Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Arts Research Article from World Eras

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Textual Evidence. Sumerian musical technical terms have been identified in cuneiform texts, but they are difficult to interpret. Several cuneiform tablets from the mid-second to mid-first millennium B.C.E. provide Akkadian technical terms relating to a set of seven musical scales and nine musical strings. A tablet from the Syrian city of Ugarit (circa 1400 B.C.E.) preserves a cult song, written in Human, alongside terms for musical notation that are also used in a Babylonian description of how to tune a lyre. It has, therefore, been possible to reconstruct the sound of this song. Unfortunately, there is no knowledge of rhythm or tempo. Depictions of musical instruments occur on seals, terra-cotta and stone plaques, ivory carvings, and sculpture. The Mesopotamians used percussion, wind, and stringed instruments.

Stringed Instruments. Some of the earliest musical instruments recovered in Mesopotamia come from the Royal Cemetery of Ur (circa...

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This section contains 872 words
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