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The Twin Horns/Trumpets- [Dusk and Dawn]

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The Twin Horns/Trumpets- [Dusk and Dawn]

Horns/trumpets were known in Ancient Egypt since its very early times. Generally, trumpets in Ancient Egypt always appeared in pairs. With the typical two horns, one was sounded at dawn; the other at dusk.

Buq/buk is an Egyptian (not Arabic) word that means 'mouth'. The more or less conical horn (albuq) has survived in the Spanish terms alboque, alboquea, or albuquea.

The Egyptian trumpet was straight, like the later Roman tuba or the present-day trumpet. Ancient Egypt had a variety of trumpets. They were generally 2 to 3 feet (60-90 cm) long, and were made of brass or bronze, with mouthpieces and flares or “bells” at the other end.

The horn/trumpet was not a “military” instrument. The sounds of the horns/trumpets were related to rebirth motifs—a transition from one stage to another. As such, they were/are utilized:

• Then and now, during funerary processions to “wake up” the deceased (resurrection).

• To mark/announce both the new day (at dusk) and the end of the night (at dawn). There were two different horns for two different (but complementary) purposes. They were both used in temple rituals.

• To celebrate rebirth, as in the New Year celebration.

Some found and depicted trumpets include:

- A trumpet player in the Kagemni tomb [c. 2300 BCE, Saqqara].

- A wall painting from the tomb of Nebamon [Luxor (Thebes), Tomb 90, c. 1410 BCE] shows a trumpet player who precedes a funeral procession.

- A trumpet blower of the Apet (New Year) procession is depicted in a relief from the temple of Luxor, from the time of Tut-Ankh-Amen [1361-1352 BCE].

• Silver and golden (maybe copper) trumpets from the tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amen [1361-1352 BCE, now at the Cairo Museum, cat.#69850 and 69851]. The trumpets [shown below] were found separate from one another.

The silver trumpet measured 22.5” (57.1 cm), while the copper one was only 19.5” (49.5 cm) in length. Both ended with flares or “bells”. The ratio between the lengths of the two trumpets is 8:9; the Perfect Tone.

[More about the meaning and significance of The Perfect Tone in The Enduring Ancient Egyptian Musical System - Theory and Practice by Moustafa Gadalla]
[ The ratio 8:9 also relates to the Mystical Squaring of Circle which is covered in a few books such as The Ancient Egyptian Metaphysical Architecture and Egyptian Cosmology : The Animated Universe;by same author]

[An excerpt from Egyptian Musical Instruments by Moustafa Gadalla]