Do you love music?
Have you ever thought about the gods and goddesses of music in different mythologies?
Join me as I explore the fascinating world of the gods of music from different cultures around the world.
Music is an integral part of many cultures, and as such, it’s no surprise that it has been featured prominently in the mythologies of various civilizations throughout history.
In this article, we will explore some of the different gods and goddesses of music from different mythologies and discuss their unique stories and significance.
Read on to learn more about these mythical figures and their significance in the world of music.
- A Complete List of all Gods of Music
- Greek Gods of Music
- Roman God of Music
- Egyptian Gods of Music
- Norse Gods of Music
- Celtic Gods of Music
- African God of Music
- Hindu God of Music
- Mesopotamian Goddesses of Music
- Slavic God of Music
- Chinese Gods of Music
- Korean Gods of Music
- Japanese Goddess of Music
- Polynesian Gods of Music
- Native American Gods of Music
- Mesoamerican Gods of Music
A Complete List of all Gods of Music
The following is a complete list of all gods of music that I’ve found in my research. You can learn more about each one below.
- Apollo (Greek)
- The Muses (Greek)
- Pan (Greek)
- Canens (Roman)
- Meret (Egyptian)
- Ihy (Egyptian)
- Hathor (Egyptian)
- Bes (Egyptian)
- Bragi (Norse)
- Inuaria (Celtic)
- Cerridwen (Celtic)
- Taliesin (Celtic)
- Ogma (Celtic)
- The Dagda (Celtic)
- Angus Og (Celtic)
- Brigid (Celtic)
- Oshun (African)
- Saraswati (Hindu)
- Ninatta and Kulitta (Mesopotamian)
- Veles (Slavic)
- Väinämöinen (Slavic)
- Han Xiangzi (Chinese)
- Fuxi (Chinese)
- Sünu (Chinese)
- Kui (Chinese)
- Three Chaetpugi Brothers (Korean)
- Benzaiten (Japanese)
- Pasipo (Polynesian)
- Lono (Polynesian)
- Kokopelli (Native American)
- Nltci (Native American)
- Macuilxochitl (Mesoamerican)
- Xochiquetzal (Mesoamerican)
- Huehuecóyotl (Mesoamerican)
- Sak Nik (Mesoamerican)
- Ah-Xoc-Xin (Mesoamerican)
- Atabey (Mesoamerican)
Note: Some of these gods and goddesses are listed as being dieties over music, yet only a rare handful were solely devoted to the subject. For most, music was simply one of many things they provided.
Greek Gods of Music
Apollo is the Greek god of music, poetry, and prophecy. He is the patron of singers, musicians, and poets, and is often depicted with a lyre.
The Pythagoreans believed that the study of mathematics and music were connected to the worship of Apollo, and that music purifies the soul.
Apollo is also the leader of the Muses and the lover of many of them, and is the father of famous musicians like Orpheus and Linus.
2. The Muses
The Muses were the ancient Greek goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. They were considered the source of knowledge embodied in Greek culture, and were often invoked in poetry, songs, and myths.
In modern usage, a Muse can be a source of artistic inspiration.
The original Boeotian Muses were Melete, Aoede, and Mneme, and the nine Olympian Muses were Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania.
Pan is a Greek god associated with the wild, shepherds, and flocks. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, and is often associated with nature, sex, music and fertility.
In Roman mythology, he has a counterpart named Faunus who is the father of Bona Dea.
Pan and Apollo once competed in a musical competition, in which Tmolus served as the judge. Pan played his pipes, but Apollo was ultimately declared the winner.
Roman God of Music
In Roman mythology, Canens was a nymph from Latium and the personification of song.
She was the daughter of Janus and Venilia, and the wife of Picus.
When Picus rejected the advances of the witch Circe, she turned him into a woodpecker. Canens searched for her husband for six days before throwing herself into the Tiber river, singing one final song before she died.
She and Picus had one son, Faunus.
