Ancient Harps of Kemet (Original Composition for Archaic Arched Harp)

from by Michael Levy



In the next part of this “Musical Adventure in Time Travel”, I attempt to recreate the musical landscape of ancient Egypt. I explore an evocation of the music of Ancient Egypt, in my arrangements for solo lyre & archaic arched harp, of both traditional Egyptian folk melodies & in my performance of improvisations on some of the actual ancient Egyptian scales, as deciphered by the late Professor Hans Hickmann of the Museum in Cairo, from chironomy gestures - "chironomy" is an ancient form of musical notation dating back to the 4th Dynasty (c.2500 BCE) whereby specific hand gestures represented specific changes in the pitch of a melody.

The improvisation on the minor pentatonic ancient Egyptian scales deciphered from chironomy featured in this album is “Ancient Harps of Kemet” (from my album “The Ancient Egyptian Harp”). In my experimental EP, “The Ancient Egyptian Harp”, I attempted to recreate the sound of the ancient Egyptian shoulder harp of the New Kingdom (c.1500 BCE) on an incredibly archaic 9–string African arched harp still played in Uganda today, known as the Adungu.

Virtually identical to the ancient Egyptian arched harp, the Adungu also has a skin soundboard – like a surviving examples of an ancient Egyptian shoulder harp preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the strings of the Adungu are also attached to the resonator via a horizontal wooded pole running directly below the skin soundboard.


from Musical Adventures in Time Travel, released February 6, 2013


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Michael Levy UK

Michael Levy is a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, whose musical mission is to create an entirely new musical genre, which could best be described as a 'New Ancestral Music' - dedicated to reintroducing the recreated lyres, ancient musical modes and intonations, back into the modern musical world.. ... more

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