Listen to the Oldest Song In The World


Well, at least the oldest one noted down… Here’s the sheet music for it (and you can listen to it below):


The song was discovered in the ancient Syrian city if Ugarit in the early Fifties, and then deciphered by Professor Anne Draffkorn Kilmer. The tablets containing the notation were about 3400 years old, and contained cuneiform signs in the hurrian language that provided musical notation of a complete cult hymn. It’s thought to be the oldest preserved song with notation in the world, and predates the next earliest example of harmony by 1,400 years.

n 1972, Kilmer, who is professor of Assyriology, University of California, and a curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, developed an interpretation of the song based on her study of the notation. She wrote a book (Sounds From Silence) about her quest, which comes with a CD recording of the song: Link

You can listen to the song yourself. Here is a midi version, followed by a go at how it may really have sounded back in the old days…

If the midi keyboard version didn’t come up to your expectations, the good news is that scholars (including Anne Draffkorn Kilmer and Richard Crocker) have produced variants of the Hurrian Songs in lyre – a musical instrument that was probably more contemporary to Ugarit inhabitants. Musician Michael Levy has also produced his lyre interpretation for the A Hurrian Cult Song from Ancient Ugarit, and the soulful version can be heard in the video below.

via Realm of History, WMFU