Echoes of Ancient Egypt (Improvisation on an Ancient Egyptian Scale)

from by Michael Levy



"Echoes of Ancient Egypt" - this improvisation on the lyre, uses a genuine pentatonic ancient Egyptian scale...last heard, some 3000 years ago! Although tragically no actual written music from ancient Egypt has survived, we do know from many ancient illustrations, that the ancient Egyptians did use a form of musical notation, whereby specific gestures of the hand represented specific changes in pitch in a given musical scale - this is ancient form of musical notation is known as "Chironomy". We also know some of the specific scales once used in ancient Egypt, thanks to the discovery of serveral ancient Egyptian flutes, still in playable condition! The ancient lost art of Chironomy, and details of this haunting, ancient Egyptian scale are discussed at length in this fascinating article:

The minor pentatonic scale I am using in this improvisation, was deciphered from ancient chironomy gestures by the late Professor Hans Hickmann, of the Museum in Cairo.

This improvisation is therefore my attmept to evoke the sounds of the Lyres heard in the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, over 3000 years ago...


from An Ancient Lyre, released July 20, 2009


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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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