What Was Music Used for in Ancient Times?

Music has been an integral part of human culture since ancient times. It has been used for various purposes, ranging from religious rituals to entertainment. In this article, we will dive into the different uses of music in ancient times.

Religious Purposes

Religion played a significant role in ancient societies, and music was an essential element in religious rituals. In many cultures, music was considered a way to communicate with the divine.

Priests and shamans would use music to invoke spirits and connect with the gods. Some cultures believed that certain rhythms or melodies had specific spiritual powers that could heal or protect people from harm.

Ancient Egypt

In Ancient Egypt, music was an integral part of religious ceremonies. Priests used various musical instruments like harps, flutes, and drums during rituals. The Egyptians believed that their gods enjoyed music and dance and that it helped them to connect with the divine.

Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greece, music was also an important part of religious rituals. They believed that music had the power to soothe the soul and bring harmony to the universe. The Greeks had a god of music named Apollo who was often depicted holding a lyre.

Social Functions

Music also played a significant role in social functions in ancient societies. Music was used for celebrations like weddings, birthdays, and other festivities.

Ancient Rome

In Ancient Rome, music was an essential part of social events like banquets and parties. The Romans enjoyed listening to music while they feasted on food and wine.

Ancient China

In Ancient China, music was used as a form of entertainment during social gatherings like banquets or imperial court ceremonies. They believed that music had a moral purpose and could be used to educate people about Confucian values.

War and Battle

Music was also used in ancient times as a way to motivate soldiers during war and battle. Drummers would beat their drums to signal the start of an attack, and trumpets were used to give commands.

Ancient Sparta

In Ancient Sparta, music was used to inspire soldiers during battles. The Spartans believed that music had the power to boost morale and courage.

Ancient China

In Ancient China, music was also used in warfare. The Chinese would play loud music like drums, gongs, and horns before going into battle. They believed that it could intimidate their enemies and make them more vulnerable.


In conclusion, music played a vital role in ancient societies for various purposes. It was used for religious rituals, social functions, and even in times of war.

Today, we still use music for many of the same reasons that our ancestors did thousands of years ago. Music has the power to inspire us, connect us with others, and evoke emotions like no other art form can.