Egyptian Gods of Music
In Egyptian mythology, Meret was a goddess of rejoicing, such as singing and dancing. People sometimes depicted her as Hapy’s token wife, the god of the Nile.
Meret often appeared with an offering bowl on her head, symbolizing her role as the recipient of Hapy’s generosity.
Later myths also associate her with the eighth hour, according to the Book of Gates. Meret was particularly popular among the lower classes, who saw her as a symbol of successful harvests.
Ihy is an ancient Egyptian god who represents the joy of playing the sistrum.
He is often associated with the goddess Hathor, who is sometimes seen as his mother. Ihy’s symbols are the sistrum and a necklace.
Other goddesses, including Isis, Sekhmet, and Neith, are sometimes seen as his mothers in different legends.
In some stories, war deity Horus is Ihy’s father, while in others solar deity Ra is his father. Ihy was typically depicted as a naked child with curly hair and a necklace, holding a sistrum or with his finger in his mouth.
He was worshipped at Dendera alongside Horus and Hathor. Ihy is also associated with bread, beer, coffins, and the “Book of the Dead.”
Hathor was a powerful and popular goddess in ancient Egypt, known for her roles as a protector of women, goddess of love, beauty, music, dancing, fertility and pleasure.
She was also known as “The Eye of Ra” and was associated with the sun god’s defense. Hathor’s center of worship was in Dendera and she was worshipped by both men and women.
As the wife of Horus, she was associated with the mother of the pharaoh and the wife of the pharaoh. She was also the patron of cosmetics, with offerings of mirrors and cosmetic palettes common in her temples.
Every year, her statue would be carried in a boat to Edfu for a festival celebrating her union with Horus.
Bes was an ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as the protector of children, music, merriment, and childbirth.
He was commonly depicted as a dwarf-like being with arms too long for his body and was thought to drive away evil spirits with his unruly beard, lion’s mask, loud instruments, and wild dancing.
He was also associated with newlyweds and pregnant women.
Ancient Egyptian cups or vessels were often fashioned in his image and believed to acquire his healing properties. The modern Balearic island of Ibiza is named after him due to Phoenician settlers bringing his worship to the island.
Norse Gods of Music
Bragi is the wise and learned bard of Valhalla, the hall of Odin. Old Norse poetry frequently features him regaling the einherjar and welcoming recently deceased heroes into their midst.
One Eddic poem depicts him as having runes carved on his tongue. Bragi was originally the historical ninth-century bard Bragi Boddason. His poems were so artful and moving that subsequent generations imagined that Odin had appointed him the court poet of Valhalla after his death.
A troop of elite warriors, kings, and others favored by Odin needed an elite bard to sing of their countless exploits.
Celtic Gods of Music
Ianuaria is a Celtic goddess revered at the Burgundian sanctuary of Beire-le-chatel. The spring shrine was also dedicated to Apollo, triple-horned bulls and doves.
A small statuette from the temple shows a girl with curly hair holding panpipes. The base is inscribed with “Deae Ianuariae”.
It is unknown what this goddess represents, but she may have been a goddess of music due to her depiction with panpipes and Apollo’s association with music.
Ceridwen was an enchantress in Welsh medieval legend and was the mother of Afagddu and Creirwy. She was married to Tegid Foel and lived near Bala Lake in north Wales.
Medieval Welsh poetry refers to her as possessing the cauldron of poetic inspiration and the Tale of Taliesin recounts her swallowing her servant Gwion Bach who is then reborn as the poet Taliesin.
Taliesin was an early Brittonic poet of Sub-Roman Britain whose work may have survived in a Middle Welsh manuscript.
He is believed to have been a renowned bard who sang at the courts of at least three kings. In legend and medieval Welsh poetry, many referred to him as Taliesin Ben Beirdd.
He is mentioned as one of the five British poets of renown in the Historia Brittonum and is also mentioned in Y Gododdin.
