Music in Ancient Greece – History Brought Alive
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Music in Ancient Greece

Music was central to the pattern and structure of Greek life and was an important feature of religious festivals, marriages and funerals, and banquets.

What we know about ancient Greek music comes from actual fragments of sheet music, literary references, and the remains of musical instruments. Although extant sheet music is rare, incomplete, and relatively late, a wealth of literary references reveal music’s performance, its social function, and perceived aesthetic qualities.

Archaeological records reveal monuments and grand covered concert halls built to honor outstanding musicians. Athens in the second half of the fifth century BC. BC, Pericles’ Odeion (covered concert hall) was built on the southern slope of the Acropolis – a testament to the importance of music in Athenian culture.

The art of singing with one’s own string accompaniment is highly developed. Greek philosophers saw the relationship between music and mathematics and envisioned music as a model of harmonious order reflecting the universe and the human soul.


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