Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.

Statue of Aristotle

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote on…

In Norse mythology, Aslog, daughter of Siegfried and Brunhild, becomes an orphan and is adopted by an old harp player, Heimir. Concerned about her safety, Heimir hides Aslog in his harp.

Aslog and Heimir

In Norse mythology, Aslog, daughter of Siegfried and Brunhild, becomes an orphan and is adopted by an…

"Roman Ivory Aulos found at Pompeii, showing slides and rings." — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

Aulos

"Roman Ivory Aulos found at Pompeii, showing slides and rings." — The Encyclopedia Britannica,…

"Beak mouthpiece. Found at Pompeii." — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

Aulos Mouthpiece

"Beak mouthpiece. Found at Pompeii." — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

(1685-1750) German musician.

Johann Sebastian Bach

(1685-1750) German musician.

A musical instrument used in Scotland.

Bagpipe

A musical instrument used in Scotland.

"Ancient Persian Bag-pipes" — Encyclopediia Britannica, 1910

Ancient Persian Bagpipe

"Ancient Persian Bag-pipes" — Encyclopediia Britannica, 1910

"Bagpipe, a musical wind-instrument of very great antiquity, having been used among the ancient Greeks, and being a favorite instrument over Europe generally in the fifteenth century." -Vaughan, 1906

Highland Bagpipe

"Bagpipe, a musical wind-instrument of very great antiquity, having been used among the ancient Greeks,…

A German composer and pianist. He is considered to have been the most crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in classical music.

Ludwig van Beethoven

A German composer and pianist. He is considered to have been the most crucial figure in the transitional…

The crotal is an ancient bell, a percussion instrument that is tuned and made of a bronze or brass sphere.

Ancient Crotal Bell

The crotal is an ancient bell, a percussion instrument that is tuned and made of a bronze or brass sphere.

An illustration of seven boys playing the drums standing in a line.

Seven Boys Playing Drums

An illustration of seven boys playing the drums standing in a line.

An illustration of a line of seven boys playing the flute.

Seven Boys Playing Flute

An illustration of a line of seven boys playing the flute.

"The <em>buccina</em> is curved for the convenience of the performer, with a very wide mouth, to diffuse and increase the sound." &mdash; Anthon, 1891

Curved buccina

"The buccina is curved for the convenience of the performer, with a very wide mouth, to diffuse…

"A copy of an ancient sculpture taken from Blanchini's work, it still retains the original form of the shell." &mdash; Anthon, 1891

Straight buccina

"A copy of an ancient sculpture taken from Blanchini's work, it still retains the original form of the…

A cartoon of a band instructor and a tuba player.

Cartoon of Band Instructor and Tuba Player

A cartoon of a band instructor and a tuba player.

Castanets held in a hand.

Castanets

Castanets held in a hand.

An instrument composed of two concave shells of ivory or hardwood, shaped like spoons placed together, fastened to the thumb, and beat with the middle fingers.

Castanetes

An instrument composed of two concave shells of ivory or hardwood, shaped like spoons placed together,…

"Another [Chinese] stringed instrument is the Se, (also written Che), which had originally 50 strings. as now used, it has only 25 strings. Four kinds are in use, differing in size and in number of strings. It is customary that they should give the sound of two notes simultaneously, generally octaves. Some of these, used by the most skillful performers, have only 13 or 14 strings. The strings are plucked by two small ivory picks." --Baltzell, 1905

Che

"Another [Chinese] stringed instrument is the Se, (also written Che), which had originally 50 strings.…

Children playing instruments.

Children Playing

Children playing instruments.

An illustration of a boy and girl holding a chorus book and singing.

Children Singing & Holding Chorus Book

An illustration of a boy and girl holding a chorus book and singing.

"Extempore musical and terpischorean entertainment at the United States arsenal, Baton Rouge, La., under the patronage of the Forty-First Massachusetts, the one hundred and Thirty-First New York and the Twenty-Fifth Connecticut Volunteers- contraband children dancing the breakdown. If anything were necessary to show the sensuous nature of music, it would be found in the eagerness with which the contraband race pursued it. The Federals, with that love of fun which ever distinguishes the brave soldier off duty, got up, a few evenings after their arrival at Baton Rouge, an extempore musical and terpsichorean entertainment, in which the darky element was largely and loudly represented. The hall was one of the extensive rooms in the United States Arsenal building, and prominent among the promoters were the Forty-first Massachusetts, One Hundred and Thirty-first New York and the Twenty-fifth Cennecticut Volunteers. One of the features was a breakdown, which was dance, or rather jumped, with great vigor by a couple of contraband juveniles."— Frank Leslie, 1896

Civil War entertainment

"Extempore musical and terpischorean entertainment at the United States arsenal, Baton Rouge, La., under…

A wind instrument blown with the mouth.

Cornet

A wind instrument blown with the mouth.

Ordinary-shape

Cornet-A-Pistons

Ordinary-shape

Circular shape

Cornet-A-Pistons

Circular shape

A drummer, juggler, and chaplain are entertaining the nobles and at Nursted Court. The kettle drum is carried by an assistant while the drummer played. The chaplain is holding a manuscript for the music played.

Juggler and Drummer Nursted Court

A drummer, juggler, and chaplain are entertaining the nobles and at Nursted Court. The kettle drum is…

An illustration of fourteenth century architecture, dress, and musical instruments at Nursted Court, Kent. The nobles and the rich ore on the left talking, while the musicians and the juggler on the right are entertaining the nobles. The musicians are playing kettle drum, shawm, Portative (hand organ), vielle, and a harp.

