I learnt the incredible melody heard in this video, from an amazing CD, “Music of the Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians & Greeks” by “The Ensemble De Organographia”. This video features my arrangement for solo lyre, of the academic reconstruction of this ancient Egyptian melody, from c.1400BC!! The scale used, was taken from a three-holed Egyptian vertical flute, still in a playable condition. The images in the video feature incredible, vibrant illutrations of ancient Egyptian Theban Banquets and ancient Egyptian dancers…
The academic reconstruction of the melody heard here, was deciphered from illustrations on a tomb painting of a Banquet Scene found at Thebes – the specific hand gestures of the individuals depicted in this scene were found to be an example of an ancient system of musical notation often used in antiquity, called called “Chironomy” – this is a system of hand gestures which were used, to denote both the pitch and ornamentation of a melody.This ancient lost art is discussed at length in this fascinating article:
The Theban Banquet Scene depicting these chironomy genstures, shows a scene of four rows of seated guests preparing to attend a banquet, with the guests on the left of each row displaying these chironomy signs, depicting the melody being played by the musicians on the sitting on the right.
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Many thanks for watching!