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Music

The remains of harp found in the ancient necropolis of the Volna-1 settlement in the Temryuk district of the Krasnodar Territory.

Russian Archaeologists Unearth Oldest Known Fragments of Greek Musical Instruments

According to the News Agency TASS, a team of archaeologists has uncovered fragments of two ancient Greek musical instruments during an excavation in the Taman Peninsula, in southern Russia. The...
The reconstructed Bull’s Lyre.

A Bull-Headed Lyre: Reconstructing the Sound and Style of Ancient Mesopotamia

A musician may have strummed its strings all the way back in the 3rd millennium BC. This means that the Bull’s Lyre, aka the Golden Lyre of Ur, is one of the oldest string instruments in the world...
5,000-year-old musical scene found on pottery in Israel

5,000-year-old musical scene found on pottery in Israel may reflect sacred marriage ritual

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority working at Bet Ha-‘Emeq have discovered a shard from an early Bronze Age storage vessel depicting scenes from what seems to be a ‘sacred marriage...
Ancient Greek theater (Segesta).

Ancient Greek Theater and the Monumental Amphitheaters in Honor of Dionysus

To the Ancient Greeks, theater was a form of entertainment taken very seriously. People would come from all across the Greek world to attend the popular theaters held in open air amphitheaters. In...
‘The Triumph of Bacchus’ (1628-1629) by Diego Velázquez.

Emblems of the Spanish Golden Age: The Hapsburgs, Cervantes, Diego Velazquez, and El Escorial

The Spanish Golden Age (known in Spanish as ‘Siglo de Oro’) was a period when the arts experienced a great flourishing in Spain. Whilst this period is often remembered as the age when Spanish...
An ancient mouth harp found in the Altai Republic of Russia.

This Musical Instrument Still Works 1,700 Years After a Hun Nomad Crafted it!

The nomadic musician looked fondly upon the latest of the completed instruments – a mouth harp carefully crafted by splintering the rib of a cow, or was it a horse? No matter, the sound it made when...
Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 hurdy gurdy.

The Hurdy Gurdy Was Essential Medieval Entertainment Enjoyed by Merrymakers Across Europe

The hurdy gurdy is a musical instrument, or more precisely, a string instrument, that traces its origin to the Middle Ages of Europe. The hurdy gurdy was initially used to play sacred music, before...
Museum diorama depicting scholars from the Joseon Dynasty (Public Domain), and script from the Hunmin Jeongeum Eonhae

What Happens if Scholars Rule a Kingdom? How Korea’s Kingdom of Joseon Lived Up to its Legendary Namesake

By the 14th century, the foundations of Korea’s Goryeo Dynasty (918 -1392 CE) started to collapse from years of war and de facto occupation from the Mongol Empire. The royal court in Goryeo was at...
Gerard van Honthorst's 1623 painting ‘The Concert.’

Band Posters of the Renaissance: How Medieval Music Fans Showed off Their Taste

Tim Shephard / The Conversation Did you once put a poster of your favorite music artist on your bedroom wall? Are there a few faded gig T-shirts in your bottom drawer? Have you ever bought an LP or...
The Mysterious Lithophones of Vietnam: Descendants of the First Musical Instruments?

The Mysterious Lithophones of Vietnam: Descendants of the First Musical Instruments?

The word ‘lithophone’ is derived from two Greek words, ‘lithos’ and ‘phone’. The first can be translated as ‘stone’, whilst the second means ‘sound’. Therefore, a lithophone may be said to be a ‘...
Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

A deity with as many attributes as arms, Saraswati (or Sarasvati) is the Hindu goddess of aesthetics. These include music, the arts, wisdom and learning. She can be compared, in many ways, to the...
1st century BC marble statue of Cybele from Formia, Lazio

Mothers, Madness and Music: A Study of the Parallels of Cybele and Dionysus

Though she was one of the most renowned goddesses in her day, the motherly, wise Cybele has long been over-shadowed in the mythology of ancient Greece by the later pre-Olympian goddesses, Rhea, Gaia...
Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

For proof that the ney (also spelled nay) is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use, you need look no further than the great Sumerian city of Ur. Archeologists have found the delicate...
Looking to Elders to Discover the Amazing Burial Mounds and Forgotten Woodland Traditions of Canada

Looking to Elders to Discover the Amazing Burial Mounds and Forgotten Woodland Traditions of Canada

While the burial mounds and earthworks of the Adena and Hopewell Cultures are usually associated with the Ohio River Valley, there are lesser-known—but equally as fantastic—manifestations of these...
The Medieval Origins of The Carol: How Christmas Songs Have Survived Through the Centuries

The Medieval Origins of The Carol: How Christmas Songs Have Survived Through the Centuries

Singing and Christmas seem to go naturally together, like plum pudding and custard. Even those who would not normally attend a choir concert or church service throughout the year might happily...
Bask in the Beauty and Melody of the Ancient Mesopotamian Lyres of Ur

Bask in the Beauty and Melody of the Ancient Mesopotamian Lyres of Ur

It is unknown which culture was the first to create music, but a set of beautiful Sumerian instruments from the city of Ur provide us with some insight into the world of ancient music. They are known...

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