Heidi Kopp-Junk on Ancient Egyptian Music: Additional References

AE Music References

  • Mastaba and statue of the flautist Ipi Dahshur Dyn.4 c.2600 BC
  • Wooden panel from coffin “Lady of the House. Chantress of Amun Re. Luxor 3rd Int. Period W1052 (c.1000 BC
  • Wooden coffin of temple musician Iwesemhesetmwt Thebes Dyn 21 c.1000BC
  • Iti & Hekenu, the oldest duo in the world. False door of Nikaura & That. Saqqara. 5th Dyn c.2470 BC
  • Splendidly dressed female musicians. Tomb of Nebamun. Thebes. 18th Dyn. 
  • Female lute player with tattoo of Bes, headcone, belt, necklace. Faience bowl. NK. C.1500 BC
  • Scantily dressed female musicians. Tomb of Djeserkaraseneb TT38 18th Dyn. C.1390
  • Harp-players with braids ending in disks. Tomb of Pepjamkh-heryib. Dyn. 6. Rock tombs Meir

Aerophones: flute, trumpet, clarinet, oboe

  • Mastaba of In-Snefru-ishtef. Dahshur. C. 25000BC
  • Musicians & dancers: double oboe. Tomb of Nebamun. Thebes. 18th Dyn. C.1420 BC
  • BBC recroding of Tutankhamun’s trumpets. You tube.  

Membranophones: drums

  • Round frame drum, rectangular frame drum, barrel drum
  • Soldier with barrel drum. Tomb of TjanunyTT74. 18th Dyn.
  • Round frame drum Graeco Athribis Photo H. K-J
  • Rectangular frame drum. Tomb of Hatnofer. Sheikh Abd el-Qurna. Thebes. (type only 18th Dyn).

Idiophones: clappers, sistra, rattles, bells cymbals

  • Rattles are attested from the 5th millenium BC
  • Sistra with head of Hathor Museum August Kestner Hannover, Germany
  • Teacher/priest of Hathor Khesuwer. C.2000BC in Maniche, L., Music and Musicians in Ancient Egypt. London 1991,123, Fig.74
  • Menit from Malqata. Private house Dyn 18. Met. Mus. Of Art New York inv.11.215.450
  • Goddess Isis with sistrum. Abydus. Temple of Seti I.

Chordophones: Harp, lyre, lute

  • Blind harper. Tomb of priest/scribe Nakht. Thebes TT 52, NK. 18th Dyn.
  • Harp from tomb of Any. Thebes. MK. British Museum, London
  • Lyre. Tomb of Khnumhotep, Beni Hasan
  • Travelling beduins with a lyre. Tomb of Khnumhotep, Beni Hasan MK. 
  • Decorated lyre. Fayum. Berlin AM 10247 18th Dyn

For the classification of instruments Heidi drew upon: Systematik der System of classification Hornbostel, Sachs, Systematik der Musikinstrumente,Ein Versuch. Zeitschrift Fur Ethnologie 46 (1914) 553-590


1. Die Anfänge der Musik im Alten Ägypten: ein Überblick. In: Köhler, C., et al., Origins 6: OLA 303, 2021, 381-396 

2.Am Anfang war die Rassel – die frühesten Musikinstrumente im Alten Ägypten. Antike Welt 1/21 (2021), 74-82 

3. Music in Ancient Egypt. ASOR (American School of Oriental Research) VI, Nr. 1, 2018 

4.Sound of Silen ly? Neueste Ergebnisse aus der Musikarchäologie. In: Blöbaum, A. I. et al.: Pérégrinations avec Erhart Graefe 

5.Musik im Alten Ägypten. Sokar 33 (2016), 26-33 

6. The Artists behind the Ancient Egyptian Love Songs: Performance and Technique. In: Landgráfová, R., Navrátilová, H. (eds.): The World of the Ancient Egyptian Love Songs 

7. Textual, iconographical and archaeological evidence for the performance of ancient Egypt Music. In: Ventura, A. G., Tavolieri, C., Verderame, L. (eds.): The Musical Performance in Antiquity 

8. The harp in Ancient Egypt. Nile Magazine 27 (September-October 2020), 8-19 

9.The sound of ancient Egypt – acoustics and volume measurements. Ars inter Culturas 9 (2020), 13-33.

10.Rattle for Eternity: Die ältesten Perkussionsinstrumente des Alten Ägypten. In: Saura-Ziegelmeyer, A. (ed.): Ancient Percussion Instruments: Revue PALLAS 115 (2021), 171-190.

11.With R. Hannig, D. Rutica: Aspekte der pharaonischen Musik: Stimme, Musiker und Aufführungspraxis von Debeheni bis zu den altägyptischen Liebesliedern. In: Festschrift Regine Schulz. Ägypten und Altes Testament 97, Münster 2021, 137-165 

12.Göttliche Klänge. Zur manipulativen Kraft der Musik im Alten Ägypten. In: Ehret, J. (ed.): Die geistige und geistliche Macht der Musik. Münster 2022, 27-46 

13.Die Entwicklung der altägyptischen Musikinstrumente bis ins 1. Jt. n. Chr.: Pharaonisches Erbe oder Neubeginn? Ars inter culturas 10 (2022), 113-152 

14. Clappers in Ancient Egypt: Wood or ivory for the same event or ritual? Telestes 2 (2022), 51-62


1. Musik im alten Ägypten, in print, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 

2. Die Anfänge der Musik im Alten Ägypten vom 5. Jt. v. Chr. bis zur 4. Dynastie, in print, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft