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I was watching Sherman and Mr. Peabody, and in the Egyptian scene they started to play that prototypical Egyptian background music that sounds like a mixture of sitar and flute. It is very hard to describe.

If you have no idea what I mean just watch the opening scene in Mummy and Mummy Returns.

Does anyone know what genre this kind of music fall under and does it really have root in Egyptian culture?

  • This would probably better fit on Music: Practice & Theory. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 4 '15 at 0:29
  • +1. I like this question and Trish Ling's informative answer given below. – yurnero Jan 4 '15 at 16:53
  • You are referring, of course, to the legendary music of Mr. Toot. – Omegacron Apr 13 '17 at 14:46
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According to TVTropes, it's a Regional Riff- or more specifically, an Egyptian riff.

Here we're exploring Regional Riffs — and the musical instruments that seem inexorably linked as cues to locations. This is sort of the audio equivalent of the Foreign-Looking Font — a certain musical style is used because it resembles the actual music native to the setting, or because Hollywood has decided it just has the right "feel." Sometimes the composers try to be culturally accurate but don't do their research, employing Scotirish bagpipes or Spexican bands. Some Regional Riffs now carry Unfortunate Implications due to associations with stereotyped portrayals of the area in question.

For Egypt:

-The flute of Egypt.
-Anything that's played in a harmonic minor scale (or double harmonic) will become instantly associated with Arabic or Egyptian music.

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