Have you ever wondered what is the world’s oldest song? Well, many people across the globe ask themselves this question and as things stand now, the official answer is the Hurrian Hymn Text H6. 29 clay tablets, some of them containing this text, were discovered in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit in the early 1950s by a team of French archaeologists. It was officially confirmed that the tablets are nothing else but “a complete cult hymn and is the oldest preserved song with notation in the world.”
This song is also believed to be one of the world’s earliest melodies. By the way, not so long ago, scientists and musicians joined their forces to recreate and record this precious piece of musical art to share its divine sounds with a broad audience.
Fact #2: Some Musical Instruments Existed Much Earlier Than We Think
As a matter of fact, the most significant musical instrument of Ireland is not native to this beautiful country. Despite what many people think, the famous irish flute hadn’t been present on the Emerald Island all until by the mid-1800s when it was introduced there by the English. Anyway, the territory of today’s Germany turned to be a real treasure trove of ancient flutes as the previous record-breaker, a vulture bone masterpiece with five finger holes was also found in the Hohle Fels cavern in the southwest of the country.
Fact #3: Mozart Wasn’t Poisoned By Salieri
It is common knowledge that one of the world’s most fabulous and prolific composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791) didn’t get really well with his Italian rival Antonio Salieri (1750-1825). However, in contrast to a popular belief triggered by rumors circulated after Mozart’s death, Salieri didn’t kill him. Famous Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov did add fuel to the fire when in his opera “Mozart and Salieri” he suggested that Mozart was poisoned by his contemporary. However, investigations didn’t find any proof to support this theory.
Fact #4: What You Hear On The 4th Of July Is The 1812 Overture
Fact #5: Bohemian Rhapsody Is the Most-Streamed Song From The 20th Century
Let’s leave the old days and take a look at the not so recent past. Do you have an idea which song from the 20th century is the most-streamed out there? Quite unsurprisingly, it is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that first reached the top position in the UK charts in 1975. It hit the #1 spot again in 1991 following one of the saddest events in the world of music, the death of Freddie Mercury, and as incredible as it may seem, since then the song has been gaining even more popularity. It has managed to outperform Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, the previous record-holder, which comes as no surprise given that Bohemian Rhapsody has been streamed over 1.6 billion times across numerous streaming platforms including Youtube and Spotify.
Fact #6: The King Of Rock-N-Roll Is The World’s Best Selling Solo Artist
Fact #7: Even Silence Can Be Music
Confused? But it is a proven fact. In 1952, composer John Cage released a song called 4’33’’ that let the audience listen to the silence for exactly four minutes and 33 seconds. The big idea behind this unique music piece was to show that virtually any sound can be music. In that particular case, the audience had to enjoy the sounds of their surroundings.
Fact #8: Orchestras Can Make It Without Conductors
While a conductor is traditionally seen as an inseparable part of any orchestra, the truth is, there are plenty of examples that show the opposite. Many music pieces created during the 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries have been successfully performed without a conductor who was replaced by a concertmaster who led the orchestra.
Music history is not only significant but also very engaging. Full of unexpected twists and turns, it helps better understand modern trends, their origin, and future development. But, what’s most important, it also lets us reconnect with our roots.