KS2 Music: Ancient Egypt

Discover Ancient Egypt with these songs for 7 - 11 year olds and other video content - including the pyramids, gods and goddesses, mummification, the River Nile, hieroglyphs, farming and irrigation. The songs are an ideal way to consolidate pupils' work on these topics.

Living, living River Nile
Build that pyramid
Out of the gloom, Tutankhamun
So many gods and goddesses
Amulets and hieroglyphs


Teacher's Notes
Ancient Egypt on our History pages

KS2 Music: Ancient Egypt

This set of five songs supports the popular cross-curriculum topic of Ancient Egypt, with music evoking the atmosphere of a distant time and place while also bringing in sound elements from contemporary music, referencing a range of popular styles.

The songs are rich in ideas for drama and dance too, with lots of opportunities for performances in school assemblies or at performances for parents - including movement sequences, film / video presentations, artwork and exhibitions.

Several songs explore unusual scales (or modes), drones and rhythm-patterns, with ideas for recreating these aspects using classroom instruments. The music arrangements contain 'ancient' sounds of the reed flute, the harp / lyre and all sorts of Egyptian percussion, mixed with some subtle contemporary sounds from guitars, keyboards and synths.

Each song can be heard in vocal versions and also in an instrumental backing track - with exactly the same timing - which you can use for practising as often as you like and for performing in your assemblies and shows for parents.

The notes for each song contain:

  • detailed information about the music
  • suggestions for how best to organise the class
  • ideas for combining the music with dance and drama in performance
  • suggestions for use of classroom instruments and simple improvising and composing
  • a range of follow-up ideas in several subjects - across the curriculum - including History, Geography, Literacy, Maths, Science, RE, PSHE, Design Technology, Art and PE / Dance.

The songs

Living, living River Nile evokes the River Nile bringing life to the desert, the monumental buildings along the riverbank, the boats trading along the river and the Nile’s varied wildlife.

Build that pyramid is a lively, energetic work song with fun actions which explores what we know about the building and function of the pyramids.

Out of the gloom, Tutankhamun is a mysterious exploration of the famous tomb and its discovery in the 1920s by Howard Carter.

So many gods and goddesses introduces pupils to just a few of the thousands of Ancient Egyptian deities, with opportunities to add percussion and a 5/4 rhythmic challenge!

Amulets and hieroglyphs revisits several of the above themes in a lively, animated way, while reminding us that in many ways, Ancient Egyptian people were 'real people living life...a bit like us'.

The music content can be combined with the History videos and supporting print content available on each page to offer pupils a really exciting and comprehensive offering on Ancient Egypt.