Some harp with your carp?
This harp was used at big feasts with lots of food and drink. You played it by plucking two strings at the same time. It was used to make music for singers to sing to.
Arched wooden harp from Thebes, Egypt, 1550-1069 BC
This flute is so old that it was around when people lived in caves! It was made out of a piece of bone. It has holes on the front and back so it was probably played like a recorder.
Bone flute from Dordogne, France, about 32,000 years old
Imagine playing drums on a shark! The top of this drum from Hawaii is made of shark skin tied with coconut string. The drum is called a pahu hula - it made music to go with dancing and poetry.
Drum (pahu hula) from Hawaii, pre-18th century AD
All together now
A gamelan is a set of instruments played at puppet shows and big events in Indonesia. The gamelan that this dragon is part of has other instruments shaped like peacocks, deer and other animals.
The Raffles gamelan, Java, Indonesia, 19th century AD
Have you ever tried blowing on a shell to make music? It's not very easy. This conch shell has been made into a beautiful trumpet. If you look closely you can see a dragon.
Conch shell trumpet from Tibet, 18th-19th century AD
Give yourself a clap
These ivory clappers are shaped like a pair of hands. They were made from hippopotamus tusks and were played at parties during the singing and dancing. You hit them together to make a beat.
Ivory clappers from Thebes, Egypt, around 1300 BC
Shake it all about
This funny-looking rattle is called a sistrum. It was used for holy events, and there is a cat sitting on the top – can you see it? To play the sistrum you shake it in the air like a baby’s rattle!
Bronze rattle found in or near Rome, Italy, 1st-2nd century AD
The truth about lyres
This instrument is called a lyre - it's a bit like a harp. It is made of wood, shell and a gemstone called lapis lazuli, and it has a cow’s head on the front. The pegs on top help to keep the strings in tune.
Silver lyre from Ur, southern Iraq, about 2600-2400 BC