Do you know the oldest song in the world written 3400 years ago

Of course, the MIDI keyboard was not the preferred instrument of the Sumerians, but it is ideally suited to give us an idea of this amazing composition, although the rhythm of the piece can only be guessed at...

About the oldest song in the world with a rich history

Do you know the oldest song in the world? By the way, it was written 3400 years ago! This interesting work takes its origin in the ancient Syrian city Ugarit: it was there in the heyday of the fifties that archaeologists discovered several clay tablets 14th century BC... It is noteworthy, but these tablets contained cuneiform characters on harian language, which turned out to be the oldest known piece of music ever discovered. We can say that this is a cult anthem, more than three thousand years old! Ann Drafkorn Kilmer, professor of Assyriology at the University of California, first presented an interpretation of an ancient work in 1972 year...

Kilmer's reasoning

Ann Drafkorn Kilmer
Ann Drafkorn Kilmer

Professor Ann Drafkorn Kilmerwho works as a curator in Lowy Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, spent almost fifteen years deciphering clay tablets that were discovered and excavated in Syria by French archaeologists early 1950s years! Ultimately, the tablets were confirmed to constitute "a complete cult hymn and are the oldest surviving notated song in the world..."

kilmer, who is also a professor of Assyriology at the University of California, worked alongside her colleagues Richard L. Crocker and Robert R. Brown on the creation of the final recording and booklet of the song, which received a concise title "Sounds from the Silence".

"We can match the number of syllables in a song's lyrics to the number of notes on the sheet music," notes Kilmer. “With this approach, harmonies are obtained, and not a melody of individual notes. The chances that the number of syllables without intention will match the numbers in the record are astronomical ... "

Richard Crocker, a colleague of Kilmer, adds:

"It revolutionized the whole concept of the origin of Western music!"


The oldest song in the world...
The oldest song in the world...

Although the basic recreation of the song was released later, the new recording was performed by the musician and composer Michael Levy, which, according to the Mail, focuses on "intense research and recreation of ancient lyre playing techniques of antiquity..."

Although archaeologists have been able to unearth entire 29 tablets (which, you see, a lot) during the project in 1950s years, only one of the texts has survived well enough to be reconstructed:

“Over the past few years, I have recorded several of my own arrangements for the solo lyre of the Hurrian anthem,” Levy said, before explaining that his mission was to “return the beautiful lyres of antiquity back into a soft and soulless modern musical…” He adds: “H6 (the salvaged text) is the oldest significant fragment (almost complete) of real melody so far discovered in history… Naturally, music, being the expression of aesthetic emotion through sound, probably even predates our use of language! But until this musical work was discovered, no other written melodies of that period had been found before ... "

Ann Draffkorn Kilmer, Richard L. Crocker, Robert R. Brown - "Sounds from Silence, Recent Discoveries in Ancient Near Eastern Music"
Ann Draffkorn Kilmer, Richard L. Crocker, Robert R. Brown - "Sounds from Silence, Recent Discoveries in Ancient Near Eastern Music"

Music from text Hurrian hymns H6, is thus the oldest known example of an actual piece of music dating from around 3400 years agothat can be interpreted and performed again today after so many years!

The theory about the "7-note diatonic scale"

This work, as he writes Richard Fink in the article 1988 years in Archeologia Musicalisconfirms the theory that7-note diatonic scale, like harmony, existed 3400 years ago". This, according to Fink, “contradicts the views of most musicologists, according to which ancient harmony practically did not exist (or was even impossible), and its scale was about as ancient as the ancient Greeks”! So academic debates aside, what is the world's oldest song? We invite you to listen MIDI version below:

Undoubtedly, MIDI keyboard was not the preferred instrument of the Sumerians, however, it is ideally suited to give us an idea of this amazing composition, although the rhythm of the piece can only be guessed at ...



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