The songs and music of Ancient Egypt may have been forever lost to time. But archaeologists have uncovered evidence to suggest skilled musicians were present around the rise of the Pharaohs in 3,100 BC.
Ancient tomb murals dating back more than 5,000 years suggest the Egyptians played a wide variety of percussive and string instruments.
Archaeologist and author Katarzyna Tatoń told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) the Egyptians played dozens of instruments, some of which have survived till today.
Among the surviving instruments are Egyptian harps, flutes and clarinets.
Unfortunately, researchers do not know what sort of sounds and compositions the Egyptians enjoyed.
Ancient Egypt: Music was an important part of everyday life in Ancient Egypt (Image: GETTY)
Ancient Egypt: The Egyptians played a wide variety of instruments (Image: GETTY)
The archaeologist said: “The basic problem we encounter during research, is the lack of relics in the form of musical notation or documents related to music theory.”
Miss Tatoń added: “We have a little understanding of how the instruments were tuned or what scales were used.
“But with no musical notation available, in the modern understanding of the word, we can only make certain guesses about the sound systems and intervals used.”
Archaeologists are, however, certain the sounds of Ancient Egypt were incredibly diverse and evolved with time.
Ancient Egyptian music thrived until the 4th Century BC and the conquest of Alexander the Great.
Following the conquest, Greek influences from across the Mediterranean began to take hold.
The music of Ancient Egypt is a reflection of its history
Katarzyna Tatoń, Archaeologist
Later on, the cultural influences of the Roman Empire arrived and dominated over the Nile Valley until Arab rule took over in the 7th Century AD.
Miss Tatoń said: “The music of Ancient Egypt is a reflection of its history.
“We have to be aware of how long the development we are talking about was.
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Ancient Egypt: The music evolved with conquests from Europe and the Middle East (Image: GETTY)
Ancient Egypt discovery: Archaeologists do not know what the music sounded like (Image: GETTY)
“For people living in the times of Ramses II, the Pyramids must have seemed old, for Cleopatra VII the were outright ancient.
During this time, music culture has also changed.”
For instance, the simple harp played around the time of the Pyramid’s construction 4,500 years ago was very different from the one played around the birth of Jesus Christ.
Archaeologists have also found evidence to suggest the Egyptians formed bands were men, women and instrumentalists performed together.
Music also played a critical, ceremonial role in Ancient Egyptian life.
Hathor, the mother of the sky god Horus is believed to have been overheated through music, dance and feasts.
Miss Tatoń said: “Music was present during official ceremonies and daily activities, court events and religious holidays.
“Music was such an important element of everyday life, it became an attribute of the greatest deities worshipped throughout the entire nation: the goddess Hathor.”
One of the oldest known melodies uncovered by archaeologists is the Hurrian Hymn No. 6 – a 14th century BC tune from northern Syria dedicated to the goddess Nikkal.