Classical Greece Music History

Classical music is a traditional form of music that springs from an established form and appeals to the critical interest and musical tastes of many people, spread across different countries and cultures, owing to the wide spectrum of human emotions involved

The term classical music encompasses a wide variety of musical styles that have evolved over the ages from all parts of the world.

Although classical music is less mainstream and almost completely sequestered in many parts of the world these days, it is still flourishing in countries like India and Persia where the oldest expressions of classical music seems to have originated thousands of years ago. Despite its richness and variety, classical music across the world is slowly being choked to death.

Music was considered very essential and inseparable part of the Greek life and culture, just like poetry and dancing. Music was considered an important aspect of all kinds of special events like religious festivals, marriages, banquet gatherings and even during funeral rites. This is the reason why music also occupied a special place in the education system in ancient Greece. Boys were taught music right from the age of six years.

During the Homeric era, a national musical culture existed in the entire nation, as a result of which the later generations considered this period as the “golden age.” There exists enough evidence in the form of fragments of musical scores, literary references, and the remains of musical instruments, which throws light on the practice of music, its social functions and its perceived aesthetic qualities.

The traditional and classical form of Greek music, usually referred to as ‘Greek Classical Music’ has been in existence for thousands of years now. However, it was wiped out by other forms of music by the Middle Ages. Greek music was strongly influenced by the Roman Empire, Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire. During the 19th century, opera composers like Nikolaos Mantzaros, Spyridion Xyndas and Spyros Samaras helped give a new lease of life to Greek classical music.

The popularity of choral music rose during the 6th century BC, when classical ode and other classical forms of Greek music gained popularity because of their use in theaters. Instruments such as the aulos and the kithara added life to Greek classical music and it became extremely popular and gained wide spread acceptance. However, with the fall of Athens in 404 BC, classical Greek music forms began to die a slow death and by 320 BC, classical Greek music got completely wiped out. Its place was taken by new styles, which resulted in the rise of more free and contemporary forms of music. This modern form of music gained immense popularity within a very short span as a result of which, ancient Greek classical music lost its vitality and faded away to anonymity.