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Old 10-24-2015, 02:23 PM
dj dj is offline
Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Balderson, Ontario, Canada, 100 kms (60 miles) from Ottawa
Posts: 597
Default Ancient music and ancient recording

I came across this yesterday and it knocked me over.

The link below will take you to a Youtube video of a performance (on the lyre, yet) of what is believed to be the oldest known musical transcription. It is from the ancient Akkadian town of Ugarit (now in Syria) and it is thought to be a hymn to Nikkal, a goddess of orchards. There are also, apparently, lyrics connected to the song, although they are not included in the performance.

I listen to this and think of ziggurats and incense and a lot of stuff that was ancient history when the Old Testament was written.

It's worth noting that this music is only one interpretation of the notation and that there are several others, each very different from the rest.

Not quite as ancient, but still astonishing is this:

which is a new rendition of the world's first sound recording, 1860. It was done by etching a carbon covered piece of paper with a needle in the same way that Edison (fifteen years later) etched sound onto wax cylinders. Although the Youtube comments indicate that it was "a woman" who sang Au Clair de La Lune, it was actually the inventor's daughter.

Although his device recorded the sound waves, it couldn't be played -- there was no way to turn the etched carbon tracks back into sound. It was only a few years ago that is was scanned by a laser tracker and we found out what it was.

Eery and remarkable.

Not connected directly with Notation Software, but both of them still about transcription of music and, hence, notation of music.

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