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The Rhythm of Egypt

Make your own traditional Egyptian instrument!

The Rhythm of Egypt
June 2013

It is said that music makes the world go around. Sometimes we learn that even though we speak different languages, music can bring us together as a unique form of communication. Families who visit Take Me There: Egypt® at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis are immersed in the sights, sounds and activities of modern day Egypt. They learn about modern Egyptian life while visiting a traditional Egyptian home, shopping at the marketplace, playing a part in a traditional Egyptian celebration, or learning how to make music with traditional Egyptian instruments.

One of the instruments used in traditional Egyptian music is a riqq. It is a type of tambourine that traditionally has a wooden frame, jingles and a thin, translucent head made of a synthetic material.

The wooden frame is often decorated with an inlay design in which artists piece together geometric patterns to create a picture or design. Making one with your child is a fun way to teach them geometric patterns using simple shapes such as circles, triangles and rectangles to create designs.

Gather these materials and follow the instructions to create your own riqq!


·         One paper bowl

·         Two jingle bells

·         One pipe cleaner cut in half

·         One ruler

·         One hole punch

·         An assortment of crayons or markers


1.       Punch two holes on opposite sides of the bowl, along the rim.

2.       On the bottom side of your bowl, use the ruler to help you design a geometric pattern with your crayons or markers. Use lines and shapes such as circles, triangles or squares.

3.       Place one jingle bell on each pipe cleaner.

4.       Insert one pipe cleaner, with the bell, into each hole and fasten.

5.       Hold the bowl in one hand and gently tap your fingers across the surface of the bowl to create music!

Come to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis and visit Take Me There: Egypt® soon! This exhibit will close on Sunday, August 11 to make way for a new exhibit, which will explore modern day China.

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