Greek Music

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Music has long been a part of Greek culture. When there is a carnival, fair, religious ceremony, holiday, wedding, birthday, or any other special occasion, music is present. Music and dance have been a part of Greek culture for thousands of years. In ancient times, choruses made up of men, women, and children were formed to sing for religious rites, to perform poetry set to music for weddings and funerals, and just for entertainment. Also, each specific ancient cult devoted to specific gods would use their own unique tones and musical characteristics, creating a diverse array of ancient melody. Two important instruments in ancient Greece were the aulos, a double-pipe, double-reed instrument, and the lyre, a plucked string instrument. The kithara was a special kind of lyre that was played mostly by professionals. Interestingly, some scholars believe that the name "guitar" comes from the Greek word kithara. Playing contests were held for aulos and kithara players. These professional musicians were highly regarded in society and were genuinely looked up to as heroes. Long ago in Greece, boys studied reading, writing, public speaking, sports, and music in school, starting at age six. Typically, girls did not attend school and therefore did not learn the beauty of the arts. Two ancient philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, wrote about the importance of music in society and were great supporters of music education in the schools of their time. Music was also employed by the ancients in the reciting of the great epic ballads of The Odyssey and The Aenied. Children in Greece have always sung songs and played singing games. Most of these songs and games are about daily life and nature. One Greek singing game involves seeking a hidden ring. These songs and games have been passed from one generation to the next as oral traditions. Little written music has been found from this ancient time, and we have no recordings from thousands of years ago, so...
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