Epitaph of Seikilos
What is the oldest instrument? Bone flute
When do we begin to know anything about music history?
– The Old Testament
– 3000+ years of information
– Cave paintings
How do we know what we know?
– Fragments of notated music
– Written accounts – playing music at weddings, funerals, worship, banquets,
What sorts of roles did music play in ancient societies?
– Religious, political, educational, sensual
Music in the Biblical World
– The Old Testament (Bible) mentions:
– Celebratory music, ceremonial music
– Religious music (for praise or worship)
– Music “therapy” - David
– Psalms and hymns were sung antiphonally, responsorally, always
Music in Ancient Greece
– Turn of the 8 century – philosophical thought began, including in music eg.
Democracy, individual rights
– Height of Greek culture: 5 century B.C.E. - apex of ancient Greek cultural
– 45 existing fragments of music from ancient Greece
– Music used in drama, ceremony and poetry recitation
– “melos” = song (melody/rhythm/words)
Greek Music Theory
– 3 types (genera) of tetrachords (4 descending notes)
1. Diatonic: whole-tone, whole-tone,