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What are the oldest surviving tunes?

Related threads:
Oldest song in the world (51)
440hz? 432hz? (45)
Music of the Bible Revealed (?) (26)
First Chord Ever Played (16)


Torctgyd 14 Jan 05 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Mrr 14 Jan 05 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,MMario 14 Jan 05 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Farmer Giles 14 Jan 05 - 11:07 AM
TheBigPinkLad 14 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM
GUEST 14 Jan 05 - 12:01 PM
Wesley S 14 Jan 05 - 01:19 PM
Amos 14 Jan 05 - 01:48 PM
Frank Maher 14 Jan 05 - 03:39 PM
Amos 14 Jan 05 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Malcolm 14 Jan 05 - 07:30 PM
mousethief 15 Jan 05 - 01:45 AM
GUEST 15 Jan 05 - 03:33 PM
Jeff Green 15 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 15 Jan 05 - 08:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jan 05 - 08:45 PM
Kaleea 16 Jan 05 - 02:16 AM
Manitas_at_home 16 Jan 05 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,hucktunes 16 Jan 05 - 03:39 AM
GUEST 16 Jan 05 - 04:25 AM
MarkS 16 Jan 05 - 02:34 PM
hilda fish 16 Jan 05 - 06:49 PM
Kaleea 17 Jan 05 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn 17 Jan 05 - 08:24 AM
MarkS 17 Jan 05 - 11:06 AM
Tannywheeler 17 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Jan 05 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,petr 17 Jan 05 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,Skeptic 17 Jan 05 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,JR Hagadorn 17 Jan 05 - 11:11 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Jan 05 - 12:14 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 05 - 12:21 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 Jan 05 - 12:23 AM
Bert 18 Jan 05 - 12:27 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 18 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,cookieless IanC 18 Jan 05 - 12:03 PM
M.Ted 18 Jan 05 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 18 Jan 05 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,petr 19 Jan 05 - 11:33 AM
Warsaw Ed 19 Jan 05 - 04:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM
Lighter 19 Jan 05 - 06:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jan 05 - 07:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jan 05 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,Sieffe 22 Sep 05 - 10:48 PM
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Subject: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Torctgyd
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 10:40 AM

What surviving tunes are the oldest, and how old are they. I presume most of the oldest will be early church music. The oldest, English, tune or song I can think of is Summer Is A Coming In which I think is about 750 years old. What others are still out there? Which is the oldest? How far back in time can we reasonably push the date for the oldest tune? Are there Jewish, Hindu, Buddist or other religious songs/tunes/chant that have survived for millenia?


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 10:55 AM

My guess would either be a lullaby or the Na-na-na-na-naaa-na that kids sing to each other in all cultures - and are still singing deep into the future according to Star Trek...


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 11:01 AM

I believe what is currently considered to be the oldest known musical notation is a clay tablet dated between 1450 BC and 1200 BC.

website with some interesting information


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Farmer Giles
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 11:07 AM

the vocal noises I make when trying to encourage
a constipated motion to pass through my haemorroids

are probably quite accurately reminiscent
of earliest mans first concious musical utterances


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM

My guess is the onomatopaeic or imitative snippets that exist inside many tunes (can't reproduce well here, but the oooo-ooo-oo sound the wind makes, mmmmmm sound babies make, and things like cuckoo! etc.)


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 12:01 PM

Farts


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Wesley S
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 01:19 PM

There was a thread at one time here at the Mudcat concerning the song "The Water Is Wide". My recollection is that it went back many hundreds of years. Possibly the 1600's ? But don't quote me on that.

Reguardless it would be interesting to hear the original melody as sung in those times to see if it would bear any resemblence to melody we know today.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 01:48 PM

My Love is Like a Red Red Rose
Greensleeves
Waly Waly (Water is Wide, etc.)
Soldier's Joy

are among the longest-surviving tunes in the English lexicon.

A


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Frank Maher
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 03:39 PM

Sensational new discoveries have been made at an archaeological dig at the site of a Roman army camp near Hadrian's Wall. When the legions were evacuated, orders were sent out to destroy all valuable military records. However, in the far-flung camps, lazy army bureaucrats simply pitched all the files into the nearest bog. Now archaeologists are recovering all the records, preserved in the highly tannic bog water.


Among the latest discoveries is what appears to be a Latin translation of a Pictish folk-song. No doubt the lonely legionaries on sentry duty on the wall heard the melodic strains drifting on the wind from the Pictish encampments to the north. Roman soldiers must have learned this traditional Pictish melody, which is the earliest folksong recorded in the British Isles.


