Discurso de Lula da Silva (excerto)


sábado, 8 de maio de 2010

"Hurrian Hymn no.6"

The Oldest Written Melody in History c.1400 BC!!!

Klezfiddle1 26 de Fevereiro de 2008A studio quality recording of this piece can be now heard on track 2 of my NEW CD ALBUM, "An Ancient Lyre" - available from: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mlevy4 (also out on iTunes)

This unique video, features my arrangement of the 3400 year old "Hurrian Hymn no.6", which was discovered in Ugarit ,ancient northern Canaan (now modern Syria) in the early 1950s, and was preserved for 3400 years on a clay tablet, written in the Cuneiform text of the ancient Hurrian language - it is THE oldest written song yet known! Respect, to the amazing ancient culture of Syria...السلام عليكم

It is played here, on a replica of the ancient Kinnor Lyre from neighbouring Israel; an instrument almost tonally identical to the wooden asymmetric-shaped lyres played throughout the Middle East at this amazingly distant time...when the Pharaoh's still ruled ancient Egypt. (Unfortunately, the webcam I used to record this video is almost as ancient as the melody I am playing - apologies in advance, for the frankly crappy picture quality!!)

The amazing lyre I am playing is made by Mid East Ethnic Instruments, and is avaiable, anywhere in the world, from:


A photograph of the actual clay tablet on which the Hurrian Hymn was inscribed, can be seen here:


The melody is one of several academic interpretations, from the ambiguous Cuneiform text of the Hurrian language in which it was written. Although many of the meanings of the Hurrian language are now lost in the mists of time, it can be established that the fragmentary Hurrian Hymn which has been found on these precious clay tablets are dedicated to Nikkal; the wife of the moon god.

There are several such interpretations of this melody, but to me, the fabulous interpretation just somehow sounds the most "authentic". Below is a link to the sheet music, as interpreted by Clint Goss:


In my arrangement of the Hurrian Hymn, I have attempted to illustrate an interesting diversity of ancient lyre playing techniques, ranging from the use of "block and strum" improvisation at the end, glissando's, trills & tremolos, and alternating between harp-like tones in the left hand produced by finger-plucked strings, and guitar-like tones in the right hand, produced by use of the plectrum.

I have arranged the melody in the style of a "Theme and Variations" - I first quote the unadorned melody in the first section, followed by the different lyre techniques described above in the repeat, & also featuring improvisatory passages at the end of the performance.

I am also playing the lyre horizontally - a much more authentic playing position, as depicted in ancient illustrations of Middle Eastern Lyre players:


This also seems a much more stable playing position to me, and I find it much easier to improvise with string-blocking etc when the lyre is held in this manner.

My arrangement of the melody is much slower than the actual academic interpretation - I wanted the improvisations in the variations on the theme to stand out, and to better illustrate the use of lyre techniques by a more rubato approach to the melody.

The lyre I am playing is a replica of the Lyre of the Ancient Hebrews, based on contemporary illustration on the back of an ancient Jewish coins. To see a 3300 year old illustration of a lyre player from ancient Canaan, simply Google search for the "Megiddo Ivory"

Travel back in time with me now, to the very Dawn of Civilization...ENJOY! For full details, please also visit:


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