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Oldest song in the world

Related threads:
440hz? 432hz? (39)
Music of the Bible Revealed (?) (26)
What are the oldest surviving tunes? (60)
First Chord Ever Played (16)


Thompson 21 Jun 15 - 05:20 AM
Mr Red 21 Jun 15 - 06:32 AM
Jack Campin 21 Jun 15 - 06:42 AM
mayomick 21 Jun 15 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Jun 15 - 01:36 PM
CapriUni 21 Jun 15 - 02:06 PM
Bill D 21 Jun 15 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Jun 15 - 05:16 PM
Mrrzy 21 Jun 15 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Guest 22 Jun 15 - 09:59 AM
CapriUni 22 Jun 15 - 01:55 PM
Jack Campin 22 Jun 15 - 02:31 PM
Cool Beans 23 Jun 15 - 01:52 PM
Gaffer 25 Jul 15 - 02:16 PM
MGM·Lion 25 Jul 15 - 03:19 PM
BrooklynJay 26 Jul 15 - 05:05 AM
GUEST,Desi C 26 Jul 15 - 06:58 AM
Paul Burke 26 Jul 15 - 08:55 AM
StephenH 11 May 18 - 07:59 PM
Mr Red 12 May 18 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Observer 12 May 18 - 04:23 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 18 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 12 May 18 - 04:42 AM
StephenH 12 May 18 - 10:33 AM
Bill D 12 May 18 - 07:38 PM
Bill D 12 May 18 - 07:41 PM
Bugsy 13 May 18 - 11:09 PM
Jim Carroll 14 May 18 - 03:23 AM
David Carter (UK) 14 May 18 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Mark Bluemel 14 May 18 - 05:30 AM
Mo the caller 14 May 18 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 15 May 18 - 01:17 PM
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Subject: Oldest song in the world
From: Thompson
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 05:20 AM

A Sumerian hymn has been revealed as the first known music. Here it is.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Mr Red
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 06:32 AM

You mean "Wild Rover" isn't that old?


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 06:42 AM

Earlier Mudcat threads mentioning this:

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=50705

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=37322

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=156603

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=77353

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=76585

There are at least two different transcriptions of the Hurrian Hymn and they sound completely unlike one another. One of them sounds a lot like "Merrily We Roll Along".


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: mayomick
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 11:27 AM

isn't "The Sheep's Farwell to the Mountain" supposed to be older?


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 01:36 PM

We may not know how exactly a song of 1400 BC sounded, but one thing is sure: in 1350 BC, people would say "They don't write 'em like that any more ..."


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: CapriUni
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 02:06 PM

It's clearly not the "oldest song in the world" -- just the oldest surviving fragments of melodic notation (that we have found, so far). Which is still pretty impressive.

Meanwhile, from what I've been able to gather (admittedly, not much -- I'm neither a dedicated scholar of music nor antiquities), the Seikilos Epitaph is the oldest combination of lyrics and musical notation that have been found together.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 02:33 PM

I read many years ago, that they thought a Egyptian water-hauling song was the oldest song still known & used.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 05:16 PM

the oldest song still known & used
- not a notion precise enough to satisfy, say, Guiness book standards. As we know here all too well, songs never stay the same in the sense writing does.

The "oldest" song is usually last year's ESC winner - beats Wild Rover by far!


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Jun 15 - 08:44 PM

I would have thought the lullaby would be older than the hymn.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 09:59 AM

Reminds me of that ancient (?) riddle:

Adam 'ad 'em. (Answer "Fleas")


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: CapriUni
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 01:55 PM

Mrrzy --

I absolutely agree.... Unless, maybe, you count the love song that resulted in the baby that needed the lullaby...

(...And this is the house that Jack built).

But the lullabies that are crooned by the cradle tend not to be recorded in formal notation until much later. Hymns, on the other hand, encode a nation's religious and/or political beliefs, and so get the honor of being pressed into clay tablets, and thus preserved for the ages.

On the other hand, since this music has no surviving lyrics, maybe it was a lullaby.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jun 15 - 02:31 PM

It does have lyrics. They're not very easy to make out but they are a hymn to the goddess Nikkal.

http://www.individual.utoronto.ca/seadogdriftwood/Hurrian/Website_article_on_Hurrian_Hymn_No._6.html


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Cool Beans
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 01:52 PM

"Let 'em all go to Hell -- except Cave 76!"
(Mel Brooks as the 2,000-year-old man)


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Gaffer
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 02:16 PM

The second oldest is "When i was young". I've a vague recollection that the oldest is "When Leadfingers was young"!

Gaffer


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Jul 15 - 03:19 PM

Seamus Ennis used to relate that the Irish know that "Rocking the Cradle" was it: the old man lamenting that he has been left at home, "so sad and so weary at rocking the cradle and nursing the baby that's none of my own", being Joseph having been delegated by Mary to babysit the Infant Jesus.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 26 Jul 15 - 05:05 AM

Of course, scholars may yet determine that the Sumerian hymn actually is Wild Rover, which would make it the first verifiable example of the "folk process".


Jay


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 26 Jul 15 - 06:58 AM

Religious people and religions often claim some Hymn or such like. But of course music pre dates religion by centuries. But a first song, ha such a fact ever been recorded and wouldn't be near impossible to verify anyway?


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Paul Burke
Date: 26 Jul 15 - 08:55 AM

Ancient songs, unlike the Sumerian hymn still very much familiar today:

(1) From the Egypt of Tutankhamun's dad:

The Sun, as God, is Aten,
Hip hip hip hooray!
The Sun, as God, is Aten,
And He's coming out to play!