Of particular interest is the chorus of syllabic vocables, remarkably similar to the Gaelic walking song which is not found in written records until almost 1000 years later. In fact, a remarkable similar chorus of vocables: I\ aigh i\ aigh o\ can be found in a walking song from Skye, "Tha baile aig sean-Mhac a' Domhnuill", in the Frances Tolmie collection.


Following is a transcription of the original manuscript:


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat porces, EIEIO
Cum oink oink hic, oink oink hoc
Oink hic, oink hoc, ubique oink oink
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat boves, EIEIO
Cum moo moo hic, moo moo hoc
Moo hic, moo hoc, ubique moo moo
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat oves, EIEIO
Cum baa baa hic, baa baa hoc
Baa hic, baa hoc, ubique baa baa
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO
Et in ille fundum habebat anates, EIEIO
Cum quack quack hic, quack quack hoc
Quack hic, quack hoc, ubique quack quack
Senex Macdonaldus habebat fundum, EIEIO


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Amos
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 04:00 PM

LOL, Frank!


A


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Malcolm
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 07:30 PM

The subject comes up from time to time, but it's probably difficult to use the onsite search engine while Mudcat is flopping about between different locations, so a new thread on an old topic is understandable. You need to distinguish between tunes that have been around for a long time in use and tunes that have been resurrected from long ago. The former count as "survivals", while the latter are just archaeological specimens; fossils which are interesting but dead.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 01:45 AM

I believe the tune to "O Come O Come Emmanuel" is one of the oldest tunes we still have, coming as it does from the 8th or 9th century of the CE. (that's A.D. for you philistines)


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 03:33 PM

Maybe Old McDonald was getting sloppy on his grammar - but shouldn't it be "in illo fundo"


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Jeff Green
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 08:16 PM

http://www.nationwide.net/~amaranth/kilmer.mid

well since it's playable I suppose it's survived.

but see http://www.nationwide.net/~amaranth/hurrian.htm for the info


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 08:41 PM

Gaelic is an older language than Latin and Old MacDonald was a Gael. Therefore this should pre-date the Latin version.                Seann Mhac Dhomhnaill

Seann Mhac Dhomhnaill. gu robh` ait aig ,
I ai I ai o
Air an aite bha aige cearcan,
I ai I ai   o
Le glug-glug siud agus glug-glug seo
Seo glug, siud glug, a h-uile h_`aite glug-glug
Seann Mhac Dhoinhnaill. gu robh ait aig ,
I ai I ai o.


Seann Mhac Dhomhnail1 gu robh `ait aig
I ai I ai o,
Air an aite bha aige tunnagan,
             I ai I ai o        
Le glag-glag siud agus glag-glagL seo,
Seo glag siud glag h-uile h-`aite glag-glag
,Seann Mhac Dhomhnaill gu robh ait aig
I ai I ai o.

Seann Mhac Dhomhnaill gu robh ait aig ,
I ai l ai o,
Air an aite bha aige geoidh
I ai I ai o,
Le hong-hong siud agus hong-hong seo
Seo hong siud hong, a h-uile h-aite hong-hong
Seann Mhae Dhomhnaill gu robh ait aig
I ai I ai o.
        
Seann Mhac Dhomhnaill gu robh ait aig ,
I ai I ai o
Air an aite bha aige crodh,
I ai I ai o,
Le mu-mu siud agus mu-mu seo,
Seo mu siud mu a h-uile h-aite mu-mu,
SeannMhac Dhomhnaill gu robh ait' aig ,
I ai I ai o


   
   
        



   

   

   
   

   

            
           
        
   
         


   

   
:-}


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 08:45 PM

You can't resurrect a fossil (leaving Jurassic Park Aside) - however a song such as "Dominion of the Sword" is very much alive and indeed topical, thanks to Martin Carthy for digging it up and breathing new life into it. Good songs are never more than provisionbally dead.

