Musical Instruments of Ancient Egypt

Harp, flute and lute, perhaps, were the most important musical instruments in ancient Egypt. Did you know that the harp prototype was an onion? Therefore, the first harps were arc-shaped, and later more prolific angular harps were used.

The images of harps throughout the history of Ancient Egypt are simply amazing! It turns out that these musical instruments were not only different in variety of forms, but also ways of playing them.

But the flute on all images has almost the same form. Their form was quite simple: a hollow cane, open at both ends. When the flute player played it, he closed the far end with the palm of his hand.

Musical instruments were about a meter long, and to manipulate open holes on the trunk, only one hand remained. Therefore, it was possible to close only adjacent holes, so that the melody sounded smoothly, without jumps.

Even later, when the harp and flute appeared, a lute appeared. In any case, in ancient Egypt, it became known later than the listed musical instruments. Maybe its appearance is associated with the increasing influence of Asian culture during the XVIII dynasty?

It is worth noting that in the instruments that the Egyptians borrowed, they made their own changes. For example, the ancient Egyptian lute was played using a plectrum – a small plate that was held with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand. And the plectrum hung on a cord that was attached to the bar of the instrument. By the way, the sound of such a lute was like the sound of a modern balalaika or domra.