Ancient Greek Instruments

Good Essays

Most people know of ancient Greece for their food, Olympics, gods and goddesses. There is more to Greece than that though. Greeks loved music and dance and thought of it as a gift from the gods. In addition, the Greeks created theater. To start, music was a gift from the gods and was played at religious ceremonies. Few written records of the music they played still exist. On the other hand, the instruments the Greeks played are well known today. The most popular instruments were the pipe and wind instruments. Out of the wind instruments, the most popular were the aulos (flute) and the lyre. The most popular stringed instruments were the oboe and clarinet. The lyre produced a low, deep sound and was played by men of noble birth to accompany …show more content…

On occasion, they had professional musicians play at the dinners to entertain the guests. Sometimes the musicians were the household slaves. Lots of instruments were used to create music. The Greeks got the names for the instruments by using the melodic and scaler system. For example, there were the Rattle (sistrum and seistron), cymbals (kymbala), guitar (kithara), bagpipe (askaulos), conch and triton shells (kochlos), trumpet (salpinx), horn (keras), tambourine (hoptron), shallow drum (tympanon), clappers (krotala), maracas (phormis koi), and the xylophone (psithyrus). Greek instruments came in all different types, such as the four-stringed lyre (phorminx) and the multi-stringed and elongated barbiton. There were also various types of harps and just random ancient Greek instruments, such as the rhombus (a wind instrument) which was a flat rhombus pierced with holes, strung on a cord, and played by spinning the cord. The second was the hydraulis, a sophisticated Hellenistic organ which used compressed air and water pressure maintained by two pedals. Some Greek instruments were named, for example Hermes the Lyre, Pan the Syrinx (panpipes), and Athena the aulos (Flute). Amphion and Thamyres were both famed for their skills playing the kithara (guitar). The Greeks played stringed instruments with their fingers or …show more content…

One popular Greek drama theater in Mediterranean was the Hellenistic theater. Theaters were usually outdoors and were called amphitheaters. The Epidaurus theater in Greece is still intact and modern plays of Greeks plays are still performed there. The auditorium has stone seats and can hold 14,000 people. The circular shape of the theaters produced the best sound quality. With the best sound quality, everyone in the theater could hear the actors clearly. A large circular place inside of the theater was known as the orchestra. Behind the orchestra was a building where the actors could change costumes. Important members had the best seats. The best seats were the front row. Most theaters held 10,000

Get Access