Musician and Nobles in Nursted Court

An illustration of fourteenth century architecture, dress, and musical instruments at Nursted Court,…

An illustration of men and woman dancing.

Dance

An illustration of men and woman dancing.

"Ancient Greek Double Pipes. Elgin Collection, British Museum." &mdash; The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

Double Pipes

"Ancient Greek Double Pipes. Elgin Collection, British Museum." — The Encyclopedia Britannica,…

An instrument of music, consisting of a hollow cylinder, upon which a piece of vellum is stretched, to be beating with a stick.

Drum

An instrument of music, consisting of a hollow cylinder, upon which a piece of vellum is stretched,…

"Very old form of Egyptian Harp, resembling our modern violin." &mdash; Cooke, 1910

Egyptian Harp

"Very old form of Egyptian Harp, resembling our modern violin." — Cooke, 1910

A father playing a banjo for his daughter before she goes to sleep.

Father Playing Banjo

A father playing a banjo for his daughter before she goes to sleep.

A cylindrical wind instrument, with holes along its length, stopped by the figners or by keys opened by the fingers.

Flute

A cylindrical wind instrument, with holes along its length, stopped by the figners or by keys opened…

"In music, an instrument of the pipe kind, in which the tone is produced by the impact of a current of air upon the edge of a hole in the side of a tube." -Whitney, 1911

Flute

"In music, an instrument of the pipe kind, in which the tone is produced by the impact of a current…

A wind instrument of music.

French-horn

A wind instrument of music.

An illustration of a girl playing the piano.

Girl Playing Piano

An illustration of a girl playing the piano.

An illustration of two girls singing while holding a chorus book between the two of them.

Two Girls Singing & a Holding Chorus Book

An illustration of two girls singing while holding a chorus book between the two of them.

A decorative divider with Greek statues, musical instruments, and flowers.

Greek Divider

A decorative divider with Greek statues, musical instruments, and flowers.

A stringed instrument resembling the violin, but larger, and having six strings, played upon with the fingers.

Guitar

A stringed instrument resembling the violin, but larger, and having six strings, played upon with the…

A man playing a typical alto guitar fiddle in the 15th century.

Alto Guitar Fiddle

A man playing a typical alto guitar fiddle in the 15th century.

Representation of a European guitar in AD 1180.

European Guitar

Representation of a European guitar in AD 1180.

"French guitar of 17th century. GUITAR. A musical instrument of the lute class, having usually six strings stretched over a violin-shaped body, and a long neck and finger-board combined." -Whitney, 1911

French Guitar

"French guitar of 17th century. GUITAR. A musical instrument of the lute class, having usually six strings…

French guitar, from the seventeenth century.

Guitar, French Seventeenth Century

French guitar, from the seventeenth century.

A modern guitar.

Guitar, Modern

A modern guitar.

A hand drawing a violin-bow across the edge of a goblet half-filled with water.

Hand with bow and glass

A hand drawing a violin-bow across the edge of a goblet half-filled with water.

A portable organ played by means of a cylinder set with pins and staples, and turned with a crank.

Hand-organ

A portable organ played by means of a cylinder set with pins and staples, and turned with a crank.

German composer.

George Frederick Handel

German composer.

"The blind Handel being led to the organ." &mdash; Cooke, 1910

George Frederick Handel

"The blind Handel being led to the organ." — Cooke, 1910

An Anglo-Saxon harp.

Harp, Anglo-Saxon

An Anglo-Saxon harp.

An Assyrian Harp.

Harp, Assyrian

An Assyrian Harp.

Egyptian harps.

Harp, Egyptian

Egyptian harps.

"That the Egyptians paid great attention to the study of music and had arrived at a very accurate knowledge of the art, is evident from the instruments which they used." &mdash; Goodrich, 1844

Egyptian harp

"That the Egyptians paid great attention to the study of music and had arrived at a very accurate knowledge…

An illustration of Marloye's harp, used to show longitudinal vibrations in rods. It is made up a number of steel rods lined up vertically on an oblique-shaped board.

Marloye's Harp

An illustration of Marloye's harp, used to show longitudinal vibrations in rods. It is made up a number…

A player of the harp.

Harpist

A player of the harp.

Girl with a horn

Horn

Girl with a horn

A horn

Horn

A horn

Native musical instruments from Uganda.

Instruments

Native musical instruments from Uganda.

A piano keyboard.

Keyboard

A piano keyboard.

"The principle of the sound of silk is exemplified in the Kin or Ch'in, made of twisted silk being stretched over a wooden frame. The number of strings was five, to agree with the five elements; the upper part was rounded, to represent the heavens; the bottom was flat, to represent the ground. The number of strings was later increased to seven, which is the favored form, tuned to G, A, C, D, E, G, A, a pentatonic scale." --Baltzell, 1905

Kin

"The principle of the sound of silk is exemplified in the Kin or Ch'in, made of twisted silk being stretched…

Scene from the nursery rhyme, "King Cole."

King Cole

Scene from the nursery rhyme, "King Cole."

"The European lute is derived in form and name from the Arabic "el ud," "the wood," the consonant of the article "el" having been retained in the European languages for the initial of the name. The Arab instrument, with convex sound-body, pointing to the resonance board or membrane having been originally placed upon a gourd, was strung with silk and played with a plectrum of shell or quill. It was adopted by the Arabs from Persia." &mdash;The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1903

Lute

"The European lute is derived in form and name from the Arabic "el ud," "the wood," the consonant of…