Mini Episodes: Music in Ancient Egypt

Two mini episodes about music!

Music was everywhere in ancient Egypt: in the fields, in the temple, on the parade ground, and in the home. Songs and compositions were a part of daily life, and abundant evidence survives for the art of musicianship in the ancient world.

In two mini episodes we explore some of the notable evidence for ancient Egyptian music. We look at instrumentsmusicians and songs, unpacking the artwork and texts from this ancient profession. To bring the sounds to life, the episodes are filled with modern performances and reconstructions of ancient instruments.

Also, as a special treat, we have our first interview! Composer Jeffrey Goodman makes wonderful pieces based on replica instruments from the past. Working within strict creative limitations, he attempts to evoke the sounds and melodies that might have played, once upon a time in the Nile Valley…

Mini Episode: Songs of Praise (Music, Part 1)

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Direct Download (Save As mp3)

Mini Episode: Interview with Jeffrey Goodman (Music, Part 2)

Music 03 - Harp (Middle Kingdom) 2

Direct Download (Save As mp3)

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Special Thanks to the Following Contributors for Allowing Use of their Music in the Podcast

Flute: Erik the Flutemaker (Youtube) (Website)

Sistrum: Tahya of HathorSystrum (Youtube) (Website)

Harp: Michael Levy (Website)

Prayer: Michael Atherton (Website)

Drums: Jeffrey Goodman (Youtube) (Website)

Jeffrey Goodman Music

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Singers, a flautist and dancers from the 18th Dynasty (Tomb of Nebamun, c.1400 BCE)

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Flute players of the Old Kingdom.

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Harpist and singer of the Old Kingdom.

Sistra of the temple. Left: the sekhem (“powerful”) sistrum. Right: the sesheshet or naos sistrum.

Trumpets from the tomb of Tut’ankhamun.

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Special Thanks to Patrons

The History of Egypt survives thanks to you. Your support is incredibly generous, and I am privileged to bring you the story of my favourite culture. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support.

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Songs to Your Praise!

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Bibliography

Leibovitch, “The Statuette of an Egyptian Harper and String-Instruments in Egyptian Statuary,” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology (1960).

Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 2006.

Miriam Lichtheim, “The Songs of the Harpers,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1945).

Lise Manniche, Music and Musicians in Ancient Egypt, 1992.

William Kelly Simpson, The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 2003.

Edward F. Wente, “Egyptian “Make Merry” Songs Reconsidered” Journal of Near Eastern Studies (1962).

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