(2) From those merchant adventurers of the Mediterranean, the Phoenicians, as the sun set in the mysterious West and they finally shipped the oars and rested their aching arms and backs:

Trireme goodnight,
Trireme goodnight,
Goodnight trireme,
Goodnight trireme,
I'll see you in my dreams.


Threads combined. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: Origins: The Oldest Song in the World?
From: StephenH
Date: 11 May 18 - 07:59 PM

I didn't see this as a topic anywhere, although many Mudcatters may already have seen it. From the BBC, an interesting
article on recreating songs, melodies, and instruments from archaeological finds.

Probably won't settle the debate.

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20180424-did-syria-create-the-worlds-first-song


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Oldest Song in the World?
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 May 18 - 03:14 AM

All those monuments like the pyramids and Stonehemge didn't get built without a lot of people working in unison.

My bet is that there would be a lot of rhythmical shouting and probably to break the monotony it would have involved some call and response with bawdy lyrics. And the Chantey would have developed in that process.

Tribal dances we see in documentaries involve a sort of song. And it is often postulated that communal singing was beneficial to tribal bonding. Indeed the reason song evolved and the concept of the tribe survived. And that would predate farming.

the song cited in the BBC link would be the earliest known.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Oldest Song in the World?
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 12 May 18 - 04:23 AM

Probably something composed by a whale.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Oldest Song in the World?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 18 - 04:30 AM

"My bet is that there would be a lot of rhythmical shouting and probably to break the monotony"
This is the basis of C M Bowra's book 'Primitive Music'
The late song Collector, Tom Munnelly always argued that Ireland has no great history of Sea Shanties, but the nearest he ever came to hearing one was from a gang of Navvies in Dublin singing a made-up nonsense piece while hauling a length of cable through a pipe
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Oldest Song in the World?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 12 May 18 - 04:42 AM

The music described in that BBC piece is a VERY long way from "rhythmical shouting". It's all the product of an advanced civilization.

That Ugaritic hymn has been reinterpreted over and over again for fifty years, it's obviously a complex composition but the notation is tantalizingly just a bit too ambiguous for us to interpret definitively now. The BBC story is about a lot more than that.

For more on Syrian music, look up the late Julien Jalaluddin Weiss and the al-Kindi Ensemble. Their recordings are not too hard to come by.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Oldest Song in the World?
From: StephenH
Date: 12 May 18 - 10:33 AM

Mr Red is correct in saying earliest "known" - which is always the case
with anything earliest, fastest,etc.
And Jack points out that the piece is about a composition(and much more)
rather than a communally derived song.
Recently, evidence was found of a 14,000 year old settlement of the Heiltsuk people here on the West Cost of Canada. We know song was very important among Indigenous people, but they didn't write it down.
I think some have postulated that song was perhaps the first form of communication between humans - which is really kind of a nice thought.
Anyway, a better title for my thread would have been "Earliest Known
Composition?", but I was going along with the BBC title, and being a bit cheeky with it as well.
Really interesting read, I thought, all in all.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 18 - 07:38 PM

More on https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=4913>this thread


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Bill D
Date: 12 May 18 - 07:41 PM

from Youtube: oldest known melody


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Bugsy
Date: 13 May 18 - 11:09 PM

The oldest song in the world is a little ditty called, " Give us a bite of your Apple, Eve."

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 May 18 - 03:23 AM

Willie McBride sometimes sounds as if it could be!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: David Carter (UK)
Date: 14 May 18 - 04:35 AM

Bill D's clip was interesting. Easily missed is a little link in the top right hand corner of the video, saying "Visit my website". To save people the trouble:

http://www.ancientlyre.com


It does say a bit about the process from the Cuneiform to the musical notes. This seems to be the work of a Dr. Richard Dumbrill. Well done him.

Not so well done the scores of commenters on the Youtube clip, who seem not to want add any information, but simply to demonstrate to the world what arseholes they are.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: GUEST,Mark Bluemel
Date: 14 May 18 - 05:30 AM

Paul Burke's contribution, dateline 26 Jul 15 - 08:55 AM , has brightened my day.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: Mo the caller
Date: 14 May 18 - 05:38 AM

"The late song Collector, Tom Munnelly always argued that Ireland has no great history of Sea Shanties, but the nearest he ever came to hearing one was from a gang of Navvies in Dublin singing a made-up nonsense piece while hauling a length of cable through a pipe
Jim Carroll "

Singing made up nonsense seems to be innate, I've been listening with delight to my granddaughter do it since she was very young.


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Subject: RE: Oldest song in the world
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 May 18 - 01:17 PM

Re: Comments here and in the linked threads on early North American song:

The Norse set up maritime colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland around 1000AD and abandoned the last of them in the 1400s. They were Roman Catholic for most of that period. No records of Norse, Catholic, slave &c songs or shanties in the colonies yet, but there is this:

“It (Salve Regina) was set down in its current form at the Abbey of Cluny in the 12th century, where it was used as a processional hymn on Marian feasts. The Cistercians chanted the Salve Regina daily from 1218. It was popular at medieval universities as evening song, and according to Fr. Juniper Carol, it came to be part of the ritual for the blessing of a ship. While the anthem figured largely in liturgical and in general popular Catholic devotion, it was especially dear to sailors.” [wiki]

(11 October 1492) “All hands were summoned as usual, and after they had said their evening prayers and sung the Salve Regina which all seamen are accustomed to say and sing in their own fashion...”

[Morison, S.E., Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1942, p.222)]


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