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Séjour court


Archéology - Italy

Contact details

Research topics


Mapping Greek and Roman Musical Instruments

The project will create a knowledge base of musical instruments and sounding objects coming from the Classical Antiquity (Greece and Rome, VIIIth century BC-VIIth century CE), kept in European and worldwide museums and collections.
Such a knowledge base will represent a reference point for the Classicists and the researchers of the ancient Mediterranean civilizations interested not only in music, but also in other aspects of the ancient societies, such as culture and art, religion, philosophy and cultural anthropology. In addition to provide a complete overview of the material evidence about music in the ancient Mediterranean area, this knowledge base will be also an important tool for museum curators and a solid reference point for the stakeholders (scholars, museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions), enabling them to carry out their research focused on ancient music.
In particular, the data concerning musical instruments organized in this knowledge base will allow scholars to study musical evidence from the standpoint of both their organological features and their historical and athropological meaning (use and function, also in relation to their archaeological context). Such a database will be an indispensable tool for a comparative research of morphological features of related instruments used in different geographic areas, and by extension the geographical dissemination of instruments. Read in the light of the written and visual evidence, these musical findings represent a very precious and rare material source that makes possible reconstruction of ancient soundscapes. For this reason, in building the planned knowledge base, it is important also to envision for the future an expansion of the database content to other items related to ancient music, such as incriptions, texts, images and architectural structures devoted to host musical events.
The creation of this knowledge base requires also the definition of a conceptual model of catologuing archaeological musical instruments combining the needs and criteria of both musicology and archeology, and of museology. For this reason it will be supported by the creation of a network involving together museums and institutions dealing both with archaeology and music.

Activities / Resume


After a Bachelor in Classics and in music (piano), Daniela Castaldo received her PhD in Classical archaeology at the University of Lausanne. She was first Adjunct Professor of Music Iconography at University of Bologna (Ravenna campus) and since 2002 she has been teaching Music history and Music iconography at the University of Salento (Lecce), where, since 2015 is Associate Professor.
Her main fields of interests include music in ancient Greek and Roman world, music archaeology, music in Pre-Roman Italy (Etruscans and Italic peoples), music iconography, reception of Classical music iconography from Renaissance to the nineteenth century.
She is on the board of the research project RIMAnt (Repertorium Instrumentorum Musicorum Antiquorum) (CNRS HiSoMA Lyon; CNRS ARCHIMEDE Strasbourg; Université de Poitiers, Université de Rennes2, Università del Salento, Università di Bologna).
She is member of the Board of the Association Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale (RIdIM) and of Music in Art. International Journal for Music Iconography. She is incoming president of MOISA: The International Society for the Study of Greek and Roman Music and its Cultural Heritage.



  • Musiche dell’Italia antica. Introduzione all’archeologia musicale, Bologna, Antequem 2012 (Reviewed in «Bryn Mawr Classical Review» 2014.06.12);
  • Il Pantheon musicale. Iconografia nella ceramica attica tra VI e IV secolo, Ravenna, Longo, 2000 (Reviewed in «Imago Musicae», XX, 2003).

Books Chapters

  • The Visual Heritage: Images of Ancient Music before and after the Rediscovery of Pompeii, in E. Rocconi, T. Lynch, A Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Music, Malden, Mass., Wiley Blackwell, 2020, p. 473-488;
  • The music of the conquered: archaeological findings from the time of Alexander the Great, in M. Stöckli, A. Adje Both (eds.), Crossing Borders: Musical Change and Exchange through Time, Proceedings of the 13th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group for Music Archaeology, Berlin, Ekhō Verlag, 2020, p. 211-222.
  • Inspiration dionysiaque et musique dans la peinture de Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912), in A. Sotropa, S. Vitacca (éds.), Bacchanales! Le nu, l’ivresse et la danse au XIXe siècle, Bordeaux, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 2019, p. 59-74.
  • Images of Ancient Music in Jean-Jacques Boissard's Works, in Music Cultures in Sounds, Worlds and Images: Festschrift in Honor of Zdravko Blazekovic, eds. T. Markovic, A. Baldassarre, Wien, Hollitzer Wissenschaftverlag, 2018, p. 407-420.
  • Paestum: Ritual Music in Honor of the Dead, in Raquel Jiménez, Rupert Till, Mark Howell (eds.), Music & Ritual. Bridging Material and Living Cultures, Berlin, Ekhō Verlag, 2013, p. 117-132.
  • Music on Stage in Red-Figure Vase-Painting of Magna Graecia (400–320 BC). The Role of Music in the So-Called ‘Phlyax Vases’, in Sound from the Past: the Interpretation of Musical Artifacts in Archaeological Context, Proceedings of the 7th Conference of the International Study Group on Music Archaeology, Rhaden/Westf., Verlag Marie Leidorf 2012, p. 323-360 (co-authored with E. Rocconi).
  • The music of “Peoples without notes”: evidence of musical archaeology from Magna Graecia, in E. Hickmann, R. Eichmann (eds.), Musical Perceptions, Past and Present. On Ethnographic Analogy in Music Archaeology, 6th Symposium of the International Study Group on Music Archaeology (Berlin 2008), Rahden/Westf., Verlag Marie Leidorf, 2010, («Studien zur Musikarchäologie VII»), p. 27-34.
  • “The sound of krotala maddening women:” Krotala and percussion instruments in ancient Attic pottery, in D. Yatromanolakis (ed.), An Archaeology of Representations: Ancient Greek Vase-Painting and Contemporary Methodologies, Athens, A. Kardamitsa, 2009, p. 282-297.
  • Musica a Taranto in età ellenistica, in M.C. Martinelli (ed.), La Musa dimenticata. Aspetti dell’esperienza musicale greca in età ellenistica, Pisa, Edizioni della Normale, 2009, p. 275-287.

Articles in journals

  • The kithara in the Hellenistic age between Greece and Magna Graecia, in «Musique-Images-Instruments», 18, 2000, p. 2-10 (in print).
  • Music and Dance in Roman Theatre: the Ancient Pantomime, in «Music in Art», XLV, 2020, pp. 11-30.
  • Musical Themes and Private Art in the Augustan Age, in «Greek and Roman Musical Studies», 2018/1, p. 96-114.
  • Les dieux et la musique en Grèce antique, in «Les Dossiers d'Archéologie», 383, septembre 2017, pp. 56-59.
  • Egyptian Presences in Music of Ancient Rome, in «Itineraria», 16, 2017, p. 37-58.
  • Musique en Suisse à l’époque romaine: exemples d’archéologie musicale, «Bulletin de l’Association Suisse d'Archéologie Classique», 25, 2013, p. 48-53.
  • Eventi sonori in età augustea: Una lettura iconografica, Ercole musico: un esempio di ripresa rinascimentale, «Ocnus. Quaderni della Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia dell’Università di Bologna», 18, 2010, p. 164-176.