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Music in Ancient and Modern Rome

Rome is a vibrant center for Italian culture, and visitors to the city will already probably be in some way familiar with its art and architecture. Many people will have glorious views of the buildings of Rome from the windows of their hotel. Rome center is full of history and culture in many ways, though, one of which is music. From ancient times to the modern days, music has been an important part of cultural life in the city, and modern Rome has a thriving musical scene, featuring several prestigious and internationally-renovated theaters and music halls. Here are a few fascinating facts about music in Rome, from the past to the present.

Ancient Rome

Although musical scholars do not know as much about the music of ancient Rome as they do about the music of other cultures, such as the ancient Greeks, one theory is that as Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, they suppressed the theaters and festivals incorporating music. The Romans are not believable to have been particularly creative when it came to music, which was probably a boon whilst staying at an ancient Roman hotel! Rome center was probably a lot quieter in ancient times, without all the noise of modern life.


Ancient Rome was home to many unique instruments that slowly evolved into the ones used today. Many instruments were featured in ancient Roman music, such as the lyre, and early harp, or the lute, a three-stringed instrument. But the 'kithara' was the premier musical instrument of the day – a large stringed instrument that was the forerunner of today's guitar. Virtuoso kithara players shared the same prestige as the guitar players of today.

Teatro dell'Opera

There are plenty of venues for music-lovers today to enjoy if they want to seek out the latest live performances. Many of the avenues are worth the trip from your hotel – Rome center is full of wonderful music if you know where to look and listen! The Theater of the Opera, or Teatro dell'Opera, was built in the 1880's in the 'building boom' when Italy was a fledgling nation-state. The theater has seen the premieres of many famous works, including Tosca and Cavalleria Rusticana. It has also played host to Visconti's staging of The Marriage of Figaro, a memorable performance by anyone's standards. The theater is also home to a multimedia archive, for visitors looking to experience some classical pieces and performances.

National Academy of Santa Cecilia

Originally formed and authorized by Pope Gregory XIII in the year 1566, this prestigious academy has remained one of the most influential musical organizations in the world. This is permanently a long history including Rome's invasion by Napoleon! Anyone looking to discover a little more about the musical history of may want to take a day trip out the National Academy of Santa Cecilia, which although not in the city, is still easily accessed from a center hotel. Rome center is home to many different venues, but the Parco della Musica (where the National Academy of Santa Cecilia is based) is located to the north of Rome.

Source by Roberta Stuart

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