Musical Contexts - Primary/Key Stage 2 Unit 5 - Ancient Egypt

Learning, Listening, Composing & Evaluating Activities
Performing Activities - Songs & Scores
Starter & Plenary Activities

About the Unit: This unit contains a variety of ideas suitable for KS2 classes that wish to link their music with the history unit based on Ancient Egypt.  The activities all have a clear music focus and draw upon a history element as a starting point or stimulus.  Unlike other KS2 units, this unit does not attempt to explore music of the time, since at KS2 level, the historian would be relying heavily on supposition based upon wall paintings, artefacts and such like to ascertain what the music may or may not have sounded like!  Rather, the activities open up opportunities for the creation of pupil’s own music as a response to some of the stimuli associated with Ancient Egypt.  The unit begins with a focus on two elements of music - dynamics and texture which are explored using graphic scores in the shape of an Egyptian pyramid.  Pupils identify dynamics and texture and gradual changes within these two musical elements through listening, performing and composing and learn about the musical symbols used to show dynamics.  Pupils are then introduced to the harmonic minor scale with its characteristic “middle eastern” sound, exploring this through singing a round, accompanied by chords and ostinati patterns, towards a class performance, before listening to a range of “Egyptian-inspired” music.  The unit ends with a totally optional, but fun, activity exploring Ancient Egyptian dance and hand clapping to the popular song “Walk Like an Egyptian”.

Element Focus - Rhythm, Texture, Timbre & Dynamics, Melody & Harmony

Ancient Egypt from Musical Contexts provides a range of fun and exciting music activities and learning opportunities combining singing, performing, composing and listening and appraising with all of the resources you’ll need in one place!  Ideal for non-specialist music teachers (with a wealth of supporting media files to model tasks and a detailed scheme of work and lesson plans) and a wealth of fresh inspiration for music specialists.  Whether you’re exploring the popular primary history topic of Ancient Egypt or The Egyptians, then there’s something within this unit that will hopefully inspire both you as a teacher and your pupils  Scroll down to see the variety and range of resources and activities on offer. 

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Sample Materials

Year 7 Resources

Year 8 Resources

Year 9 Resources

GCSE Music

Music Documents

Musical Contexts

Key Stage 2 Music Resources


Frequently Asked Questions


Supporting Activities - Cover and Homework

Exploring Dynamics, Texture & The Harmonic Minor Scale


Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson Plan (DOC)

Lesson Bundles (ZIP)

Download all the resources you need for each lesson (excluding video files) in a ZIP file.

Click here for the latest version of WinZip.

Lesson 1

Exploring Dynamics through Pyramids

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring Texture & Egyptian Rhythms

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring Dynamics Musical Symbols

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Exploring Dynamics & Textural Pyramids

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4

Resource Bundle

Lesson 5

Exploring the Harmonic Minor Scale

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson 5

Resource Bundle

Lesson 6

A Class Egyptian song Performance & Exploring Egyptian-inspired Music

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson 6

Resource Bundle





Worksheet 1

Listening to “The Bell” from ‘Tubular Bells II’

(uses Audio 3)


Audio 3 - “The Bell” from ‘Tubular Bells II’

Worksheet 2

Listening for Dynamics in Egyptian Rhythm Patterns

(uses Audio 5)

Audio 5 - Listening for Dynamics in Egyptian Rhythms

Worksheet 3

A Dynamics and Texture Egyptian Pyramid Graphic Score

Worksheet 4

Egyptian Pyramid Texture & Dynamics Self Assessment Sheet




Worksheet 5

Listening for Dynamics and Texture in Music

(uses Audio 6)


Audio 6 - Listening for Dynamics and Texture in Music

Worksheet 6

Listening for Melodic Shape in Camel Driver

(uses Audio 2)


Audio 2 - Listening for Melodic Shape in Camel Driver

Worksheet 7

Camel Driver Class Performance Evaluation Sheet



Worksheet 8

Listening to Egyptian-inspired Music


(uses Audio 9)

Audio 10 - Listening to Egyptian-inspired Music

Video 1 - “Walk Like an Egyptian” (The Bangles/Michael Jackson) (05:52  37 MB)

Video 2 - “Walk Like an Egyptian” (The Bangles Karaoke) (03:21  6 MB)

Audio 10 - “Walk Like an Egyptian” (The Bangles)



Score 1 - Egyptian Rhythms (5 flashcards)

(also given on Presentation 1)

MIDI 5 - “Cleopatra” Rhythm         MIDI 6 - “Crocodile” Rhythm         MIDI 7 - “Two Pyramids” Rhythm      MIDI 8 - “Tutankhamen” Rhythm

MIDI 9 - “Isis” Rhythm       Audio 4 - All 5 rhythms separately

(each of the Egyptian rhythms given on MIDIs and Audio 4 are repeated 8 times)

Score 2

Egyptian Pyramid Graphic Scores

(2 complete and 2 blank)




Song Sheet 1 - Camel Driver

Parts modelled separately on Audio 2

Parts also modelled on the above MIDI tracks (each repeated twice)

MIDI1 - Part 1      MIDI 2 - Part 2     MIDI 3 - Part 3

MIDI 4 - all 3 parts together

Score 3

The E harmonic minor scale


MIDI 10 - The E harmonic minor scale

Score 4 - Camel Driver - Melodic Parts & Chords

(modelled on MIDI 1-3 & MIDI 11)

MIDI1 - Part 1      MIDI 2 - Part 2     MIDI 3 - Part 3

MIDI 11 - Chords in 4 parts (repeated 8 times)






Starter/Plenary 1

Egyptian Rhythm Dice Cut Up Sheet

(can be enlarged to A3)

Starter/Plenary 2

Dynamics Dice Cut Up Sheet

(can be enlarged to A3)

Starter/Plenary 3

Dynamics Poster


(can be enlarged for classroom display)

Starter/Plenary 4

Dynamics Card


Starter/Plenary 5

Egyptian Musical







Audio 7
Danse Bacchanale

from Samson et Dalila - Saint-Saens

Audio 8

Major or Minor?

Listening Quiz

Starter/Plenary 6

Egyptian Hand Clapping & Dance Images

Starter/Plenary 7

My Ancient Egypt Learning






Cover/Homework 1 - The Trumpets of Tutankhamen

(optional Video & Audio 1)


Video 3 - The Trumpets of Tutankhamen  (14:01  89 MB)

Audio 1 - The Trumpets of Tutankhamen

Cover/Homework 2



(taken from Year 7 Unit 10 - “Ladders”)

Cover/Homework 3

Tones & Semitones


(taken from Year 7 Unit 10 - “Ladders”)

Cover/Homework 4

Minor Scales


(taken from Year 7 Unit 10 - “Ladders”)