Listen To The Oldest Known Song In The World, Originally Discovered In Northern Syria


The musical compilation (found in the form of a musical notation system etched on clay tablets) is better known as the Hurrian Songs. These were probably played on contemporary lyres, while the most ‘complete’ of this musical series pertains to the Hurrian Song to Nikkal.

Nikkal was a goddess entity of Ugarit/Canaan (and later of Phoenicia), and she was worshiped as the safe-keeper of orchards and gardens. Interestingly enough, experts have been able to recreate the melody of the Hurrian Song to Nikkal. The midi keyboard version below offers a modern take on this ancient composition (oldest song), based on the interpretation produced by Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, professor of Assyriology at the University of California, back in 1972.

Now if the midi keyboard version doesn’t conform to your musical sensibility, 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 from the video below.


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