Ancient Greek & Roman Music
Prepared by Prof. Nancy Sultan, Illinois Wesleyan University
Mathiesen, T.J. Bibliography of Sources for the Study of Ancient Greek Music. New
Jersey: Joseph Boonin, Inc. [Music Indexes & Bibliographies, ed. Gerorge Hill], 1974.
Michaelides, S. The Music of Ancient Greece: An Encyclopaedia. London: faber & Faber,
Pauly's Real-Enzyklopoedie der Klassicschen Altertumswissenschaft
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 6th edition
New Oxford History of Music, Vol I: Ancient & Oriental Music (repr. 1979)
Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd revised edition (2003)
Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd edition (1995)
The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory (Cambridge U. Press, 2002)
2. Greek/Roman Music, General
Allen, S. Accent and Rhythm. Cambridge, 1973.
Anderson, W. Ethos and Education in Greek Music. Cambridge, HUP, 1966.
___________. Music and Musicians in Ancient Greece. Cornell, 1994.
___________. "What Song the Sirens Sang: Problems and Conjectures in Ancient Greek
Music," Research Chronicle of the Royal Musical Assoc. 15 (1979), 1-16.
Beaton, R., "Modes and Roads: Factors of Change and continuity in Greek Musical Tradition,"
Annual of the British School at Athens 75 (1980), 1-11.
Calame, C. Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.
Chailley, J. La Musique Grecque Antique. Paris: Belles Lettres, 1979.
Comotti, G. Music in Greek and Roman Culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1989.
Devine A. M. , and L. D. Stephens, The Prosody of Greek Speech. New York: Oxford,
Holst-Warhaft, G. Dangerous Voices: Women's Laments and Greek Literature. Routledge,
Landels, J.G. Music in Ancient Greece & Rome. London/NY: Routledge. 1999.
Maas, M. & J. Snyder. Stringed Instruments of Ancient Greece. New Haven, 1989.
Marshall, Kimberly ,ed. Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions. Boston:
Northeastern University Press, 1993
Mathiesen, Thomas J. Apollo's Lyre : Greek Music and Music Theory in Antiquity and
the Middle Ages. (Publications of the Center for the History of Music Theory and literature)
U. Nebraska, 1999.
___________. Ancient Greek Muisc Theory. Munchen: G. Henle Verlag, 1988.
Moore, Timothy. "Music & Structure in Roman Comedy," American Journal of Philology
119.2 (1998): 245<en>273.
Nagy, Gregory. Pindar's Homer:Lyric Possession of an Epic Past. Reprint edition. Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
Palisca, C. , A. Barbera, J. Solomon, C. Bower, & T. Mathiesen, "The Ancient Harmoniai,
Tonoi, and Octave Species in Theory and Practice," Journal of Musicology 3 (1984),
Parker, L.P.E. The Songs of Aristophanes. Clarendon. 1997
Pickard-Cambridge. Dithyramb, Tragedy and Comedy, revised by T.B.L. Webster, second
edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962.
_______________. Dramatic Festivals of Athens, revised by John Gould and DM Lewis,
second edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968.
Rayor, Diane. Sappho's Lyre: Archaic Lyric and Women Poets of Ancient Greece. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1991.
Schlesinger, K. The Greek Aulos. London: Methuen & Co., 1939.
Scott, W.C. Musical Design in Sophoclean Theater. Dartmouth College. 1996.
Snyder, Jane McIntosh. The Woman and the Lyre: Women Writers in Classical Greece and
Rome. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1989.
Sultan, Nancy , "Private Speech, Public Pain: The Power of Women's Laments in Ancient
Greek Poetry and Tragedy," in Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musicial Traditions,
edited by Kimberly Marshall. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993, pp. 92<en>110.
___________."New Light on the Function of Borrowed Notes in Ancient Greek Music: A
Look at Islamic Parallels," Journal of Musicology 6 (1988):
Touliatos, Diane "The Traditional Role of Greek Women in Music from Antiquity to the
End of the Byzantine Empire," in Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musicial Traditions,
edited by Kimberly Marshall. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993, pp. 111<en>123.387<en>98.
West, M. L. Ancient Greek Music. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992.
_________. Greek Metre. Oxford: Clarendon, 1993.
Younger, J. Music in the Aegean Bronze Age. Paul Aströms Förlag. 1998.
3. Primary Texts, Collections:
Andrew Barker, ed., Greek Musical Writings, 2 Vols. Cambridge Readings in the Literature
of Music. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984-89).
Jan, K. von. Musici Scriptores Graeci : Aristoteles Euclides Nicomachus Bacchius Gaudentius
Alypius et Melodiarum Veterum Quidquid Exstat, Supplementum, melodiarum reliquiae
(Leipzig, Teubner, 1985-99; facs. Hildesheim, G. Olms, 1962.
Oliver Strunk, Leo Treitler, and Thomas Mathiesen, eds., Source Readings in Music
History: Greek Views of Music. (W.W. Norton & Company; Revised edition (September
1997). Includes excerpts from Plato, Aristotle, Athenaeus, and Aristides Quintianus,
and the full treatises of Cleonides,Gaudentius, and Sextus Empiricus.
Women's Life in Greece and Rome: A Source book in Translation, edited and translated
by Mary Lefkowitz and Maureen Fant, second edition (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University
4. Theory: Primary Texts (single authors, English translations)
Anonymous (Bellermann's), edited and translated by D. Najock as Anonyma de musica
scripta Bellermanniana (Leipzig: Teubner, 1975).
