header
Classical 99.5 | Classical Radio Boston
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Blog

For the First Time Ever, Hear the Music of Ancient Rome

A mosaic from Pompeii, showing 3 musicians playing ancient instruments.
Wikimedia Commons
A mosaic from Pompeii, showing 3 musicians playing ancient instruments.

What music would you have heard while taking a stroll through ancient Pompeii? Plus, a violin boat, the Great Stalacpipe Organ, and more!

1. Artist Livio di Marchi's fanciful boat — modeled after a real violin, in honor of Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi — set sail in Venice's canals recently, signaling the return of life to the city after lockdown:

2. Virginia's Luray Caverns are home to a fascinating instrument: the Great Stalacpipe Organ. Mallets bounce off the tones to produce sound, like in this video of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata:

3. Most pianos have 88 keys, spanning just over seven octaves. This one, though, has 108, and its range is astounding.

4. An oldie but a goodie: 10 Beethoven references in popular culture you might've missed.

5. The music of Ancient Rome has long been a puzzle. We know about some of the instruments that were popular then, and can guess how they were played, but what did that music sound like? Scholar and composer MaryAnn Tedstone Glover's research answers that question.