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The Oldest Song in the World

Anne Kilmer of the University of California has transcribed one of the oldest known pieces of music notation in the world. It is a hymn to Nikal, the wife of the Hurrian moon god. You can listen to the tune here, although the lyrics are unfortunately not included.

Here’s hoping some enterprising composer will show his or her work and slip this tune into a Hollywood musical score some day—some swords-and-sandals fantasy or even a biblical epic. I’ll bet King David knew some Hurrian tunes….



  1. Darrell,

    Thank you for this information. I had seen Kilmer’s transcription of the song in the 1980s. I played the song in one of my classes at the school where I was teaching and a student got real mad because I played a pagan song, a song dedicated to a pagan god, in a Christians school.

    Some people just cannot appreciate ancient culture.

    I am placing this information on my blog today.

    Claude Mariottini


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