What Was the Musical Instruments of Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, music played an important role in everyday life. It was believed that music had the power to heal the body and soul, and it was used in religious ceremonies, festivals, and even in the theater. The Greeks had a wide variety of musical instruments, each with its unique sound and purpose.

One of the most famous musical instruments of ancient Greece was the lyre. It was a stringed instrument that looked like a small harp.

The lyre had seven strings made of sheep gut or horsehair, which were stretched between two arms connected by a crossbar. Ancient Greek poets such as Homer and Sappho often mentioned the lyre in their works.

Another popular instrument was the aulos, which is similar to a modern-day oboe or clarinet. It had two reeds made of cane or brass that were inserted into separate tubes. The player would blow into both tubes simultaneously to create music.

The kithara was another stringed instrument that was similar to the lyre but larger in size. It had up to eleven strings made of sheep gut or horsehair and a wooden frame that rested on the ground. The kithara was often played at religious festivals and accompanied singers who performed epic poetry.

The pandura was another popular stringed instrument that resembled a lute with three strings made of gut or silk. It was commonly used in folk music and accompanied dances.

List of other musical instruments:

  • Barbitos – A long-necked stringed instrument
  • Sistrum – A percussion instrument with metal rods
  • Trigonon – A triangular-shaped harp-like instrument
  • Syrinx – A set of panpipes made of reeds or bone


Music was an integral part of ancient Greek culture, and the musical instruments they used were varied. From stringed instruments like the lyre and kithara to wind instruments like the aulos, each instrument had a unique sound that added to the richness of Greek music. Today, many of these instruments continue to influence modern music and can be seen in orchestras and folk ensembles around the world.