Although much of our knowledge about the Egyptians comes from their interest in death, they also loved life. Paintings show how much they enjoyed dancing and music. Also, many musical instruments have been found inside tombs. Music was also played for pleasure and entertainment as well for religious worship and for matching into battle.

The first Egyptian instruments were probably flutes and harps. Instruments similar to pipes, oboes and trumpets later became popular. During the New Kingdom, lutes and lyres were brought in from Asia. Bells, cymbals, tambourines and drums kept the beat, along with a sacred rattle called sistrum.

Dancers performed at banquets, sometimes doing acrobatic feats in time to the music.

Other dancers were more solemn, being performed in temples and at funerals.