I think Mrr is right about Nyaah-Nyaah-Nya-Nyaah-Nyaah. I suspect that may well be pre-human in origin. As soon as those ancestral apes developed vocal cord I reckon you culd have heard them have been hopping around singing that at their baboon neighbours and riff-raff like that.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Kaleea
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 02:16 AM

While not a couple three thousand years old, one might take a look at The Ancient Music of Ireland, by Edward Bunting, published in 1840. He was asked to notate all the tunes & songs played by the old style itinerant harpers at the last of the old Belfast Harp Festivals which was held in 1792. The book was a treatise on those tunes & other Harp & Pipe Music, but the tunes were arranged for Piano--presumably because by then the Piano was much more in vogue than Harp or Pipes.
   The "very ancient" air, Eileen a Roone, is one tune which I have heard with lyrics in various languages. I wonder how old it is, and how it meandered to other countries. We will likely never know.
    It makes me wonder . . .if one is sitting in 1792 and a tune is described as being "very, very ancient," just how old is that?


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 03:16 AM

In 1792 ancient probably meant last year! There was an orchestra called the Academy of Ancient Music found in 1726:

"The founding of the Academy of Ancient Music in 1726 was a landmark in the tradition of Western classical music. The Academy was unique in its time for performance of works one hundred and fifty or more years old, music that in some cases — madrigals and motets of Luca di Marenzio, for example — had not been performed since their time. Nowhere else in Europe did anything comparable to such performances develop until the mid-nineteenth century."

More details can be found on http://www.aam.co.uk/

Going back to the original question here's a discussion:
http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/earlym-l/logfiles/earlym-l.log9206d
you'll need to scroll down a little.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,hucktunes
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 03:39 AM

The na na na nana na refered to earlier is the same tune as Ring Around The Rosy.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 04:25 AM

No your all wrong, it's Wild Rover or Fields of Athenry.

Well    it seems like it


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: MarkS
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 02:34 PM

Kind of rough to date any tunes prior to there being a written record of the words and the notation. I seem to recall that Guido D'Arezzo was the fellow who invented the ideas of the clef and the cleftular system of notation which has evolved into the stuff we still use today.

Ancient Greek used something called Modal notation, but I do not know if there are any written records of examples. However, from my student days I recall our music professor explaining that the "Myxolidian" mode was supposed to be the one which, if sung by men, caused women to melt in your arms. Which was one hell of a concept to tell to a class of young guys.

Wonder if some of the epic Roman poetry which was chanted rather than recited might qualify? Chanting a story makes it more memorable to those raised in an oral rather than a written tradition.
Mark


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: hilda fish
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 06:49 PM

I would say with some sureness that my peoples (Australian Aboriginal) tunes are the oldest surviving (and living) tunes. The sacred Song Cycles of various Dreamings including Honey Ant, Imberombera and others are still observed and as far as we are concerned they have been around since our Ancestor Beings sang the land into being. Considering that Mungo Man and Mungo Woman have been established at near enough to 73,000 years ancient, these tunes have to be at least that old. If you look at the admittedly contested Jimnium sites then they would have to be between 80,000 to 100,000 years old. These tunes aren't "resurrected" - they have always been and still are. America's First People's as well as some of the South America's clans could perhaps also claim tunes that transcend time and still are.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Kaleea
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 03:53 AM

It just occured to me that Mel Brooks' The 10,000 year old man (is that enough zeros?) would be the one to ask. I seem to recall him singing a really old song in Yiddish (isn't Yiddish only a couple thousand years old or so?) once for Johnny Carson. Anybody got Mel's number?


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Dáithí Ó Geanainn
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 08:24 AM

Aren't there also examples of Ancient Egyptian music notation around too? Would be fascinating to hear what that sounded like.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: MarkS
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 11:06 AM

According to Brooks, the 10,000 year old man and his buddies sat around banging rocks together to make noise,

Worlds first rock band.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 11:40 AM

Whatever it turns out to be (cuz everthang's scientifically knowable, right?), it will have been a lullaby, originally.       Tw


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:34 PM

The question did (appropriately) extend the question to cultures beyond Europe and European colonial transmission of music. I think the easiest way to transmit music over the most years is to be a stable culture, or at least a durable population in one spot for a very very long time. The original populations on any given continent would then be in the running, as hilda fish pointed out. The continent that at this time is considered to have been inhabited the longest is Africa, so I would start my search there and extend outward to adjacent landmasses. Arabia, the Middle East, the sub-continent of India. China, as a homogeneous nation now, is composed of regions with recorded cultures going back a very long time. I would put forward the hypothesis that the culture with the oldest recorded information would be the best candidate, because writing probably outlasts the oral tradition, and as new findings of old materials turn up (and as they are interpreted) then there is a possibility that the words to songs will be part of that material. Only if someone can figure out if melody was transcribable can they figure out more.

