What Type of Music Was Played in Ancient Times?

Music has been an integral part of human culture for thousands of years. From ancient times, people have used music as a means of expression, communication, and entertainment.

But what type of music was played in ancient times? Let’s take a journey back in time to explore the different types of music that were prevalent in various ancient civilizations.

Ancient Egyptian Music

One of the earliest civilizations known for its music is Ancient Egypt. Music was an important part of their daily life and was played on a variety of instruments such as harps, flutes, and lyres. Egyptian music was often associated with religious ceremonies and was considered a way to communicate with the gods.

Fun fact: The oldest surviving piece of sheet music is an Ancient Egyptian song called “The Song of Seikilos.”

Ancient Greek Music

The Greeks were known for their love of music and believed that it had the power to heal the body and soul. Greek music was often accompanied by dance and was played on instruments such as the lyre, kithara, and aulos (a type of flute). Many famous philosophers like Plato and Aristotle wrote about the importance of music in their works.

  • Did you know: The word “music” comes from the Greek word “mousike,” which means “art of the Muses.”
  • Fun fact: The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece featured musical competitions alongside athletic events.

Roman Music

The Romans borrowed heavily from Greek culture, including their love for music. Roman musicians played a variety of instruments such as the lyre, panpipes, and trumpet-like instruments called cornu. Music was an important part of Roman festivals and celebrations.

Fun fact: The Roman emperor Nero was known for his love of music and even performed in public concerts.

Medieval Music

During the Middle Ages, music was predominantly religious in nature and was used to enhance worship. Gregorian chants were the most common form of music during this time, but other types of music such as troubadour songs and secular instrumental music also emerged.

  • Did you know: Medieval music notation used symbols called neumes instead of the modern system of musical notation.
  • Fun fact: The earliest known musical instrument in Europe is a bone flute from the Upper Paleolithic period.

Chinese Music

Music has been an important part of Chinese culture for over 3,000 years. Traditional Chinese music is played on instruments such as the guzheng (a type of zither), erhu (a two-stringed fiddle), and pipa (a four-stringed lute). Chinese music is often associated with traditional Chinese opera and dance.

Fun fact: The Chinese philosopher Confucius believed that music had the power to shape a person’s character and influence society.

In Conclusion

From Ancient Egypt to Medieval Europe, music has been an important part of human civilization. While the types of instruments and styles may have evolved over time, one thing remains constant: the power of music to bring people together and express emotions that words cannot.