In the Mishna, it mentions a musical instrument called a 'סמפוניה', transliterated 'Simp-O-nya'.

This sounds rather like the English word symphony, which is a musical composition.

What is the relation between the two words?

  • 1
    Symfonia in Greek means "voice (sound) together", in modern transscribation meaning "coordinated sound(s)". In modern Greek "symfonia" may even mean an agreement.
    – user10781
    Oct 31, 2015 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


They both come from Greek συμφωνία.This was used in ancient and mediaeval times as a name for various musical instruments, including a type of drum.

  • 1
    Yes, or more literally: "having a sound together".
    – fdb
    Mar 5, 2015 at 13:25
  • 2
    Also in modern times in Spanish there are at least two instruments with names derived from this: zampoña (siku), an Andean panpipe; and zanfona, a hurdy-gurdy.
    – pablodf76
    Jan 9, 2017 at 14:14

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