So, pulling these thoughts together, I'd look to see who produced the earliest ethnographic materials about "Other" cultures. It would be nice if they produced ethnographic materials as well about their own cultures, but so often we don't record what is around us; like the fish in water, it often isn't aware of that water unless it is completely removed from it. Early chroniclers in many instances were colonizing religious folk. So, to get records from the New World, as an example, you need to find direct descendents of those in situ populations (difficult after colonization, but not impossible) or records of the colonizers. Since many colonizers destroyed the records of those they colonized, that might be as close as you can get to the old tunes.

At any rate, it is an interesting process, but bound to be quite difficult and the path is filled with cultural, social, and political landmines.

SRS


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 08:38 PM

well the Egyptian Shadoof song (shadoof being an irrigation bucket system) has been sung since time immemorial. So its a work song, and Idsay a safe bet its more than a couple of thousand years old.
Petr
found that in some history of music book,


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Skeptic
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 10:03 PM

Without written records, how do they know that any of those "ancient songs" have been sung "unchanged" for a thousand years?

Answer: they can't and don't.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,JR Hagadorn
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 11:11 PM

Outside of some of Willie Nelson's stuff I would guess that Winoweh goes way back there. It is a Pete Seeger/Weavers version of a very old African tribal folk song.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 12:14 AM

Oh dear, no. See other discussions here and elsewhere of that song. It first appeared in 1939 and, though the tune may perhaps be older, we don't know. It's an easy mistake to make. Disney made it not long ago, and have (I think) settled out of court.

"Skeptic" is right, of course. Folk song studies have always been screwed up by romantics who desperately want to believe that everything is "ancient" or "pre-christian", and insist that all sorts of things must be (though they never seem able to produce an atom of real evidence).

Most of what survives in the West (as opposed to archaeological re-creations) is of no great age (though that's relative: 4 or 5 hundred years is, in historical terms, very little). As "Manitas" pointed out, everybody and his dog from the late 18th century onward was describing things as "ancient" -particularly when in the grip of the newly fashionable Romantic Nationalist movements- that were probably not much older than their mothers.

See in particular the late Bruce Olson's comments in previous discussions here on exactly the same subject. He knew more about all this than any of us. Of (for instance) native Australian tradition I can't speak; but the fact that people have lived somewhere for a very long time is, in itself, no more of a guide to how old a song they sing may be than it is to how long they may have been wearing the same socks.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 12:21 AM

No one said these songs were "unchanged," like the folk process wasn't going on. But in a time when there was less or little written, or only a small fraction of the population dealt in the written word, song, poems, and/or stories were handed down verbally. They may not be memorized exactly, and as has been shown with American Indian storytellers, the ones I've seen discussed, there are certain features in their story telling (adherence to detail while at the same time developing an appealing individual style) that would lead me to believe that stories and songs were transmitted a lot more faithfully before the printed word than after.

Let me give you a modern illustration of how I've seen this work for me. Have you experienced going on vacation and relying on taking photos to "remember" what you see? If your film fails, it's like you've lost that part of the trip. You remember being there, but you didn't lock in the images, you let the camera do that, keeping it in reserve to look over later. If you don't have a camera and instead you look carefully while you're there, not mediating through the "capture" of the lens (as compared to the written word on paper to "keep" important words), you remember it much better.

Songs, stories, epic poems, they were mnemonic devices, they're meant as a way to remember important cultural things, and to teach how to live and survive.

The worst thing in the world for human brains was the written word. We stopped learning how to remember things efficiently, relying instead on our ability to find the printed document to get the info we need. We don't pay as close attention as we should, because we've lost the ability to concentrate to learn things entirely from being told.

SRS


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 12:23 AM

(I am being facetious about the written word, of course--it allows us instead to process vast amounts of material that we couldn't have before. But it is a trade-off for many people, I think, quantity vs. quality.)


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Bert
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 12:27 AM

Ask Roger the Skiffler - he would know.































He knows the oldest joke as well.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 11:53 AM

There are a few very old songs still in circulation. Apart from Trireme Goodnight, which I've mentioned before, there was the hymn sung by the Ancient Egyptian Pharaoah who tried to convert the polytheistic empire to monotheism. Their god was the sun, which they named Aten (hence Tut-ankh-amun's original name, which was Tut-ankh-aten), and this was sung to greet his rising, and continued to be popular into modern times:

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


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,cookieless IanC
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 12:03 PM

You are older than the world can be,
you are younger than the life in me;
ever old and ever new,
keep me travelling along with you ...

