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The aulos in Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greek Mythology it is said that the Aulos (flute) was created by the goddess Athena but one day while she was playing she looked herself in the mirror and was horrified of how her chicks inflated so she threw it away. The flute was found by the satyr Marsyas, who then invited god Apollo to a music contest between the two of them. The judges who were the Muses and Midas voted as the winner Apollo and Marsyas was skinned alive because of committing Yvris (divine insult) towards the god. The myth symbolizes the constant battle between the Apollonian and the Dionysian nature of a man.

Aulos was the basic instrument in all the festivities in Ancient Greece especially in ceremonies that happened in the name of god Dionysus. We can find their depiction in vases where the aulos has also a leather belt in order for the person to fasten it. Depending on the way it is made there are one or two pipes and the person can blow from the top or on the side like today’s flute. It is the most important wind instrument, and it was used in almost all private and public ceremonies, championships, processions and ancient Greek tragedies.

These instruments were created mostly by bone, cane or wood together with bronze and a wooden mouthpiece.

All these characteristics you can see in the slider that follows, which has photos of aulos’ replicas. Our team will create 3D digital models of these instruments for the MNESIAS program.