The Ephesus Aulos (600–550 BC) Preliminary reconstruction

Click here to listen to the sound of a replica of  this reconstruction of the Ephesus aulos, played by Marco Sciascia in 2020.

In 2021, I have produced a 3D model of a reconstruction of the Ephesus aulos (550–600 BC) that I completed in 2020. I have since changed my mind on a few details, but they should not affect significantly the acoustic properties of this instruments, so it is still a good starting point! 

The extant section of this ivory pipe is preserved at the British Museum (1907,1201.423, mistakenly catalogued as a ‘flute’). The measurements I have used for this section of the pipe are taken from an article by Stelios Psaroudakēs (2002, pl. 22).


I have reconstructed the missing parts of this instrument — the so-called extension, mouthpiece and reed — on the basis of archaeological parallels combined with a mathematical model of this pipe, which gives a basic estimate of the scale it produces.  This estimate has been refined and confirmed by a physical reconstruction of the pipe made by Marco Sciascia in December 2020.


The cultural and aesthetic significance of this pipe will be discussed in one of the books I am currently working on (Plato’s musical ethos: ancient modes, instruments and rhythms).