The sistrum was a rattle symbolising the pacifying role of music and was used in certain cultic rituals, particularly those related to the goddess Hathor. The loose rods and disc would produce a swishing noise when shaken, and were thought to appease and pacify the more violent side of the goddess who was also known as the mistress of merriment. Used principally by priests and priestesses, sistra were also played by the king in temple rituals, and the queen from the New Kingdom onwards. For the use of silver in the Third Intermediate Period, cf. Exhibition Catalogue, Tanis L'or des pharaons, Paris, 1987.