Musical Education in Greece and Rome

TitleMusical Education in Greece and Rome
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHagel, S, Lynch, T
EditorBloomer, MW
Book TitleA Companion to Ancient Education
ISBN9781444337532 (print); 9781119023913 (online)

Many aspects of Greek musical culture were firmly in place in Homeric times. Epic singing to the lyre is the musical activity foregrounded in the epic songs and is envisaged as a proper occupation for a nobleman. Dance figured not only in ritual and private merrymaking, but was also part of military training in the form of dances in armor. Song was an indispensable element of religious activities. This chapter talks about an assortment of medieval manuscript pages, which seem to go back to a single work known to Byzantine scholars as something like “The Music”. Hellenic musical schooling was never entirely Platonized, not even in the heydays of widespread Platonism. The expanding Rome was in the process of adjusting to the cultural shock of absorbing Greek poetry and music; in hindsight, Rome lacked anything like the Greek poetic tradition and therefore also the basis of a similar musical education. []