Characteristics of Greek, Arabian, Egyptian, Roman and African Music

Subject : 

Cultural and Creative Art

Term :

First Term / 1st Term


Week 10

Class :

JSS 2 / Basic 8

Previous lesson : 

The pupils have previous knowledge of       PRODUCTION OF BEADS      in their previous classes

Topic :


Behavioural objectives:

At the end of the lesson, the pupils should be able to

  • Characteristics of Greek, Arabian, Egyptian, Roman and African Music
  • list materials that are needed for each branch of art


Instructional Materials:

  • Wall charts
  • Pictures of different types of houses
  • Related Online Video
  • Flash Cards

Methods of Teaching:

  • Class Discussion
  • Group Discussion
  • Asking Questions
  • Explanation
  • Role Modelling
  • Role Delegation


Reference Materials:

  • Scheme of Work
  • Online Information
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • 9 Year Basic Education Curriculum
  • Workbooks




Characteristics of Greek, Arabian, Egyptian, Roman and African Music

Greek Music

The word music is derived from the Greek word ‘mousike’ (the art of the muse). It defines an art in which melody and words were ideally inseparable.

The great philosopher, Plato, proposed that education in music was sovereign and he really made it compulsory in Greek education.

Characteristics of Greek music are as follows

  1. Recurrences of Greek ideals in music such as the revival of Greek tragedy which gave rise to opera-drama song to music.
  2. Terms, such as perfect, imperfect consonance (4ths, 5ths, octaves, thirds, and sixths) come from Greek theory.
  3. Most of the music in ancient Greece were composed of one un-harmonized melodic line.
  4. Divine origin and religious important were given to ancient Greek music.
  5. The principal instruments used then were two forms of lyra and the kithara; and a double oboe, the aulos. These were all used as solo instruments and to accompany singing and recitation.
  6. Modern Greek music also has a rich tradition of folk music.

Arabian Music

Characteristics of Arabian Music

  1. This is the music from the Arab nations in the Middle East as well as the Northern part of Africa.
  2. The sound of Arab music is richly melodic and gives opportunity for slight difference in tones and creative variation.
  3. While singing remains a central feature in Arab music tradition, recitation of words from the holy book of Muslims –the Qur’an (Koran) and music were closely linked.
  4. Musical instruments such as ‘ud’ (an instrument that looks like the European lute), an end- blown reed flute are used in Arab musical performance. There are also drums with or without jingles and these serve as percussion instruments.
  5. It should be noted that, various nations make up the Arab World therefore; these musical instruments vary in name and shape depending upon the region of their origin.


Egyptian Music

Characteristics of Egyptian Music

  1. It is probably dated to the year 200A.D. in music.
  2. The Egyptian music is very extensive in scope and had influence upon later Greek music.
  3. Egypt music is responsible for the development of the harp and the lyre family of musical instruments
  4. The scope of music in ancient Egypt is a very wide one. As seen in the various genres of Arab music, traditional ‘ud’ music was also visible. It was used in ensembles, as a solo instrument as well as to accompany voice.



  1. Give two characteristics of Greek music.
  2. Give two characteristics of Arabian music.
  3. Give two characteristics of Egyptian music.


Roman Music

Characteristics of Roman Music

  1. The Romans developed brass instruments, which they used in battle and in military processions. They also invented the hydraulics, an organ with a hydraulic air-pressure stabilizer.
  2. These instruments were used in religious ceremonies as well as in the theatre, where they accompanied the performance of Greek dramas.
  3. However, some elements of Greek musical traditions are also in ancient Roman music.


African Music

African music is that class of music which was practiced in Africa before the continent came under European influence. It is a combination of singing with some forms of accompaniment, either by hand clapping or by musical instruments or by unaccompanied voices.

Characteristics of African Music

  1. In African music, repetition is used as an organizing principle.
  2. It also shows conversational features where different voices and parts of musical instruments are exchanged creatively.
  3. In African music, the lead singer is at liberty to improvise. This makes room for a call and response kind of singing.
  4. Among the various musical instruments used in African music are a variety of drums. These are made in different sizes and shapes with diverse materials such as wood, clay, gourd combined with skin from various animals. Other instruments such as rattle, gong, lute, whistle, flute, etc. Are employed to produce music.
  5. Music serves several roles in African society. These include the medium of transmitting values and knowledge. It is also used during communal celebrations and personal ceremonies




The topic is presented step by step


Step 1:

The class teacher revises the previous topics


Step 2.

He introduces the new topic


Step 3:

The class teacher allows the pupils to give their own examples and he corrects them when the needs arise




The class teacher wraps up or concludes the lesson by giving out a short note to summarize the topic that he or she has just taught.

The class teacher also goes round to make sure that the notes are well copied or well written by the pupils.

He or she does the necessary corrections when and where the needs arise.




  1. Give any three characteristics of African music.
  2. Give two characteristics of roman music.
  3. Write at least two characteristics of the following
  4. Give two characteristics of Greek music.
  5. Give two characteristics of Arabian music.
  6. Give two characteristics of Egyptian music.