A carnelian sealstone showing showing a hydraulis, with apprentices operating the bellows. Roman, 1st-2nd century CE. British Museum, 1859.3-1.112
Hydraulis Terracotta Lamp
A terracotta lamp in the shape of a hydraulis being played by an organist. On either side of the manuals are the air pumps which fed the water organ with a supply of air into order to produce the notes. Roman, Porconsularis (modern Tunisia...
A young male tunes his tortoise-shell lyre, and a hare waits in anticipation. Fragmentary Kylix, c. 480 BCE. (Museum of the Ancient Agora, Athens)
Detail of Kithara Strings
A komast ('after-party reveler') plays his kithara. The body of the instrument is shown in red, the arms in white. The seven strings of the instrument can be clearly seen, also depicted in white. Skyphos by the Theseus Painter illustrating...
Chimu Gold Rattle
A Chimu gold rattle, 1100-1470 CE. The figure, with earspools and headdress, represents a member of the Chimu ruling class and was a common motif in Chimu art. (Art Institute of Chicago)
The Seikilos Stele, Copenhagnen NM inv.14897. This grave stele preserves the oldest complete song that has survived to our times, and dates to around the 2nd century CE. Found in 1883 by Sir William Ramsay at Aydin (Tralleis), the...
Gem: Grasshopper Playing the Lyre.
Sard gem engraved with a grasshopper marching to the right, wearing a lion-skin and playing on a lyre. Length: 1 centimetres Height: 1.3 centimetres 1st-3rd centuries CE London, BM, 1814,0704.1447.
Wall-painting of an Amorous Scene
Wall-painting of an amorous scene. The woman is holding a kithara. 1st century CE Height: 58 centimetres Length: 80 centimetres London, BM, 1867,0508.1353.
Euripides, Orestes, 338-44: Musical Fragment
This papyrus was written around 200 BCE in Hermopolis, Egypt, and contains seven fragmentary lines (338–344) from the first chorus of Euripides, Orestes. The fragment contains vocal and instrumental symbols written above the lines of the...
November Dressed as Isis
November dressed as a priestess of Isis holding a sistrum (rattle). From Carthage, modern-day Tunisia. Second half of the 4th century CE. (The British Museum, London)