Tuesday 19 September 2017

Ancient Egyptian Musical Instruments

Like any other civilisation, Egyptians too enjoyed dance and music. The Egyptian state promoted and patronised musicians and dancers. They made enormous Egyptian Musical Instruments like percussion, wind and strung. Hathor was the patron of music. More information on Ancient Egypt Music.

Stringed Egyptian Musical Instruments:

Major stringed instruments were Harps, Kinnor, lyre and Lutes. Harps were originally developed from hunting bows in the Old Kingdom. Harps were grouped into angular harps and arched harps. Harps and other instruments were used for praise singing and entertainment at ritual, court, and military events.

Harps were favourite Egyptian

Musical Instruments during the New Kingdom and were shown in the hands of professional female musicians performing alone or in ensembles with singers, wind instruments and rattles. Harps varied greatly in form, size and the number of their strings.

There were three types of lyre consisting of thin, thick and giant.The lyres were introduced around 2500 BC in nearby Syria. Lutes were typically made with a long oval resonating body made from wood and perhaps partially covered with leather and partially by a thin sheet of wood with an opening to release the sound. They were plucked rather than bowed.

Percussion Instruments:

Percussion was basic to the orchestra, with various types of rattles and clappers in use as well as drums of different sizes. Cymbals, Bells, Castanets, Hand-held drums form the group of Percussion instruments.
Cymbals were used in temples in the Ptolemaic period. It consists of a pair of slightly concave metal plates which produce a vibrant sound of indeterminate pitch.

Wind instruments:

Wind instruments consisted of flutes called Ugab, Trumpets, Shofar, double pipes, Trumpets etc. Flutes, the oldest had a sharp wedge resting just outside of the lips. Pipes had a loosely fitting mouthpiece furnished with double and single vibrating lamellae.

Trumpets were made of silver and bronze, with mouthpieces of gold or silver. They were generally 60 to 90 cm long, and made of bronze, with mouthpieces, and with bells at the other end.

Ancient Egyptians used very long flutes 90 cm in length and about 1.5 cm wide, the performer generally sat on the ground. They were made of Nile bamboo, though later were imitated in bronze. Flutes had usually five to seven finger-holes.

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