Ancient Greece Musical Drum instruments
? Tympanum, a hand drum was used in ancient Greece while worshipping Dionysus, Cybele, and Sabazius. It was first discovered in a cave on Crete.
? The music of this instrument made the worshippers of Dionysus enter an ecstatic state they desired.
The presence of so many ancient Greek musical instruments shows the importance of music in ancient Greece. Many present-day instruments like the guitar and oboe are derived from these ancient Greece instruments. This goes on to show that music is universal and has enticed man over centuries and through ages.