Sidney Carter


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 07:38 PM

Now that is a Gay little tune, isn't it, Paul?


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 10:30 PM

John Greenway, authof of "American Folk Songs of Protest" and one time President of the American Folklore Society, believed, and stated publicly, that Beowulf was the oldest known example of the talking blues. No tune, but chanted rhythmically to instrumental acoompaniment. And wonder if we'll ever know the tunes King David made up to accompany his Psalms.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 11:33 AM

even before Beowulf, Homers Illiad and the Odyssey were sung
by bards..


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Warsaw Ed
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 04:39 PM

The Oldest surviving tune was written by Cain and Able. It is called
"Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" It didn't receive any prominence until 1942 when recorded by the Andrews Sisters.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 06:30 PM

the 10,000 year old man and his buddies sat around banging rocks together to make noise,

In which case they'd have been well behind the times - flutes of one sort or another have been found which may date as far back as 100,000 years. Here's an article about some relatively recent ones found in Ireland last year, which only date back to between 2120BC and 2085BC.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 06:46 PM

And before Homer, before Achilles, before Odysseus, there was . . .
                            GILGAMESH!!!!!


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 07:21 PM

And we don't know if the early epics had tunes (as such) and even if they did, those tunes don't survive. Therefore completely irrelevant to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 08:38 PM

Song of Roland. But of course, as Malcolm pointed out, with stuff like that, the tune hasn't survived. So they are not candidates for "the oldest surviving tunes".

I think that there's a strong likelihood though that songs from pre-literate cultures might be the ones that do go way back. The point is, in a pre-literate culture where everything has to be passed down by way of mouth, the way to get a reputation is to be able to carry on words and music without changing them - change is a failing.

But now it's the other way round. Our obsession is with originality and with constantly changing things "as a way of keeping them alive". It's a reflection of the fact that we developed the cultural technology to preserve the past. For a long time that was just a matter of writing and notation, but over the last century that moved on fast, and as for now...


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Sieffe
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 10:48 PM

What the hey!? What a waste of college time! . . .Senex macdonaldus indeed . . someone has waaaaaay too much time on their hands . . .


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Sep 05 - 11:20 PM

Mr. Frank Maher

You post seldom - and your words are frank, sparce, truthful...and therefore, highly respected.

What is your SOURCE (internet is OK - what Library or Page?)???????

Obviously, "gautiamus igitur" is NOT a Latin tune.

Your suggestion regarding oldest tunes (in a moderated NEWS forum - could glean a hundred-fold responces)((90 percent B.S.))

This could be a fun one to research....unfortunately....the MudCat will allow your tune request to die in a few days.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Currently....more time... than good-sense.... on my hands.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 01:41 PM

Sorry folks,
It's the 2,000 Year Old Man not 10,000.
Mel Brooks starring as the 2KoldMan with Carl Reiner as an interviewer. They got together about 5 years ago and released a new book called "The Two Thousand Year Old Man In The Year 2000". (I went to the signing)

I don't know if I have the full lyrics, but I recall the song was:

A lion
is eating
my foot off

Somebody call a cop!


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 03:59 PM

The traditional view in India is that Vedic Sanskrit is the language of creation: Brahma, the Creator, breathed the universe into being through sound, and the Vedic hymns are the primordial sounds of life. Vedic chanting, with its specific melodies and meters, is an oral tradition. Its hymns are passed down through specific families whose sole purpose on earth is to preserve one portion of the vast body of Vedic literature. Each portion is passed from father to son through meticulous memorization. They literally memorize the hymns, syllable by syllable, backwards and forwards.

No one has accurately dated the Vedic hymns since they were not written down until recent times. Presumably some have been lost over time.

E-e-elmer


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: MMario
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 04:11 PM

and unfortunately - tunes transmitted by oral tradition cannot reliably be dated back further then the oldest living memory at the time of their transcription.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 23 Sep 05 - 04:35 PM

That is very true, MMario, but the process used to memorize the Vedas is truly amazing. The pandits spend 20 years memorizing the portion assigned to their family, sometimes chanting it two words forwards and one word back, and in all sorts of other configurations to get the sequence perfect. There are still some for whom this is their entire profession.

