And by this question I mean a song that sounds like an actual ancient Greek song, with ancient Greek instruments (lyre, kithara, salpinx, etc.) being used.

1 Answer 1


It's effectively impossible, because we only know indirectly what their music might have sounded like, and there are almost no surviving working instruments.

We know quite a lot about the music theory the Greeks developed — there are a number of excellent posts on this site in that regard — but the actual sound of the music is, in essence, guesswork — though guesswork backed up a some outstanding and detailed research.

  • Has anyone tried to make those instruments, which could emulate the sounds?
    – Tim
    Jan 5 at 9:14
  • @Tim yes, though the accuracy is debated, and still doesn’t inform the overall sound of the music, such as rhythm.
    – Aaron
    Jan 5 at 18:10
  • @Tim making the instruments is the easy part. Consider the similarity between e.g. the oud and the lute and the differences between traditional North African music and the music of Renaissance Europe. Or compare the many widely disparate styles of music one can play on a keyboard tuned in 12-tone equal temperament (and the even greater variety one can achieve by varying the tuning).
    – phoog
    Jan 6 at 12:12
  • Sting's When We Dance is in Lydian. Sounds wack. Unlike REM's Man On the Moon, presumably because he can "actually maintain a harmony rigorously fixed on" the mode.
    – Mazura
    Jan 7 at 17:18
  • @Mazura The modern Lydian mode has nothing to do with the ancient Greek musical system except for millenia-later music theorists choosing a Greek name.
    – Aaron
    Jan 7 at 19:15

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