The social development of the music profession in ancient Greece.

Date of Award


Document Type



College of Liberal Arts

Degree Name

Bachelor in Arts


Seemingly overnight in the early third century BCE, guilds of Dionysiac Artists became among the largest and most powerful private associations of the Hellenistic period. Professional musicians, once members of a small and exclusive field, now had the influence to interact directly with cities, leagues and kingdoms. This power did not come about spontaneously, however. It was the result of several hundred years of social, political and economic development in Ancient Greece, throughout which the music profession was invested in, expanded and democratized. The first large-scale musical competitions, the civic commitment to entertainment in fifth century Athens and the new music revolution all played important roles in the evolution of the music profession from the bards of Homer to the powerful guilds of the third century, and for centuries later. This thesis will explore exactly how the development of ancient Greek society shaped the accompanying development of the music profession.