According to the ancient Greeks, music was a divine gift as it assisted in healing both soul and body. It was thought to purify and sooth people’s souls—and it inspired, encouraged and helped people to relax. Greek musical history extends far back into ancient Greece, since music was a major part of ancient Greek theater. Later influences from the Roman Empire, Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire changed the form and style of Greek music. Greek folk traditions are said to derive from the music played by ancient Greeks. The traditional music can be separated into two different styles: Greek traditional music and Byzantine music—a style that has more of an eastern sound. Throughout the history of Greece, both musical styles developed rhythm patterns, distinctive structures and unique melodies that have had a significant impact on Greek culture. Greek traditional music is an important element in both public and private celebrations. It is a main feature in celebrations such as weddings, banquets, social gatherings and moments of joy, but it is also a valuable companion in everyday routines. Greek traditional songs are often accompanied by clarinets, flutes, guitars, tambourines, violins, folk dances, and vocals.