Ancient Egyptian Music

musicians

 

 

Because there wasn’t any way of recording music or writing down notes in ancient Egypt, we don’t know what Egyptian music sounded like. From pictures, we do know what kind of instruments the Egyptians had.

As you can see in this picture, there were stringed instruments like guitars and harps.

There were also wind instruments like recorders or clarinets, with reeds for the mouthpiece like clarinets today, and by the New Kingdom there were bronze trumpets, too. The woman in the thin white dress is playing two recorders at the same time. And there were percussion instruments like drums and rattles, which is what the little kid is playing.

As the picture shows, a lot of Egyptian musicians were women (though not all of them).

Music was a good opportunity for women to work at a skilled job. But just as women in the music industry do today, sometimes Egyptian women musicians had to wear thin or revealing clothes, and dance as well as singing. And some musicians were probably slaves.

Musicians often performed at religious festivals. They also played at private parties.

Probably workers in factories and fields often sang and clapped as they worked, to help keep up a rhythm.

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