Music is a universal cultural manifestation, an artistic field capable of wreaking havoc in the depths of the human being, thanks to its ability to transmit all kinds of feelings. But when was this influence inaugurated?
The oldest song in the world dates back to the 14th century BC. and it was discovered by a group of North American archaeologists, led by Emmanuel Laroche, in the city of Ugarit, a region of the ancient Sumerian civilization. This hymn was written 3,400 years ago on a clay tablet and in the Hurrian language, typical of a people in northern Mesopotamia.
Many experts in the field have worked over the years on this milestone in the world of musicology. Richard Fink assured in one of his many articles that, thanks to the discovery of this piece, he was able to verify that the seven-note diatonic scale, still in use, already existed millennia ago. All this, while the scientific community debates about the true origin of Western music.
The first song in history was dedicated to Nikkal, goddess of the orchards and mother of Yarikh, god of the Moon. Her name means “Great Lady” and “the fruitful one”, which could indicate the motivation of those who composed the melody: to attract life to their fields through supplication and supplication to this great divinity. In addition, along with the musical writing, various guidelines were found on how to correctly represent the hymn. Apparently, the harp or lyre are just some of the instruments necessary to give the work more depth and dynamism.
The condition of the tablets at the time of their discovery made the investigation very difficult. These were fragmented and much of the composition was missing. However, Dr. Anne Kilmer worked for years on the piece, with the aim of ever reinterpreting its already legendary chords. And so she did in 1972, in order to preserve it for posterity.
Listen to the song below: