The Music Of Egypt
By: Meghan

Arched Harp

- Prior to the Middle Kingdom, description of harpist feature men as the chief musician. Harps and other instruments were used for praise, singing, and entertainment at ritual, court, and military events.
- Harps were favorite instruments during the New Kingdom and were shown in the hands of processional female musicians performing alone or in ensembles with singers, wind instruments and rattles
- Playing techniques varied as shown in paintings including one and two handed playing.

- Egyptian harps were made of wood, inlaid with bone faience.
- Harps varied greatly in form, size and the number of strings.
- They are represented in ancient paintings with 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 20, or 21 strings

Historical Developments
- The ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt are credited for introducing the harp, known to date from about 5,000 years ago.
- Egyptian arched harps appear in depictions of the Old kingdom strating from the 4th dynasty onwards, these developed from the hunting bow.
- Romans spread the use of harps in their vast empire, One ancient writer, Athenaeus, reports that an Alexandrian angular harp player music was so popular that citizens in Rome went about whistling his tunes.
- In the early 19th century the harp lost popularity with Western music composers, being thought of primarily as a woman's instrument after Marie Antoinette popularised it as an activity for women.


- Used in temples in the Ptolemaic Period

- Consists of a pair of slightly concave metal plates which produce a vibrant sound of indeterminate pitch
- The ancient Egyptian cymbals closely resembled modern examples, the British Museum possesses two pairs of Egyptian cymbals which are thirteen centimetres in diameter, found in the coffin of Ankhhape a sacred musician.

Historical Developments
- Known in Europe since the Middle Ages, they were introduced into the European orchestra by Nikolaus Adam Strungk in 1680.
- In Egypt Cymbals are used today in Egyptian belly dances.


- Flutes known as ugads, were among the first musical instruments used.

- Ancient Egyptians used very long flutes 90 cm in length and about 1.5 cm wide, the performer generally sat on the ground