Taliesin was highly regarded in the mid-12th century as the supposed author of many romantic legends. According to legend, he was adopted as a child by Elffin and prophesied the death of Maelgwn Gwynedd.
In later stories, he became a mythic hero and companion of Bran the Blessed and King Arthur.
Ogma is said to be the inventor of the Ogham alphabet, and is described as being skilled in speech and poetry. The Ogham is said to have been created as proof of his ingenuity and to create a speech that belongs to learned men.
14. The Dagda
The Dagda is a figure of immense power in Celtic mythology. He is said to own a magic staff, club, or mace which can kill nine men with one blow but can also bring them back to life with its handle.
He also has a magic cauldron that is bottomless and a magic harp that can put the seasons in order.
The Dagda is one of the kings of the Tuatha De Danann, the race of supernatural beings who conquered the Fomorians in Ireland. He is often depicted as crude and comical, but is also revered as a powerful earth god.
15. Angus Og
Aengus is a god in Irish mythology associated with youth, love, summer, and poetic inspiration.
He is the son of The Dagda and Boann, and is known as Macan Óc. He corresponds to the Welsh mythical figure Mabon and the Celtic god Maponos.
Brigid is a pre-Christian Irish goddess associated with wisdom, poetry, healing, protection, blacksmithing, and domesticated animals.
She is a member of the Tuatha De Danann and the daughter of the Dagda and wife of Bres. Saint Brigid shares many of her attributes and her feast day was originally a pagan festival marking the beginning of spring. It has been argued that the saint is a Christianization of the goddess.
African God of Music
Oshun is a Yoruba river deity and one of the most popular and venerated Orishas. She is the goddess of divinity, femininity, fertility, beauty, and love.
She is the patron saint of the Osun River in Nigeria and is honored at the Osun-Osogbo Festival. Oshun is one of the 401 Yoruba gods.
Hindu God of Music
Saraswati is a Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning. She is one of the Tridevi, along with Lakshmi and Parvati.
She is generally depicted with four arms, holding a book, a rosary, a water pot, and a musical instrument called the veena.
She is celebrated by some Hindus in the festival of Vasant Panchami, and is also revered by Jains and some Buddhist sects.
Mesopotamian Goddesses of Music
19. Ninatta and Kulitta
Ninatta and Kulitta were two goddesses who were the handmaidens of the Hurrian goddess Shaushka.
They were regarded as divine musicians and assisted their mistress in her attempt to subdue the monster Ḫedammu with a love potion.
The origin of their names is unknown, though it has been proposed that they might have Anatolian etymology. In ritual texts, they were grouped with other deities as members of Shaushka’s entourage.
Slavic God of Music
Veles is a major Slavic god of earth, waters, livestock, music, and the underworld. His mythology and powers are similar to those of Loki and Hermes.
He is the opponent of the supreme thunder god Perun. Veles is thought to be imagined as a dragon, which in Slavic paganism is a serpent that devours livestock. He is associated with the willow tree.
Väinämöinen is a hero and demigod in Finnish folklore and the central character in the national epic Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot.
He is described as an old and wise man with a powerful, magical singing voice.
Chinese Gods of Music
22. Han Xiangzi
Han Xiangzi is a figure in Chinese mythology and one of the Eight Immortals in Taoism. He is associated with the flute and is believed to be the composer of the Taoist musical piece Tian Hua Yin.
Han Xiangzi studied Taoist magical arts under Lü Dongbin, another of the Eight Immortals.
Fuxi is a culture hero in Chinese legend and mythology who, along with his sister and wife Nüwa, is credited with creating humanity and inventing music, hunting, fishing, domestication, and cooking as well as the Cangjie system of writing Chinese characters.
He is said to have been born in the lower-middle reaches of the Yellow River and is known as the “original god”. A possible historical interpretation of the myth is that Fuxi and Nüwa were leaders in the early patriarchal society while Chinese began the marriage rituals.
