Friday, March 4, 2011

Rumors, and a sound from long ago.

One of the very many rumors out of Egypt this week is that one of the the trumpets from Tutankhamun's tomb is a victim of the looting within the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  I hope it isn't true.

The silver trumpet was played by a military bandsman, James Tappern, on BBC radio (and recorded) in 1939, using a modern mouthpiece, causing it to split. The bronze trumpet survived being played in 1939 and in 1941, the last time without a mouthpiece.  The recording was bundled into a version for delivery over the web in the 1990s, and was made accessible online by Hans van den Berg and Nigel Strudwick at the Website of the Center for Computer-Aides Egyptological Research (CCER) which, as you can see, has been closed down.  The Wayback Machine at the IA preserves the CCER text, but not the .exe file,  Fortunately, several other sited have preserved those files and you'll find them here:Trumpet.exe

Even more fortunately, there is a much more elegant version at the Africa page of the Philharmonia Orchestra Sound Exchange.  Click on Tutankhamun's Trumpet, and press play.

I don't suppose it sounded like that in antiquity.

1 comment:

Marcia L. Neil said...

As luck has it, the perhaps predictably-split trumpet has not been ear-marked for use as a special-edition Zippo lighter.