What Were Singers Called in Ancient Greece?

If you’ve ever wondered what singers were called in Ancient Greece, you’re not alone. The ancient Greeks had a rich tradition of music and performance, and singers played an important role in their culture.

So, what were these singers called? Let’s take a closer look.

The Role of Singers in Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greece, music was an integral part of daily life. It was played at religious ceremonies, weddings, funerals, and other important events. Singers were highly valued for their ability to entertain and inspire audiences with their songs.

One famous example of Ancient Greek singing is the epic poems of Homer, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. These poems were originally performed by bards who would sing them to audiences. The bards were highly skilled at improvisation and would often change the words or add new verses depending on the audience’s reaction.

What Were Singers Called?

In Ancient Greece, there were several terms used to describe singers depending on their style of singing and the type of music they performed.

Aoidos: This term referred to singers who performed epic poetry like Homer’s works. They often accompanied themselves on a lyre or other stringed instrument.

Rhapsode: These were performers who recited epic poetry rather than singing it. They often acted out scenes from the poems and used dramatic gestures to bring them to life.

Kitharistes: This term referred to singers who accompanied themselves on a kithara, a type of lyre with seven strings.

Prosodistis: These were performers who recited poetry in a more formal style than the rhapsodes. They often used complex rhythms and melodies to enhance the meaning of the words.

The Legacy of Ancient Greek Singers

The legacy of Ancient Greek singers can still be seen today in many ways. For example, the word “lyric” comes from the Greek word “lyrikos,” which means “singing to the lyre.” Additionally, many modern musical genres have roots in Ancient Greek music, including opera and musical theatre.

In conclusion, singers played a crucial role in Ancient Greek culture and were known by several different names depending on their style of singing and accompaniment. Their legacy can still be felt today in the world of music and performance.