Provisional Abstract. Ancient Greek sources are full of concerns related to the music of people who are not-Greek, stereotyped as “barbarian’: qualifications such as “womanish’ and “lascivious’ are often applied to the musical paradigm of the East, especially since the Persian threat. The purpose of this paper is to explore the construction of Hellenic self-identity through the notion of mousike, mainly analyzing those literary references in which “Greek’ and “foreign’ elements are presented as opposite, and trying to interpret them as indicators of cultural and political changes in the contemporary society.