It almost seems strange that we should know as much as we do about ancient Egyptian music and at the same time have little or no idea of its real nature. We have texts, representations and even extant instruments but virtually nothing on the actual musical compositions that were composed.
However, drums did not actually appear until the Middle Kingdom. Initially, these seem to have been drums in the shape of a barrel made from hollowed tree trunks, which became popular in military bands.
Instruments made from animal horns do not appear in any reliefs, but it should be noted that there are terracotta models of such instruments dating to the New Kingdom.
This type of song also is found in Old Kingdom tombs, but in those they are shorter and have an entirely different character than their New Kingdom counterparts. There, the harpist shares the sage with an ensemble. Altenmuller analyzed the the texts and their visual settings and concluded that the music belonged to a tomb ritual intended to bring back the deceased from the underworld. During this brief spiritual reincarnation, the tomb owner was known as "the deified one", and was enabled to join the musicians by the sheer power of their music.
Found in a tomb on a site near Naukratis.
Two bronze bells, forming a pair, tongues are missing.
Neck of harp
Neck of wooden angular harp; circular in section, narrower circumference at base, fifteen pegs still in situ with holes for five more.
fragment of a harp
Wooden neck of harp, both ends broken. In two pieces (a third not traced). Three pegs out of at least five, remain. Lower part gessoed.
Seven joined reed pipes, with knob at bottom of each. Fastened with strip of palm-stick at each side tied with string and resin. Smallest reed broken away at top.
Lahun is the name of a modern town at the entrance to the Fayum.
Double reed pipes (clarinet type) in sections which are lashed together at the ends with bitumenised thread; size of sections increases from mouthpiece, one side has four, the other three and a fragment, third section of this side has size holes.
Reed, hollow and clogged, faded traces from zig-zag binding at one end; broken along edges; perhaps a musical instrument.
Important town with palace, town and necropolis at the entrance to the Fayum.
Thick reed segment, sliced diagonally at one end to form part of a musical instrument.