Ancient Roman Music






Little and less is known about the musical traditions of the ancient world. Some about Greece, less about Egypt, and almost nothing about Rome. The Ancient Roman concept of “music” was very different from the one we have today. The wealthy citizens of Latium did not frequent sophisticated concerts and the musicians were not esteemed members of society. This was not a popular form of entertainment for all. Music was either viewed as a detached from reality, a strict mathematical discipline or a cheap tool for distracting the low classes.

Although the Romans wrote little about music, abundant pictoral evidence exists, based on which scholars are able to recreate instruments, scales and modes. For a number of years, Popov has been traveling around museums and archeological sites around Europe and assembled an extensive gallery of roman music-making.


Read more about the history of Ancient Roman music.

Below are two pieces of Roman fakelore, as imagined by Theo Popov for the Oriental Dances in NERO ARTIFEX.