Museum of Ancient Greek Music Instruments in Katakolon


The museum of Ancient Greek music instruments operates in Katakolon Greece, a famous port of call for cruise ships close to ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

The museum of Ancient Greek music instruments is housed in the same building as the museum of ancient Greek technology and provides us with useful information on how ancient Greek music used to be.

TheĀ  museum includes 42 ancient Greek music instruments along with fully detailed information about their construction and sound, You can also find diagrams and other pieces of information by Kostas Kotsanas, the curator of the museum, but what is more interesting is that the instruments do operate, since their construction was based on actual information from the ancient Greek literature as well as paintings on vases.

The Collection of the Museum of Ancient Greek Music Instruments

The collection in the museum includes numerous exhibits. The most notable among them are:

  • The helicon, monochord and the syntonon created by Pythagoras. These instruments were used by the great Greek philosopher to study the music scales and prove the math relation that defines the scales.
  • The lyra of god Hermes, the legendary instrument that was created with the shell of a turtle and the skin of an ox for the soundbox. This instrument also has strings from sheep gut and arms from goat horn.
  • Apollo’s guitar: this is a relatively complicated instruments since its balancing weights were difficult to be defined. It has rotating string spirals, and flexible curlicues for a resonance that is wave like. It also permits the adjustment of the bridge in the case you want to change the music notes.
  • The Homeric phorminx, the pandoura – which is the predecessor of all stringed instruments as we know them today such as the baglama, guitar and bouzouki.
  • The guitar of Orpheus
  • The harp of Sappho andan harp of a triangular shape
  • A sambyke
  • The helicon of Ptolemeus
  • The Dionysian barbitos and other stringed instruments.
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