In Spain, several very different cultural streams came together in the first centuries of the Christian era: the Roman culture, which was dominant for several hundred years, and which brought with it the music and ideas of Ancient Greece; early Christians, who had their own version of the Roman Rite; the Visigoths, an East Germanic tribe who overran the Iberian peninsula in the fifth century; Jews of the diaspora; and eventually the Arabs, or the Moors as the group was sometimes known. Determining exactly which spices flavored the stew, and in what proportion, is difficult after almost two thousand years, but the result was a number of musical styles and traditions, some of them considerably different from what developed in the rest of Europe.
Isidore of Seville wrote about music in the sixth century. His influences were predominantly Greek, and yet he was an original thinker, and recorded some of the first information about the early music of the Christian church. He perhaps is most famous in music history for declaring that it was not possible to notate sounds?an assertion which reveals his ignorance of the notational system of ancient Greece, so that knowledge had to have been lost by the time he was writing.