The aulos was a musical wind instrument played by the ancient Greeks. It was also known as the kalamos or libykos lotos, which referred to the material from which part of the instrument was made: respectively, the reed and the Libyan lotus plant. Perhaps the most commonly played instrument in Greek music, the aulos was played in festivals, processions of births and deaths, athletic games - for the athletes to keep their exercises in rhythm, social occasions, and performances of tragedy in the Greek theatre. It was associated with the god Dionysos and often played at private drinking parties.

More about: Aulos


  • c. 5000 BCE
    The first aulos musical instruments are carved from bone.
  • 2700 BCE - 2300 BCE
    The first depiction in art of the aulos musical instrument appears in Cycladic sculpture.
  • c. 400 BCE
    Theban musicians invent a more sophisticated aulos with metal keys.