MUSIC & DANCE IN ANCIENT EGYPT:
MUSIC and dance were highly valued in ancient Egyptian culture, but they were more important than is generally thought: they were integral to creation and communion with the gods and, further, were the human response to the gift of life and all the experiences of the human condition. Egyptologist Helen Strudwick notes how, “music was everywhere in Ancient Egypt – at civil or funerary banquets, religious processions, military parades and even at work in the field” (416). The Egyptians loved music and included scenes of musical performances in tomb paintings and on temple walls, but valued the dance equally and represented its importance as well.
The goddess Hathor, who also imbued the world with joy, was associated most closely with music, but initially, it was another deity named Merit (also given as Meret). In some versions of the creation story, Merit is present with Ra or Atum along with Heka (god of magic) at the beginning of creation and helps establish order through music.