Although there is very little music from ancient times still in existence, we have learned a lot about it from other sources. For instance, on the walls of caves, temples and pyramids are illustrations of musicians; there have also been discoveries of instruments in tombs.

History tells that music was an important part in the life of major civilizations. In fact, it was much more than just entertainment, for it played a vital part in the religious rituals as well as the social functions of the communities. Ancient music replaced prehistoric music and developed in cultures such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Persia, Mesopotamia and China.  

Egyptian Instruments

The Egyptians were responsible for developing early stringed instruments, such as the lute and the harp in its primitive form. Other instruments included the Egyptian straight trumpet, and a type of flute that was blown through the end, much like a recorder.  

Greek Instruments

The Greeks discovered the importance of numbers in music in which they based much of the theory of music. Archaeologists have found some little pieces, probably written around 100 to 130 BC. The most common Greek instruments included the aulos, a double reed instrument; the cithera, a stringed instrument; and the syrinx, often called  the panpipes.  

Roman Instruments

The Romans developed brass instruments for festivals and for military use. 

Bible-Referenced Instruments

From the references of the Bible, the Hebrews sang and used various musical instruments in their worship. Associated with religious sacrifice were the shofur, or ram's horn trumpet, and the hazazna, another trumpet. On secular occasions, the Hebrews played the lyre, and a type of flute called the ugab.  


Chinese Instruments

The Chinese people wrote most of their music based on the five-note, or pentatonic scale. Each of the notes corresponds to one of the five elements – water, earth, metal, wood and fire.  



Note:  The articles on this site may contain referral links to sites such as Amazon and other online retailers.  The small amount of income received from these links has helped keep up and running for over ten years now.  Thank you for your support!