Ugarit which gave the world its alphabet gave it too the oldest musical notation in the world
الموسيقار مالك جندلي – أصداء من أوغاريت: أول موسيقي عربي يقوم بتوزيع أقدم تدوين موسيقي في العالم
اكتشف في أوغاريت – سوريا على لوحات مسمارية تعود إلى الألف الثاني قبل الميلاد. قناة الجزيرة: زمام المبادرة

Echoes from Ugarit: Music by Syrian composer & pianist Malek Jandali from his album “Echoes from Ugarit” performed by The Syrian Symphony Orchestra and recorded with The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra in Moscow.

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The first piano & orchestra arrangement of the 3400 year old “Hurrian Hymn”, the oldest music notation in the world which was discovered on clay tablets in the ancient city of Ugarit, Syria. Although 29 musical texts were discovered in Ugarit, only this Cuneiform text was in a state of preservation to analyze and study its modern academic musical reconstruction. The scholarly contributions of Dr. Richard Dumbrill to the translation and interpretation of the Hurrian song H6 are acknowledged with appreciation.

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الموسيقار السوري مالك جندلي: من ألبوم: أصداء من اوغاريت – أقدم تدوين موسيقى في العالم

Ugarit, Syria is the birthplace of alphabet and music notation. The interpretation of the music notation of Ugarit is a challenge and several “reconstructions” have been published. The evidence that both the 7-note diatonic scale as well as harmony existed 3400 years ago flies in the face of most musicologists’ views that ancient harmony was virtually non-existent or even impossible. This has revolutionized the whole concept of the origin of Western music.

This work is founded on the oldest music notation in the world discovered in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit. The clay tablets contain a hymn to the moon god’s wife, Nikkal. Although hundreds of such tablets were discovered over the years, these very tablets contain words and notation of a song all composed in the same “maqam” or mode (called nîd qabli). Further, they contained instructions for a singer accompanied by musicians, as well as instructions on tuning the strings of the instrument.

This Ugaritic hymns was arranged into a melancholic piano work preserving its rhythmic structure and building a musical bridge to the past. The song of this woman’s marriage was filled with pain at not having children for her husband and her family. Apparently, the song is a lament, “the plaintive cry of an infertile woman” seeking the answer to her barrenness from the moon goddess.

Several musicologists and cuneiform specialists from several countries — among them Benno Landsberger, Anne D. Kilmer, O.R. Gurney, M. Duchesne-Guillemin, H.G. Guterbock, E. Sollberger, D. Wulstan, VItale, H. Kummel, and E. Laroche — have examined these five texts. A number of attempts have been made to reconstruct their musical significance, especially that of the Hurrian cult hymn. The results in the latter case are noteworthy for their wide divergence, yet the essentials of the music theory behind all these obscure documents seems well understood.

The main goal of “Echoes from Ugarit” is to shed the light on this very important historical fact to tell the world that Ugarit, Syria has the oldest music notation in the world!

Malek Jandali: Echoes from Ugarit: The story of the oldest music notation in the world on Al Jazeera TV

About alisariram

I am an artist, a writer and a researcher. I know Arabic and English . I am interested in music and art of every description. I like to describe myself as the embodiment of a harmonious marriage between two cultures which I value and treasure.
This entry was posted in Alisar's notes and articles, Music, Syria, Syrian Archaeology and antiquities, Video and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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