Left: Ancient Greek Drums, cymbals, auloi, syrinx, and concert kithara 


In Ancient Greece, there were string, wind and percussion instruments. The string instruments could be divided into three groups, which are lyres, harps, and lutes. Lyres usually have seven or eight strings of equal length, while harps have strings of different lengths. There were two types of lyres: box lyres and bowl lyres. Box lyres, or kitharas, had a sound box built out of wood, were more elaborately crafted than bowl lyres, and were usually used in professional performances while bow lyres had a sound box usually made out of a tortoise shell and were used in Athenian schoolrooms. There were four types of box lyres. There was the phorminx, also called the cradle kithara, which had a round base; the concert kithara, which had a square base; the Thracian kithara, which was square or round based and was horn-armed; and the Italiote kithara, which was rectangular. There are two types of bowl lyres, which are the lyra, otherwise known as a chelys, which was the standard type, and there was the barbitos, which was long-armed. The types of harps in Ancient Greece were the pectis and the trigonos. The pectis was a type of angular harp, while the trigonos was a type of triangular harp. In art, harps were usually drawn with a number of strings that ranged between nine and thirty-two. When drawn, the trigonos usually had more strings and a higher ratio between lengths of longer and shorter strings than the pectis. The last instrument in the strings group is the lute. Similar to a guitar, this instrument didn't appear in art until the fourth century B.C.E. The musician who played this instrument was called a muse. Next are the wind and percussion instruments. The Auloi were double or single reed instruments with side holes to change the pitch. The most commonly used were double reed auloi. These instruments are similar to clarinets and oboes, although they are commonly 

 mistaken for flutes. The syrinx, or panpipe, was a a reedless instrument that consisted of many tubes attached with wax and 

Ancient Greek Auli

cloth. This instument had no finger holes and was similar to the harmonica. The Hidraulous was the organ of Ancient Greece. The Salpinx, similar to a trumpet, was mostly made of bronze. A bone mouthpiece led into a long bronze tube that was valve-less and was 80 to 120 centimeters long. The conches or horns of Ancient Greece were the triton, or trumpet shell, the cassis, or helmet shell, and the strobus, or true conch. There was also the keras, or cow-horn, which served as a cheap trumpet. All of these instruments were played as a Salpinx would be played. Percussion instruments consisted of the kymbal, similar to cymbals, typanon, or drums, and krotala, which were similar to castanets.








Ancient Greek Lyre

I decided to create my own lyre.

How to Create a Lyre

Materials: Rubber bands, yarn, a metal bowl, paper, and glue


1. Decorate the inside of the metal bowl using paper and glue so that it resembles a turtle shell.


2. Loop one circular piece of yarn through a rubber band so that it forms one larger circle.


3. Repeat step 2 six or seven times. Then, wrap the circles around the decorated metal bowl.


4. Have fun with your lyre!