Music In New Kingdom Egypt

1241 Words5 Pages
Music is a common ground for thousands of cultures. Music can unite people in celebration, war, or funerals. It can be used as a way to connect to other people or forces, or as a way to express feelings. Today, music is used in similar ways as it was in the past. People use music as ways to express themselves, whether that is through religious festivals or types of celebrations. The instruments of New Kingdom Egypt were made in multiple different ways and were either invented for cult purposes or brought in from Asiatic lands. Certain instruments were used throughout the entirety of Egyptian history, while others were brought in through trade in the New Kingdom. Different instruments were used for different reasons, like between ceremonies…show more content…
Large celebrations meant that musicians would be present as the best way to entertain the crowds. However, instruments have been found in contexts that suggest otherwise. Certain rattles can be found that are called either mainit or menat (Duchesne-Guillemin, 289). These rattles, as well as sistras, were used to celebrate the return of someone important (Duchesne-Guillemin, 289). One other important use of music was war. Drums were popular in the New Kingdom period alongside the military or private scenes (Duchesne-Guillemin, 290). They are hung from the neck of the musician by a leather strap, possibly hinting at a Nubian origin rather than a Mesopotamian one, where drums are glued or nailed (Duchesne-Guillemin, 290). Unlike today, where drums are used to keep tempo, ancient drums were used as signals or possibly as a way of…show more content…
Instruments were being imported from other lands, adding a new layer to the music of the time. Instruments began to be associated with certain deities and used regularly in their worship. Nearly everyone was allowed to play an instrument; it was not an activity meant only for one gender. Popular instruments included the harp, oboe, clappers, and sistra. Many instruments were made of reed or wood, but the trumpet, which did exist at the time, was made of a yellow metal. The uses of instruments for festivities paints a lively picture of the way ancient Egyptians must have lived. There is no doubt that their festivals were joyous and extremely loud and, at times, not always pleasant to listen to. The music raises the intensity of the crowd, similar to modern noisemakers for sports events. Through the variety of instruments found, it seems as if, for organized banquets, music was used as a way of enjoyment and pleasure, while for festivals and religion, music was a way to create noise and possibly please the

More about Music In New Kingdom Egypt

Open Document