The Greeks

The Greeks thought that music was too powerful. Music was a connection between earth and the gods, because of this musicians were important. At this time there was separate music for women, men, babies, and warriors. It was thought that if you played the wrong type of music for the wrong type of people, the people would change. If you played soft beautiful music meant for women to warriors, the warriors would become weak. Because of this, music had to be controlled. A Present day example of this would be blaming Marilyn Manson for the Columbine Tragedy. In the sixties, parents thought that Rock and Roll would turn kids into rebels. Since ancient Greece, "governments" have had to control music.

Aristotle believed that not everyone should have music training. Everyone shouldn’t be able to play music that small animals, and babies will enjoy. In other words, everyone shouldn’t be a virtuoso. He talked about how musicians have power over those people who can’t play. For example, the one who can play an instrument will get the woman.

There were two type of instruments, apollionian instruments and dionusian instruments. The appolonian instruments were soft and gentle instruments, such as the lyre, and the citata (string instrument). The dionysian instruments were low class instruments. Dionysian was the god of wine, and drunken revelry. Dionysian instruments included the harp and the aulos.

During this time the Greeks came up with some simple theory rules. If you begin on a note, a good composer will return to that note, this was called Mese. They also used interlocking fourths, and the lowest note was called the proslambanomenos. Modes were used but not like they are used in present times. We are not sure if modes were different tunning systems or if they followed different tunes. The terms Dorian, and Mixolydian come from Greek modes.


Bellman, Joanthan. "August 25th, 2003 Lecture for History of Music." University of Northern Colorado, Studio B, Greeley: 25 Aug. 2003

Bellman, Joanthan. "August 27th, 2003 Lecture for History of Music." University of Northern Colorado, Studio B, Greeley: 27 Aug. 2003

Cite this Page - MLA Citing:

Clark, Jesse. "Fluteinfo.com - History, Greeks." FluteInfo.com 26 Aug. 2003 <http://www.fluteinfo.com/History/Greeks/index.html> Accessed: