The Hurrian Hymn to Nikkal from 12th century BCE Ugarit (Ras Shamra) in Syria is currently the oldest piece of annotated music known to history being well over 3,200 years old.
It dates from between 1400 and 1200 BCE and was discovered in the libraries of the city of Ugarit.
Although it was written in Ugaritic cuneiform it is actually in Hurrian rather than a West Semitic dialect such as Akkadian, Canaanite, Amorite, Aramaic, or proto-Hebrew.
This is a hymn to the Great Goddess Nikkal (Nikkalu 𐎐𐎋𐎍 in Ugaritic) composed by a sacred scribe by the name of Hammurapi.
It addition to the words of the prayer there are also instructions for the tuning of the kinnor (lyre) and these have been the focus of several studies by palaeo-musicologists.
The version of the hymn which was recorded by Tiger Shade studios in the UK is based on the work of Professor Anne Kilmer and Professor Theo Krispijn.
The musical arrangement is by Declann Flynn (Al-pha-X) and the beautiful voice is courtesy of Ali Eve Cudby.
You can listen to a short talk by Professor Theo Krispijn which contains his translation of the text on the MySpace page of Tiger Shade which is at :
Here you will also find the version restored by Declann Flynn (Al-pha-X) and sung by Ali Eve Cudby.
There is also some information about the work of Professor Anne Kilmer on the Bella Roma music site :
Although Professor Kilmer admits that portions of the Hurrian text are quite difficult to translate there is one line of the song that is the exception to this:
According to Kilmer "The meaning of one phrase in the text is quite clear:
"wesal tatib tisiya"
means "Thou (the Goddess), lovest them in (Thy) heart..."
For further details about this recording please visit the Tiger Shade page at :
To learn more about the Great Goddess Nikkal then please visit the Wikipedia page at :