The history of Western music is primarily rooted in Greek and Roman antiquity, though music existed in virtually every culture long before this. Nevertheless, music was an important part of the lives of the ancient Greeks. Greek philosophers wrote about the power of music, the mathematician Pythagoras explored the mathematics behind musical sounds, and well-known Greek playwrights, such as Sophocles and Aristophanes, used music in their tragedies and comedies.
The Greeks and Romans had many musical instruments, including the lyre, harp, and the cornu horn, which were used in a variety of ceremonies and festivals. The Greeks also developed different systems of music notation, such as the more general harmonia and the more specific Dorian or Lydian, which were names after specific tribes and based upon unique modes, or the specific ordering of musical tones and their corresponding notes. All of these helped music to thrive, and it probably would have evolved in a different way if it hadn’t been for two major factors: the birth of Christianity and the fall of Rome.