Nine lyric poets
- Alcman (choral lyric, seventh century BC) of Sparta
- Sappho (monodic lyric, c. 600 BC) of Lesbos
- Alcaeus (monodic lyric, c. 600 BC) of Lesbos
- Anacreon (monodic lyric, sixth century BC) of Teos
- Stesichorus (choral lyric, sixth century BC) of Metauros
- Ibycus (choral lyric, sixth century BC) of Rhegium
- Simonides (choral lyric, sixth century BC) of Ceos
- Bacchylides (choral lyric, fifth century BC) of Ceos
- Pindar (choral lyric, fifth century BC) of Thebes
In most Greek sources the word melikos is used (from melos "song"), but some authors have used lyrikos, which eventually became the regular word in Latin (lyricus) and in modern languages.
The ancient scholars defined the genre on the basis of the metrical form, not the content. Thus some types of poetry which would be included under the label lyric in modern literary criticism are nevertheless excluded, namely the elegy and the iambus.
- See especially M. Davies, "Monody, Choral Lyric, and the Tyranny of the Hand-Book," Classical Quarterly NS 38 (1988), pp. 52–64.