Wind

Aulos; Salpinx; Syrinx; Hydraulis: all of these instruments have a shared attribute. They produce their sound through the passage of air, hence the name ‘wind instruments’. However, the way the passage of air was produced differs between each instrument. The aulos was sounded by blowing through a double-reed (similar to an oboe or bassoon). The salpinx was sounded through a trumpet-like mouthpiece. The syrinx was played by blowing air over the top of hollow pipes (like pan-pipes worldwide). The hydraulis, the most complicated of these wind instruments, was operated by bellows, which created the air-flow needed to sound a variety of pipes (similar to a modern organ).

 

WIND INSTRUMENTS

Aulos

1816,0610.502
BM.1816,0610.502. The ‘Elgin Aulos’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salpinx

salpinx
Detail of BM  1867,0508.941. Black-figure Pinax, depicts a salpinx-player.

 

Syrinx

syrinx
Detail of BM 1884,0801.1. Hierocles, the syrinx-player of Ebenos.

 

Hydraulis

hydraulis
BM 1965,10-11.1. Lamp shaped as an organist playing the hydraulis.

 

Click on the links above to explore these instruments in more detail, including how they are represented in art, society, literature, and myth!

Clicking the picture will take you to the relevant museum website about that specific object. Clicking the bold subheading will take you to more information on that specific instrument.