The Louvre Aulos: Playing Techniques

Whenever I am asked, “what do you study?”, and I reply “ancient Greek music”, the inevitable follow-up is “but, do we even know what it sounded like?”. My reply is often, “yes, yes we do!” (before then correcting my over-enthusiasm: there are quite a few things we don’t know). However, how an aulos could have sounded is one of the things that we can be pretty certain about, especially with the Louvre aulos replica.

Dr. Stefan Hagel, himself a modern-day aulete and kitharode, created a detailed study of the Louvre aulos that can be found below.

On the basis of Dr. Hagel’s work, Thomas Rezanka, an Austrian bagpipe maker, produces modern, playable, replicas of the Louvre aulos (

Having saved up some of my PhD funds, I thought it would be worthwhile to invest in one. Not only would it be helpful in explaining the music of the aulos to others, it would also help me to better understand the ways in which ancient authors refer to the instrument, getting me that little bit closer to the ancient mindset. And, to be honest, learning to play an instrument that was created over 2000 years ago just seemed like a pretty darned fun thing to do!

So, without further ado, here are some audio clips of me playing the Louvre aulos! They aren’t really ‘tunes’, but sound clips that show what the instrument can do.

(I will be updating the blog with a few more posts about the various techniques and difficulties of playing the instrument soon.)


Louvre Aulos Teaser

Welcome to the Ancient Greek Music Study group and our first ever post! The next few posts I will be looking at the Louvre aulos, how it sounds, how it plays, mulling over its possible performance contexts, and all sorts of other details. This louvre aulos teaser hints at some of the things to come, and consists of a series of photos of a Louvre aulos replica, made by Thomas Rezanka. The next post will explore this instrument in a bit more detail, and include a bit of audio too!


If you want to learn a little bit more about who we are and what we will be doing, check out our about page.


Louvre Aulos Teaser pictures