Specialists on Mayan culture said that the Mayans had a musical scale which is very different from the 5 Western notes. An official source said that they analyzed 125 instruments which include trumpets, flutes, horns, ceramic, ocarinas and conch shells. EFE, Mexico
“Such artifacts produce musical sounds whose scale is not similar to the Western scale, because it has its own range, which experts have preliminarily identified as of Mayan type”, said by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in a statement.
According to a statement, physics, ethnology and even ornithology studies were used to analyze the archeological acoustics which was discovered to have applied to 125 instruments which made experts to finally conclude that the Mayas had a “musical scale” far different from that of the occidental ones.
The institution also said that, after one year and a half of work, scholars have determined the possible sounds which were used in funeral and agricultural ceremonies to bring rain and to imitate or to hunt birds.
ADDITIONAL INVESTIGATION IS NECESSARY
As a matter if fact, this is first investigation that was made to study these instruments found in the Mayan Hall of the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA).
Professional musicians comprised the research study who have been responsible for starting each instrument sound, determine their tones, semitones and scales, as stated by INAH.
Furthermore, we discovered that nearly all pre-Hispanic flutes create scales having larger and more complex sound ranges than the Western scale of five notes, and amongst them is the triple flute from which 600 “sound range” were obtained.
The objects had been screened for their archaeological nature, however a study regarding its function as musical instruments was missing, explained by the director of the MNA, Diana Magaloni.
She added that this study, made by a team of experts from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and also the INAH and guided by the expert in Mayan studies Francisca Zalaquett, is 90% achieved and will proceed with roughly 200 instruments from the pre-hispanic, Gulf cultures and 40 more from the Mexican culture.
HOW MAYAN INSTRUMENTS ARE CLASSIFIED
Alaquett said that Mayan musical instruments are grouped as “idiophones” similar to rattles and bells, “membranophones” similar to drums and also “aerophones” or wind musical instruments, which include simple double, triple or quadruple flutes, trumpet produced from snails or from clay which includes a spiral form, whistles and ocarinas.
The acquisition and recording of all possible tones free from conditions which could distort the sound are done by the professional musicians after reviewing the conservation condition of every single instrument, he said. “The range of resonances reached alters with every instrument, to illustrate, whistles have approximately four types, ocarinas just as much as eight or nine” and the triple flute as much as 600 combinations.
This research investigation has been conducted in many other research centers, museums and the country’s Mayan archeological sites to be able to know the sound pattern of the instruments, he added.