Aristides Quintilianus on Music: In Three Books, translated and edited by Thomas J.
Matheiesen (New Haven:Yale University Press, 1983)
Aristotle, Politics, trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988)
Aristotle, Problems , translated by H. Rackham and W. S. Hett (Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 1994)
Aristoxenus, The Harmonics of Aristoxenus, translated by H. S. Macran (Oxford, Calrendon,
1902; facs. Hildesheim, G. Olms, 1974).
__________Elementa Rhythmica: The Fragment of Book II and the Additional Evidence
for Aristoxenean Rhythmic Theory, translated by Lionel Pearson (Oxford: Clarendon
Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 7 vols., edited and translated by C.B. Gulick for the
Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, revised 1957-63).
Boethius: Fundamentals of Music. (De institutione musica), ed. C. Palisca, trans.
C. Bower. Yale 1989
Plato in Twelve Volumes, edited and translated by H. N. Fowler, W.R.M. Lamb, P. Shorey,
and R.G. Bury, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvared University Press, 1914-1935).
Plutarch [Pseudo], On Music, edited and translated by B. Einarson and P.H. de Lacy
in Plutarch's Moralia vol. XIV, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvard University
Claudius Ptolemy, Ptolemy Harmonics: Translation and Commentary by Jon Solomon.
Mnemosyne, Supplements, 203 (Brill Academic Publishers, January 2000)
Documents of Ancient Greek Music, edited and transcribed with commentary by Egert
Pöhlmann and Martin L. West (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001).
Mathiesen, T.J., "New Fragments of Ancient Greek Music," Acta musicologica 53, 1981.
6. Web Resources:
The Thesaurus Musicarum Latinarum (TML), Thomas J. Mathiesen, Director. An evolving database of the entire corpus of Latin
music theory written during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Perseus Digital Library. Perseus Digital Library for is a non-profit enterprise, located in the Department
of the Classics, Tufts University. The collection contains extensive and diverse resources,
including primary Greek and Latin texts in translation, secondary texts, site plans,
Harper's dictionary, Greek-English lexicon, digital images of vase-paintings, sculpture,
coins, and architecture, maps, a full encylcopedia, and a historical overview of ancient
Women's Life in Greece and Rome.This is the on-line searchable version of . A Source Book in Translation, edited
and translated by Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Fant 2nd. ed. (Baltimore, 1992).
It has been adapted for Diotima by Suzanne Bonefas and Ross Scaife with the kind permission
of the authors, Duckworth & Co. Ltd., and Johns Hopkins University Press
Ancient Greek Music at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, © Stefan Hagel. This site contains all published fragments of Ancient Greek music which contain
more than a few scattered notes. All of them are recorded under the use of tunings
whose exact ratios have been transmitted to us by ancient theoreticians (of the Pythagorean
school, most of them cited by Ptolemaios). Instruments and speed are chosen by the
author. The exact sound depends on your hard- and software.
On-line publication of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri from the excavations at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. Hosted by the Centre for the Study of
Ancient Documents, Oxford. Run by Gideon Nisbet, © Egypt Exploration Society. Contains
fragments of ancient Greek and Roman literature, music theory, and notated music.
Papyrus collection of the University of Michigan, which contains over 10,000 fragments. Provides on-line public access to one of the
largest collections of papyri in the world and, through the APIS search engine, to
other papyrological resources. Musical documents are included in the collection.
7. Sound Recordings:
Musique de la Grèce antique. Gregorio Paniagua and Atrium Musicae de Madrid. Harmonia Mundia. 1979. (CD)
Music of Ancient Greece. Christodoulos Halaris and instrumental ensemble, vocal soloists (Orata Arangm. 1992).
Includes Pindar's First Pythionic Hymn, a chorus from Euripides' Orestes, a chant
to Apollo, and a hymn to the Holy Trinity (based on ancient Greek musical theory).
Includes 80 pp. booklet (CD)
Musiques de l’Antiquité Grecque. Annie Bélis and the Kérylos ensemble. K617. 1996. (CD) The most operatic rendition
(too slow, but interestingly suggestive).
Music of the Ancient Greeks by De Organographia (Gayle Neuman, Philip Neuman, William Gavin.) Pandourion Records. Ancient Greek music
from 500 BC to 300 AD performed on voice and copies of ancient Greek instruments including
kithara, lyra, aulos, syrinx, seistron, tympanon, pandoura, trichordon, photinx, salpinx,
kymbala, and others. Full listing of instrumentation and photo of ancient greek instruments
included. Pandourion Records, PRCD 1001, 1995 (CD) 1997.
Music from Ancient Rome, Vol 1.Wind Instruments
Composer: Walter / Ravenstein, Natalia van Maioli, Walter / Ravenstein, Natalia van
/ Maioli, Luce Maioli, et al. (Amiata #1396, 1997)
Music from Ancient Rome, Vol 2:String Instruments,. Performed by Synaulia (Amiata #1002, 2003)
Sappho de Mytilene by Angelique Ionatos and Nena Venetsanou. CD: A6168. (Paris:Tempo, 1991). Poems of
Sappho sung in ancient and modern Greek by two female vocalists. The music is composed
by Ionatos, and sounds very Greek (using both ancient and modern instruments). Modern
Greek versions are by Nobel laureate Odysseus Elytis. $18.98 available from Ladyslipper.