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Ancient Music

Ancient Music

The Bible records Jubal as the first musician and one who created instruments. We can also see that song and jubilation are mentioned throughout the Old Testament. The book of Psalms is filled with David's music and harp. 

But much of the ancient world was not written down for us to know. Wall paintings and statues have given us a glimpse into the ancient music world .  From this art, we see that music was used to communicate, to pass time while working, to express emotion or mark a special occasion.  Here are a few instruments of the time and notice how they resemble instruments of today.

Ancient Instruments


gudi  (China)- flute shaped, it was made from a hollowed-out wing bone of a crane.  It was used by hunters to imitate bird sounds.

 Make your own FLUTE:

reed pipe  (Greece)- named after Pan, the Greek god of shepherds.  Made from hollow reeds, cut down to different sizes and tied together.


mbira (Africa)- this was a finger piano in which metal strips were wired onto a wooden soundboard.  It was used to communicate with dead ancestors, and bring rain when needed or stop the rain during floods.                  

aulos  (Egypt)- similar to an oboe. Used in ceremonies and festivals in ancient Egypt, Greece and Roman Empire.


carnyx (Egypt) - similar to a trumpet.  It was long in size and held up high.  Used for war.  Music inspired troops and it was also used to terrify the enemy- some had dragon heads carved at the top.
                                  Watch and Listen to a CARNYX instrument being played 

shofar  (Israel)- the Jewish ceremonial horn.  It was blown in a synagogue on important holy days: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Listen to the different ways a Shofar can be blown

              lyre  - stringed musical instrument.  Different styles were used in a few countries like Israel, Egypt and Greece.


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