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A Hurrian Cult Song from Ancient Ugarit

June 16, 2010

I just read this. I’m not a Psalms person, but I am trying to do a little catch-up for a side project. I’m sure something “older” has been discovered by now… but still:

Some general light has recently been shed on music in the ancient Near East as a consequence of archaeological research. Clay tablets (three fragments of a single text) were recovered from Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit), containing the words of a Hurrian cult-song together with musical notations. The musical notations have been deciphered provisionally and the song has been recorded (in stereo) with the aid of a lyre reconstructed according to ancient patterns: see Sounds from Silence. Recent Discoveries in Ancient Near Eastern Music. The whole process of interpreting the musical notations, building and tuning the musical instrument and other related matters is fraught with technical problems (see the author’s review of the recording in NewslUgSt 15 [January, 1978]: 6–7). Nevertheless, this modern recording of music from the Late Bronze Age in Ugarit, some centuries before the period of the Book of Psalms, is a remarkable achievement. Though the relationship (if any) between Hurrian cult music and Hebrew music is not known, the recording of the ancient song provides a small glimpse into the world of music which was part of the environment of the ancient Hebrews. (Peter C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50 [WBC 19; Dallas: Word, 2002], 38-39.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. denizarslan permalink
    July 4, 2010 3:10 pm

    marvellous

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