Ancient Harps of Kemet

04:32
08/02/2011
Michael Levy

Story

Track 1 "Ancient Harps of Kemet", from my EP album, "The Ancient Egyptian Harp".

This piece is an original composition based upon an actual ancient Egyptian scale. Although the ancient Egyptians did not have any form of written musical notation, they did have an ancient form of musical notation now known as chironomy, whereby specific hand gestures represented specific changes in the pitch of a melody. The minor pentatonic scale on which this composition is based, was deciphered from ancient Egyptian chironomy gestures, by the late Professor Hans Hickmann of the Museum in Cairo.

Incredibly, along with remnants of the actual ancient Egyptian language, chironomy is still practiced today in the Coptic Church – an incredible musical legacy, maybe dating back some 5000 years!

In the title of this track, “Kemet” is the transliteration (k.mt) of the actual ancient Egyptian word for the land of Egypt. “k.mt” actually translates as “Black Land” – which to the ancient Egyptians, meant fertility: referring to the colour of the fertile black soil deposited each season by the Nile floods.

This album features original composition in ancient musical modes, an improvisation on an ancient Egyptian scale & Egyptian folk music arranged for archaic skin-membrane arched harp - an instrument almost identical to the ornate arched harps played during the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt, some 3500 years ago... 

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