Maya Music

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A scene from a Maya pot portraying musicians –

There are many depictions on painted vases and murals of the ancient Maya playing musical instruments. We also have been lucky enough to find remains of these instruments too.

Instruments could be made out of clay, wood, bone, shell and even reeds such as trumpets, drums, flutes, whistles and rattles. Music was played on many occasions, from ballgame events and warfare to festivities at court.

The image below depicts a conch shell that was used as a trumpet.

Download – Maya Music Lesson Plan

Further Resources

Music from the Land of the Jaguar: The Princeton University Art Museum.  Select an instrument and hear its sound when played, for example a conch shell trumpet or friction/string drum


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