World’s Oldest Tune

A 3,400 year-old melody has been given a tuning-up by music historian Michael Levy, a composer who  researches ancient works, recreating them as authentically as possible. In the case of the Hurrian song, that meant plucking on lyres that mimick those that were around in antiquity.

Okay, so this happened last year, and we’re late to the party, but when you’re talking about a 3,400-year-old party, close enough. We discovered this story clicking around on CMuse, which just posted it, but the Daily Mail had a nice article and interview with Levy in July 2016.

Apparently, the song was written on clay tablets discovered in the 1950s in Ugarit, today’s Syria, but it took a while to research and interpret the music, which began circulating in its current recorded form last year.

It is one of the oldest surviving melodies known to man, a relic of the early Bronze Age, and a reminder that music has had an important role in human life since the inception of civilization. This early music dates from the same period as what’s known as “proto-writing,” primitive written communications.


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