Music and dance were a significant
part of Aztec life. Music and dance were closely linked to religion.
The most common instruments were rattles, whistles, trumpets,
flutes, copper bells, and shells. Everyone took part in dances
performed especially for the gods, including peasants. An Aztec
'orchestra' was usually made of different types of rattles and
different types of drums. Aztec children between ages 12 and
15 were taught to dance, sing, and play musical instruments.
Specific Aztec instruments were used for specific things. The
trumpet sounded long, deep notes while the percussion created
hypnotic rhythms. The big temple drums could be heard for several
kilometers. Their wind instruments included pan pipes, whistles,
and flutes. Hundreds of people took part in their dances. Their
dances were like plays, they would describe something from the
past or act out scenes about their gods.