The Hurrian Hymn

The Hurrian Hymn is a ancient (more than 3000 years old) hymn of the Hurrian people, found on a tablet in Ras Shamra Syria fifty years ago. While there are great differences between the reconstructed scores, there is agreement that it is, in fact, a musical score. There is also reason to think the scale in question is a familiar one: the diatonic scale of meantone. Since the tuning sytem involved tuning both major and minor thirds until they sounded consonant, a tuning in which the errors are roughly equal, such as 50-et, seems like a reasonable choice. Below we give reconstructions of the Hurrian Hymn in the diatonic scale tuned so that the fifth is of 696 cents, the 50-et tuning.

Here is the Hurrian Hymn in the reconstruction of Anne Draffkorn Kilmer:


Here is the reconstruction of Joe Monzo: