Today, we tend to think of instrumentation as guitars, bass, drums and keyboards. If we want to go a little further, there’s brass (like trumpets and saxophones), traditional stringed instruments like violins and cellos, and woodwinds like oboes, flutes and the like.
But have you ever heard of a epigonion?
If you were in a band in ancient Greece and you had one of these things, you were the equivalent of–well, you were somewhere between the guitarist and the keyboard player. You had to be very good to play this thing because it had 40 strings and could be plucked in 127 defined ways.
And if your band existed 3500 years ago, you might have played the barbiton. That would have made you the bass player. Out front would have been the dude on the phormix, which would have made him the guitarist. Scientists are still working out how these things might have sounded.