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HISTORY OF ANCIENT GREEK MUSIC

Ancient Greek Musicians

Like any other ancient civilization music was an important part of Greeks and their entire lives revolve around it. Along with music it also included singing, dancing, and lyrical and theater performance .They had varied variety of musical instruments and every instrument was linked to some special deity Godlike Hermes the (Lyre), Pan the (syrinx) panpipes and autos (flute). In 500 B.C the first autos was believed to be carved with bones.it was also the oldest Greek instrument to be known.

Ancient Greek Musicians became popular part of Greek lifestyle men and women both used to enjoy music equally and it became integral part of every event from religious ceremonies to weddings, funerals, athletic events and military activity.it was all around them therefore, people started to form musical bands . So that music could be performed effectively and efficiently.

From the three major and oldest civilizations we have physical evidence that music played a vital role in the respective culture. Another important and noteworthy Greek instrument was Lyre. It was the instrument which the young Greeks had to learn during their school days and was also recommended by Plato. Music was taught as a subject as early as 6 century .they believed that music was a mathematical expression and it also had therapeutic effect on human mind and soul.

Adding on to it, they believed that listening to music creates a link between listener and player. And that was the divine link between God and people. Therefore music not only had religious connotation but also moral and ethical values. Music was known to arouse emotions and sensations in people and Plato banned all kind of fast tempo scales in his republic. The oldest testament that is believed to survive in Greek history is the song of Sei kilos.

Music was considered to be a gift from Gods and music and dancing were conducted on all the special and religious events certain music practices were carried out especially on music like sacrifices and pouring of libation.in Greek ancient history, music was part and parcel of their everyday life music, dancing and recital activity were part of all the events as they would carried out performances in Hellenic festivals and Delphi.

The music contest took the form of religious nature as one who excelled in it was given great respect. And honor was paid to Greek Gods.in Hellenistic times the music festivals and competitions become so popular that the artist began to form Helen influenced musical bands or Koina.

Their culture was heavily influenced by the theory of music and it thus became the part of school discipline. The children around the age group of 13 to 16 were taught to play Lyre and were asked to sing along their teachers .music become an evident part of sports as well.

Music was enjoyed in everyday routine the men used to sing and dance in after dinner parties where women used to sing and dance while completing their household chores however, it is important to note that women specifically played stringed instruments and recited poetry to music. Music also overshadowed their art, the sculptures of their heroes like Hercules, Achilles, Theseus and Paris were sometime portrayed playing music instrument Lyre. it is believed that musician and their bands enjoyed a n elevated status in the society. They were given royal standings in the court that proved though their statues and attire of robes. the women also become the part of court singers. Where they were later joined by choral singers and marching soldiers. Music was considered to be an important form of cultural expression and all factors associated with it depicted higher form of civilized lifestyle.

 

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