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MP3 Janet smith - Seven Modes for an Ancient Lyre

Sounds of a replicated ancient Sumerian lyre, playing lively pieces in all of the seven diatonic tunings known from cuneiform texts from Ur, Nippur, Sippar, Assur and Ugarit. Accompanies Treasures from the royal tombs of Ur exhibit.

14 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Traditions, NEW AGE: New Age

There are a limited number of texts about music in the ancient near east from the first and second millennia B. C. Two texts are about tuning the lyre, one names the strings of the lyre. One gives a list of love songs in a certain tuning or mode, and one, the only actual performance piece we have, has been recorded on "Sounds from Silence." That piece is the "Hurrian Cult Song from Ancient Ugarit (ca.1400 B. C)," transcribed and arranged by Prof. Anne Kilmer in 1975 on "Sounds from Silence.," available at https://www.tradebit.com.

At Kilmer''s request, a CD of music was composed by Smith, who used samples from Kilmer''s replicated lyre for the purpose of demonstrating all seven of the diatonic tunings for the Kilmer lectures. A few (two) were adapted and arranged from traditional sources, The Berber Wedding song, and Hal Libba Marya, an Assyrian Hymn. Others are based on the music from many sources around the Mediterranean, using basic themes and instruments for development, but without attempting to imitate modern near eastern music directly. The results have a flavor that is related to, but rather simpler than today''s middle eastern sounds, while still retaining the strictly diatonic modes known from ancient times.

Music from Seven Modes is now is used as background to accompany the Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibit at the University of Pennsylvania Museum when it goes on tour. In 2003 the New York Metropolitan Museum used it as background in the lyre room of their "First Cities" exhibit, and found that museum visitors wanted copies to take home. Save yourself a plane ticket and get one right here!

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