Most people know that Iron Maiden wrote a song about Alexander the Great, but others aren’t sure about whether or not this historical figure enjoyed music. Can we talk about Alexander the Great music? We’re going to take a brief look at Alexander’s life and answer the question about his taste in music once and for all. The truth may shock you – especially if you’re not a student of history. If you’ve ever wondered about Alexander the Great’s musical tastes, keep reading to learn more about this world ruler.
If you read ancient texts about Alexander the Great, you’re going to find that he did indeed have a taste for poetry and music – especially during his teenage years. The thing you have to remember is that in the Classical Age, not everyone knew how to read and write. However, because of his position, Alexander the Great was allowed to learn and really picked up a taste for the finer things in life – like music.
As the son of King Philip II of Macedon, Alexander was destined to have some advantages in life. One of these was the fact that he was taught by the masters of the time, including Lysimachus of Acarnania who taught him how to play the lyre. After that point, Alexander had a lifelong love of all types of music that were popular in his day and age – including the music of enemy lands he conquered when he was out on a military campaigns.
While he didn’t learn a lot of music from him, Aristotle was actually one of Alexander the Great’s in his late teen years. During this time he kept up with his music studies, but he also learned about strategy and tactics for war – part of the training that would allow him to take over so much of the known world at the time. One of the biggest lessons Alexander learned from Aristotle was that it’s not a good idea to force Greek culture on lands he conquered.
Using this tactic, Alexander was able to subdue many lands he conquered. His love of music was one thing that probably led to him allowing conquered people to keep their music, but it was also his ability to take a look at the big picture. One can imagine that he had an internal soundtrack running in the back of his mind as he conquered Persia and then moved into India.
If you think you know what modern songs Alexander the Great would like, feel free to leave us a comment and let us know what you think he would listen to if he was alive today. There’s no way to tell for certain, of course, but it can be fun to imagine.
Written by: Sara Stark buys Sheet music online because it’s easy and she likes to pay for all the music that she uses for her online and offline projects. She’s saving up to buy a new piano, but she also enjoys making music with a keyboard by writing articles about music.