Music in Egypt

Essay by JohanBHigh School, 10th grade February 2009

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Music has existed in Egypt for an extremely long time. And when it first was created, it wasn’t just some simple tones. No, they had orchestras with string, wind instruments and percussions over 5000 years ago. The music has then developed until the Egyptian music we hear today. However, there are still types of music and dancing in Egypt today that was alike the music and dancing in ancient Egypt. Saidi stick dancing for example. Saidi has been accepted to represent Egyptian folk music, and stick dancing and non-stick dancing can be played to it’s music. The instruments used in Saidi are not exactly the same as the ones used in ancient Egypt. In fact, not many instruments are used at all in Saidi music. Since there are no recordings of ancient Egyptian music we can’t compare Saidi’s musical characteristics with it.

Music in ancient EgyptAt first, music was an invention to hail the Egyptian god Thoth.

It has then been said that it was Osiris, another Egyptian god, who spread music throughout the world to all civilisations. Music in ancient Egypt was also used in religious rituals, hymns and prayers.

The first instruments, that we know, ever invented in Egypt were the harps. It has been proved that they existed during the beginning of the Old kingdom (3000 BC - 4000 BC). Therefore it was probably around then that music was invented. Later on, around 3500 BC, double clarinets, flutes and lyres were invented and used along with the harps. During the middle kingdom (2040 BC - 1640 BC), percussion instruments, lutes and lyres were added to the orchestra. Cymbals were also invented during this period but never added to the orchestra.

This is a list of all the instruments that were used during the pharaonic Egypt (however, all...