Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ancient Egyptian Music

This piece, in the Sa'ed style associated with Luxor or ancient Thebes, utilizes a variety of instruments and may take some acclimatization for the Western ear. Watch it on Youtube to expand the window and get the full effect. Be sure also to read the description accompanying the video (Grateful Dead fans will appreciate the bit about Mickey Hart). The described sistrum was indeed an important instrument sort of like a tambourine--you turned it back and forth, twisting your wrist, to produce the sound--in religious celebrations. Here is a photo of one:

 They are said to have been played mostly by women and were associated with the cult of Hathor, although the one pictured appears to have a cat decorating it, which might associate this particular instrument with Bastet.

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