Outstanding Culture of Music In Ancient Rome

Outstanding Culture of Music In Ancient Rome

Music and its Mark On Roman Society


Through nearly a thousand and five hundred years, the Roman Empire was the most influential society in most of Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. Their cultural heritage of Latin, their influence, their creations have been long overlooked and forgotten. This was expected, it has been almost six hundred years since this empire crumbled into pieces, as well as most of their culture along with the destruction. Music was important for Roman society, the decibels heard in average ancient cities were much lower than the cities of today, so citizens in Rome usually heard music all around the country, from churches and singers with ancient instruments like the Roman tuba, the cornu, the tibia, and more. It was truly a different time.

Music in the Roman Empire was a meaningful structure in the society of the country. Music and carmen (songs) were used at sacrifices, funerals, Catholic churches, games at the Colosseum in Rome, and more parts of society. An example of this was when Augustus (the first Roman Emperor) directed The Secular Ode of Horace which was performed by the choir in 17 BC at the Secular Games. The Secular Games was a celebration of religion with music performances, sacrifices, and song. Nero the fifth Roman Emperor, used to compete and perform music at places like Greece. Music and the performance of music were also important in factors like social classes and knowledge. Music was also embraced as entertainment and competition in society like today.

  • (The social classes of Ancient Rome were Patricians, Senators, Equestrians, Commons, Freedpeople, and Slaves.)


A predecessor of Rome

Also, there was a culture that influenced the Romans, Etruscan. The Estrucan civilization was a civilization in Italy that dated from around 900 BC. This culture was previously influenced by the Ancient Greeks, and it existed until it got assimilated into Roman culture at the BC 4th century. Etruscan in multiple respects had some of their modern culture inherited by the Romans in regards to building designs, religious practices, and more. As Rome invaded Greece, and the rest of Italy, it has taken references from these cultures. This is also the case with music and art.

Reference of Etruscan architecture 


Roman architecture 


Instruments used in Ancient Rome

  • Bugles
  • Tubas
  • French Horn
  • Panpipe
  • Lyre
  • Organ
  • Drum
  • Lute
  • Cymbala
  • Lituus or trumpet
  • Sambuca
  • Cithara or guitar
  • Bagpipe
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet horn
  • Sistrum
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