Just one more thing: Music in Ancient Greece


Do you love music? Would you even call yourself…obsessed with it? Well, you’ve likely got nothing on the Ancient Greeks who lived and breathed music, as evidenced by Tim Hansen’s delightful TED-Ed Lesson Music and creativity in Ancient Greece. He shows us how music permeated every corner of the society, so when we asked Tim if there was an additional fact we missed, he couldn’t help but share this helpful analogy about the role of music in Ancient Greece.

What’s your favorite fact about the role of music in Ancient Greece that didn’t make it into the TED-Ed Lesson?

Despite having developed writing and literature, much of Ancient Greek education was oral (the Greeks were, and still are, enthusiastic orators). They lacked a simple method for replicating written material to facilitate education, so instead, like many other cultures throughout history, they used songs and music. In a way, music back then is analogous today to the role of paper – or increasingly, the internet – in education. A piece of paper can be used to write a story, create a poem, discuss a historical event: It’s such a fundamental part of a modern, civilized society that we can’t really fathom how education could function without it. Now imagine that, when studying something, instead of paper, we used songs. That’s how important music was to the Ancient Greeks.

To learn even more about music in Ancient Greece, please visit Tim’s TED-Ed Lesson.