Sunü is an ancient Chinese goddess associated with music and sexuality. She is often depicted as a skilled singer who can play the zither and is known for her ability to pacify wild animals and inspire plants to grow.
She is also considered the author of Su Nü Jing, the basic book of Taoist sexology.
Kui is a figure in ancient Chinese mythology who is associated with music, dancing, and the invention of these arts.
He is also sometimes described as a one-legged mountain demon or rain-god, and is sometimes associated with the Kuiniu wild yak or buffalo.
Korean Gods of Music
26. Three Chaetpugi Brothers
The three Chaetpugi brothers are worshiped during Ch’ogongmaji, a shamanist rite for inviting the ancestor gods of shamans.
They are credited with inventing the shaman’s law, tools, and rituals, and are treated as the ancestor gods of shamans on Cheju Island. They are also known as sammyo(ngdu) and are associated with the sword, bell, and fortune-telling block.
Japanese Goddess of Music
Benzaiten is a Japanese goddess who originated from the Hindu goddess of speech, the arts, and learning, Saraswati, with certain traits derived from the warrior goddess Durga.
She is a patron of music and the arts and is also associated with giving monetary fortune. Benzaiten is often depicted holding a biwa or a lute, but may also be portrayed holding a sword and a wish-granting jewel. She is also sometimes shown with the head of a snake or a dragon.
Polynesian Gods of Music
Pasipo is a little-known god of music from the Philippines in Polynesian mythology.
Lono is a god in Hawaiian religion associated with fertility, agriculture, rainfall, music, and peace. He is also considered one of the four gods who existed before the world was created.
The Makahiki festival is held in his honor. During this time, war and unnecessary work are forbidden.
Lono is also associated with the winter Kona storms that bring rain to leeward areas of Hawaii.
Native American Gods of Music
Kokopelli is a fertility deity revered by some Native American cultures in the Southwestern United States.
He is associated with childbirth, agriculture, and music.
A little-known Native American god of wind instruments and the wind.
Mesoamerican Gods of Music
Macuiltochtli is one of the five Ahuiateteo deities from Aztec and other central Mexican pre-Columbian mythological traditions who symbolized excess and over-indulgence.
He was associated with the day coefficient of five in the tonalpohualli and had particular associations with inebriation and excessive consumption.
He was also part of the Centzon Totochtin, the four hundred rabbits who were all gods of drunkenness.
In Aztec mythology, Xochiquetzal is a goddess associated with fertility, beauty, and love.
She is a protector of young mothers and a patroness of pregnancy, childbirth, and the crafts practiced by women. In Maya culture, a similar figure is known as Goddess I.
In Aztec mythology, Huehuecóyotl is the god of music, dance, mischief, and song.
He is the patron of uninhibited sexuality and is associated with the day sign cuetzpallin and the fourth trecena Xochitl in the Aztec calendar.
35. Sak Nik
Sak Nik is a deity in Mayan mythology who is associated with various things such as music, the soul, and the wind.
He is depicted as a young man wearing a headband with flowers. In some cases, he is confused with another god, the Hero Twin Xbalanque.
Ah-Xoc-Xin was the Mayan god of poetry and music.
In Mayan mythology, Ah-Xoc-Xin was believed to be a powerful and benevolent deity who inspired artists and musicians to create works of beauty and excellence.
Atabey is an ancestral mother and supreme spirit in the Taíno religion. She is worshipped as a zemi, which is an embodiment of nature and ancestral spirit, of fresh water and fertility.
Atabey represents the Earth Spirit and the Spirit of all horizontal water, such as lakes, streams, the sea, and marine tides.
She was one of the most important spirits for the native tribes that inhabited the Caribbean islands of the Antilles, mostly in Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba.
Atabey is also known by other names such as Iermaoakar, Apito, Sumaiko, and Taíno women prayed to Atabey to ensure safe childbirth.
She has three different manifestations: the nurturing maternal figure, the spirit of love, and the violent, wild mother of storms, volcanoes, and earthquakes.