Sounds of Music

What is the world’s most used language?

Some will say English, some will say Spanish, some will say Mandarin, some will say Arab. Anyone claiming Hindi can fuck right off.

What is the oldest surviving language?

You will say that its possibly Tamil, or maybe Hebrew or Greek.

Well Cheapo says you are all wrong.

The world’s surviving and most used language is music. And by music, Cheapo means music, not songs by Justin Bieber.

The earliest fragment of musical notation is Sumerian. It was found on a 4,000-year-old Sumerian clay tablet, and includes instructions and tunings for a hymn honoring the ruler Lipit-Ishtar.

The world’s oldest extant song is “Hurrian Hymn No. 6”. It is an ode to the goddess Nikkal that was composed in cuneiform by the ancient Hurrians sometime around the 14th century B.C. The clay tablets containing the tune were excavated in the 1950s from the ruins of the city of Ugarit in Syria. Along with a near-complete set of musical notations, they also include specific instructions for how to play the song on a type of nine-stringed lyre.

The oldest musical composition to have survived in its entirety is a first century A.D. Greek tune known as the “Seikilos Epitaph.” The song was found engraved on an ancient marble column used to mark a woman’s gravesite in Turkey. “I am a tombstone, an image,” reads an inscription. “Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance.” The column also includes musical notation as well as a short set of lyrics that read:

“While you live, shine / Have no grief at all / Life exists only for a short while / And time demands its toll.”

2000 years: lyrics as relevant then, as relevant now.

Only possible due to music.

Music is one of the three things that make humans human: the others being ice cream and Mohun Bagan.

This article was brought to you by someone who is half deaf.

As popular music says “Isn’t it ironic”

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