Sistrum

A sistrum is a musical instrument of the percussion family, chiefly associated with ancient Egypt. It consists of a handle and a U-shaped metal frame, made of brass or bronze and between 30 and 76 cm in width. When shaken the small rings or loops of thin metal on its movable crossbars produce a sound that can be from a soft clank to a loud jangling. Its name in the ancient Egyptian language was sekhem (sḫm) and sesheshet (sššt). Sekhem is the simpler, hoop-like sistrum, while sesheshet is the naos-shaped one. The modern day West African disc rattle instrument is also called a sistrum.


A sistrum is a musical instrument of the percussion family, chiefly associated with ancient Egypt. It consists of a handle and a U-shaped metal frame, made of brass or bronze and between 30 and 76 cm in width. When shaken the small rings or loops of thin metal on its movable crossbars produce a sound that can be from a soft clank to a loud jangling. Its name in the ancient Egyptian language was sekhem (sḫm) and sesheshet (sššt). Sekhem is the simpler, hoop-like sistrum, while sesheshet is the naos-shaped one. The modern day West African disc rattle instrument is also called a sistrum.
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