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HomeE-LearningHear the World's Oldest Identified Music, "Hurrian Hymn No. 6" Written 3,400...

Hear the World’s Oldest Identified Music, “Hurrian Hymn No. 6” Written 3,400 Years In the past

Do you want previous timey music?


You may’t get extra previous timey than Hurrian Hymn No. 6, which was found on a clay pill within the historic Syrian port metropolis of Ugarit within the Fifties, and is over 3400 12 months previous.

Really, you may – an identical pill making reference to Lipit-Ishtar, a hymn glorifying the fifth king of the First Dynasty of Isin, in what’s now Iraq, is older by some 600 years, however as CMUSE studies, it “accommodates little greater than tuning directions for the lyre.”

Hurrian Hymn No. 6 gives meatier content material, and in contrast to 5 different tablets found in the identical location, is sufficiently effectively preserved to permit archeologists, and others, to take a crack at reconstructing its tune, although it was on no account straightforward.

College of California emeritus professor of Assyriology Anne Kilmer spent 15 years researching the pill, earlier than transcribing it into trendy musical notation in 1972.

Hers is one among a number of interpretations YouTuber hochelaga samples within the above video.

Whereas the unique pill provides particular particulars on how the musician ought to place their fingers on the lyre, different components, like tuning or how lengthy notes must be held, are absent, giving trendy arrangers some room for creativity.

Beneath archaeomusicologist Richard Dumbrill explains his interpretation from 1998, during which vocalist Lara Jokhader assumes the a part of a younger girl privately interesting to the goddess Nikkal to make her fertile:

Right here’s a very beautiful classical guitar spin, courtesy of Syrian musicologist Raoul Vitale and composer Feras Rada

And a haunting piano model, by Syrian-American composer Malek Jandali, founding father of Pianos for Peace:

And who can resist an opportunity to listen to Hurrian Hymn No. 6 on a reproduction of an historic lyre by “new ancestral” composer Michael Levy, who considers it his musical mission to “open a portal to a time that has been all however forgotten:”

 I dream to rekindle the very spirit of our historic ancestors. To seize, for only a few moments, a time when individuals imagined the material of the universe was woven from harmonies and notes. To luxuriate in a gentler time when the fragility of life was really appreciated and its each motion was carried out within the almighty sense of awe felt for the traditional gods.

Samurai Guitarist Steve Onotera channels the thriller of antiquity too, by combining Dr. Dumbrill’s melody with Dr. Kilmer’s, attempting and discarding numerous approaches – synthwave, lo-fi hip hop, reggae dub (“an absolute catastrophe”) – earlier than deciding it was greatest rendered as a solo for his Fender electrical.

Amaranth Publishing has a number of MIDI recordsdata of Hurrian Hymn No 6, together with Dr. Kilmer’s, that you could obtain free of charge right here.

Open them within the music notation software program program of your alternative, and may it please the goddess, maybe yours would be the subsequent interpretation of Hurrian Hymn No. 6 to be featured right here on Open Tradition

Associated Content material 

What Historical Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That’s ‘100% Correct’

The Evolution of Music: 40,000 Years of Music Historical past Coated in 8 Minutes

Watch an Archaeologist Play the “Lithophone,” a Prehistoric Instrument That Let Historical Musicians Play Actual Basic Rock

A Fashionable Drummer Performs a Rock Gong, a Percussion Instrument from Prehistoric Occasions

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and writer, most not too long ago, of Artistic, Not Well-known: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Comply with her @AyunHalliday.


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