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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The World's Oldest Song

Ever wonder what the wold's oldest song is? No, it's not "Happy Birthday," but a 3,400 year old hymn found in the 1950s during a dig in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit. It was written on clay tablets in cuneiform signs in the hurrian language, which was later interpreted into modern musical notation in 1972 by professor Anne Draffkorn Kilmer of the University of California, according to an article on Open Culture.

The song isn't all that much melody wise, but it does confirm that there was a 7 note diatonic scale and harmony being used way back then. That said, academics the world over have battled back and forth on the correct interpretation, so what you'll hear might or might not be accurate, but it's done by the original discoverer of the tablets Dr. Richard Dumbril.

A big thanks to my buddy Jesse Siemanis for the heads up.


widelec said...

I’m wondering what intonation system they used instead of this one, developed in XVIII and forward, and I am certain some inflections would be present when singing it or when playing back then. The tempo seems very rushed in this interpretation — I wonder if there are any indications of tempo at all.

Rand said...

Sounds like 'vintage' 80's sugarpop from Stock, Aitken & Waterman.

Just put one of their Stock formulaic drum machine beats underneath, Kylie Minogue's heavily processed vocals on top and you've got yourself another disposable radio hit (shelf-life guaranteed 3 months!).


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