Exploring the Rich Legacy of Traditional Egyptian Instruments

Music has been a part of Egyptian culture since ancient times. Egyptian music includes national traditions of classical Arabic music prevalent since the Islamic period and regional folk music based in part on ancient Egyptian musical forms. Because of Egypt's thousands of years of dominance over its neighbors, maize culture was very influential in the surrounding areas. Among these influences were music and musical instruments.

Egyptian folk music, including the traditional Sufi dhikr rituals in Egypt, is the closest contemporary music genre to ancient Egyptian music, preserving many of its features, rhythms, and instruments.

Today's urban pop music is influenced by rural traditions and western popular music. Western classical music has been performed in major cities such as Cairo and Alexandria since the 19th century.

Egyptian modern music is considered the main core of Middle Eastern and Eastern music due to Egypt's political influence on neighboring countries, as Egyptian cinema and music industries have had a huge impact on the region due to their popularity and great influence.

About Egyptian Instruments

Egypt has a very diverse musical culture and there are many other instruments used in different regions and genres. Thanks to its history, it is rich in variety of musical instruments. At the beginning of the 20th century, musical instruments such as the oud, zither, violin, ney, and cello were found in the Egyptian community.

Most modern-day instruments, both in the East and the West, have their roots in ancient Egypt, and many ancient Egyptian instruments are still used in Egypt today, such as the darbuka, simsimiyya, and Egyptian ney, among other instruments.

What Are The Musical Instruments of Egypt? 

The history of Egyptian music has a rich heritage that goes back a long way. Traditional Egyptian instruments play an important role in the country's music and have very different characteristics that contribute to the unique sound of their culture. Now let's list some Egyptian instruments:


  • Egyptian Darbuka

Darbuka is an important percussion instrument, especially in the Middle East. Darbuka has an important place in traditional Egyptian music. A wide variety of different types of corn darbuka can be found. In the darbuka, also known as the Doumbek, the Conductor has two voices, dummies and singles: The Darbuka can produce music in a wide variety of tones. Depending on the environment it is in, the sounds coming out of the music may change. In this way, it is a unique instrument that can keep up with any entertainment environment. The sizes, colors, and materials of Egyptian darbukas vary according to the model and quality.

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  • Egyptian Ney

The ney is an edge-to-edge flute instrument that is a big part of Middle Eastern culture. It has been played in ancient Egypt for 4,500–5,000 years, making it one of the oldest musical instruments still in use. The ney is a mouth-blown flute made of reed or bamboo. It has been a part of many hymns and has been used in all musical genres. He has a very recognizable, mystical voice. We can say that it is impossible not to be peaceful while listening to music. He has a very soothing voice. The ney has a range of about two octaves and is played by blowing along its open edge while closing the finger holes.

  • Egyptian Oud

The oud musical instrument is a stringed musical instrument widely used in Egyptian music. It has a pear-shaped body and a short, fretless neck. The oud typically consists of 11 or 12 strings played with a plectrum or finger. It produces a deep, resounding sound and is often used as a solo instrument but can also be used in orchestras.

  • Qanun:

The qanun is an indispensable musical instrument traditionally used by Middle Eastern countries. The Kanun, which is in the string instruments group, has a very pleasant sound. In order to get a good sound from the sound of music, the tune must be cleaned regularly. The qanun musical instrument is played by pulling the strings with the fingers or with small plectrums attached to the fingertips.


  • Riq:

Riq is a type of tambourine used as a traditional instrument in Arabic music. It is traditionally an instrument with a round wooden frame and single rows of metal jingles. The sound is produced by hitting the dice with both hands: the left hand holding the Riq hits the edges, and the right hand hits the center. The riq is a common percussion instrument in Egyptian music and is often used to provide rhythmic accompaniment. It often accompanies the popular Middle Eastern hand drum, the Darbuka.

Common Features of Egyptian Instruments?

Egyptian musical instruments generally have a structure that describes their culture very well. There are such musical instruments that it can be determined which culture they belong to as soon as they are heard. The best thing they have in common is their unique instruments with a beautiful timbre. Thanks to Egypt's unique history dating back to the past and witnessing many civilizations, musical instruments have also been shaped until today.

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