There are also some ancient songs from Norway that are remarkably like Vedic hymns. I don't know how they are spelled but they are pronounced Yoicks.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 24 Sep 05 - 06:25 AM

Here's some information culled from Gardner Read's classic text Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice (1969), which begins with an overview of the history of Western musical notation:

Nearly 3000 years ago, Greeks employed at least one system of letter notation, letters corresponding to scale notes (including octave distinctions.) In the Pre-Christian era, there were four such systems (that we know of) in use. Changing the orientation of the letters indicated raising or lowering the notes, as with our sharps and flats. Duration was sometimes indicated by signs used in conjunction with the notes.

Around the middle of the 4th c. CE these systems contained over 1600 different signs, symbols and letter forms. They used one system (based on Ionian letters) for vocal music, another (based on Phoenecian letters) for instrumental music.

A 6th c. Italian monk, Boethius devised a similar system using Latin letters, but his system did not gain any widespread use.

The neumes of Gregorian chant first came into being in the 6th century. They were based on the acutus and gravis of Greek prosody, indicating rising and falling inflection. Initially, only relative, rather than precise, pitches were notated, with no durations indicated.

A (six-lined) staff appeared in a 9th c. theoretical tract, Musica Enchiriadis, which also gave examples of early polyphony, mostly in parallel organum. However, the system used words placed between the staff lines, rather than neumes, to indicate pitch.

Fixed pitch using the neume system and a single staff line (F) appeared in the 10th c. The various neumes were placed at their relative pitch distances above and below the staff line. Soon after, a second line (C) was added above, to allow more precise placement of the higher notes.

More lines were added, as demanded by the music, until Guido d'Arezzo standardized and popularized a four line staff in the 12th c. While we owe him a great debt for this, his only innovation was to introduce the scale syllables (ut re me fa sol...), after noticing that six successive lines of a Sapphic hymn to St. John the Baptist began on each successive note of the scale. He named the pitches according to these first syllables, which made it much easier for him to teach chants to even young students. Read doesn't describe how d'Arezzo handled the seventh scale pitch, which was not named si (ti in Germany) until several centuries later. He does say, however, that si was supposedly derived from the initial letters of Sancte Iohannes (St. John).

The flat and natural sign (a rounded and squared b respectively) arose about the 11th c., with the sharp and other accidentals appearing later still.

The problem of notating durations and rests, as required for coordinating more sophisticated polyphony, did not begin to be adequately addressed in a consistent way until the 13th c.

I have read elsewhere that the Egyptians did indeed have a system of musical notation that predated even the Greek systems, but few details of it were given in that source (which I no longer recall.)

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 24 Sep 05 - 07:50 AM

(Puts fingers in ears)

La la la, la la la, la la la...


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 24 Sep 05 - 12:10 PM

I still hold that, before any of that other stuff could happen there were people (prob. mostly women) holding and rocking babies and chanting/humming/singing to them. Lullaby will probably turn out to be oldest.(IMnotalwaysHO)                Tw


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Donuel
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 10:46 AM

what evidence is ther of ancient Egytian music?
I know that the Song of Solomon may be on the right track but I would love something that would reveal a true Egyptian song.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 12:35 PM

It's gettig too serious.
Here are 2 English speaking old songs: Barbara Allen and Two Sisters.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 01:17 PM

Adm bit my apple
Adam bit my apple
Adam bit my apple
Blame it on the serpent.

Eve you took the first bite
Eve you took the firsat bite
Eve you took the first bite
Then you misled me!


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jun 06 - 01:28 PM

Forget the old Egyptian stuff. The papryii have no musical scores.
Try some good modern Egyptian musicians.
Suggestion: Jazayer plus Ali Jihad Racy (Live), cd from Warners.
Amazon says it ranks 526102 in sales- if it is ranked that low, it is bound to be good!
Racy plays the Lebanese buzuk, a stringed instrument cf. bouzouki.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: GUEST,donuel
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 02:39 PM

Modern is nice but I am composing a score called the Religions of Earth. After the opening theme of oohm and log music and tribal sections, a bona fide Egyptian part is crucial since it leads into Hebrew music and western themes before exploring Asian styles before returning back to oohm.

One can easily assume that Egyptian music and the songs of Solomon share similarities but it is the weakest link regarding actual musical styles in the whole piece.


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Slag
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 05:28 PM

I think it was something like "Hit the Road, Adam and don't cha come back, no more, no more..."


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Subject: RE: What are the oldest surviving tunes?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 05:37 PM

"Bona fide"? not available unless you are a time traveler. Some of the late Egyptian stuff (ca. Cleopatra's time) would have Greek and Roman influences.


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