Song Story: The Hurrian Hymn

“The Hurrian Hymn” is considered the oldest surviving melody and dates back more than 3,400 years ago.

The hymn was discovered on a clay tablet in Ugarite (modern-day Syria) 1950 and inscribed with Cuneiform text.  Along with the discovery were 30 other tablet fragments and 9 lyre strings.

The text is not Christian but dedicated to the Hurrians’ goddess of the orchards Nikkal. This is the only hymn that could be reconstructed – although the name of the composer is now lost.

The system we use for music today was not invented until 1000 AD so the Hurrian hymn looks completely different. While the lyrics are said to have been difficult to translate, they have been translated and can be heard on the video.

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