Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ancient Music from Urkesh Palace

Welcome back!

I know I told you that there would be more about ancient melodies and tablets in the following post. I kept my promise. Although I am not providing a lengthy text, I have a gift for you - unless you have discovered the link before me. In this link you'll find the earliest musical score in the history, as far as it is known, and more information on this music, the tablet from 13th century BC found in Ugarit with this notation written on, and a simplified translation of the lyrics of the hymn. And most importantly, you will be able to listen to this melody!

The simplified - by Hans-Jochen Thiel - lyrics:

I will (bring x?) in the form of lead at the right foot (of the divine throne)
I will (purify ?) and change (the sinfulness).
(Once sins are) no longer covered and need no longer be changed,
I feel well having accomplished the sacrifice.

(Once I have) endeared (the deity), she will love me in her heart,
the offer I bring may wholly cover my sin
bringing sesame oil may work on my behalf
in awe may I ...

The sterile may they make fertile,
Grain may they bring forth.
She, the wife, will bear (children) to the father.
May she who has not yet borne children bear them.

If you are interested, you can download the precious document, which contains the musical portion of the text from Ugarit interpreted by Marcelle Duchesne-Guillemin, "A Musical Score from Ugarit: The Discovery of Mesopotamian Music".


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