Who Wrote the First Songs?

Songs have been written and sung all through history. Egyptians sang songs as early as 4000 B.C.; Hebrews in 900 15.3.C. had songs and chants which appear in the Bible; and Greeks in 500 B.C. had choruses.

For a long time, there was no universal method of recording words and music on paper. Songs were passed on by singing. Because the words changed when passed from person to person and because it was common for one tune to have many different lyrics, the original words and writers of many folk tunes and ballads sung today are unknown.

The chadouf chant is the oldest song passed from generation to generation that is still sung today. Since history was recorded, irrigation workers on the Nile water mills in Egypt have been singing this chant.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “Who Wrote the First Songs?”

  1. Songs in Vedas are some of the oldests in the history human civilization.

    Veda is a Sanskrit word which means “knowledge” or “science”. Vedic knowledge is enshrined in fourteen sacred texts.The oldest literature of Indian thought is the Veda, a collection of religious and philisophical poems and hymns composed over several generations beginning as early as 3000 BC (acc. to German historian Max Müller). The Veda was composed in Sanskrit.

    The Sama-Veda (the 2nd of the 4 Vedas) is the “Veda of melodies” or “Knowledge of melodies”. It consists of 1549 stanzas – adapted for use in singing.

    “Its purpose was liturgical and practical, to serve as a songbook for the “singer” priests who took part in the liturgy. A priest who sings hymns from the Sama-Veda during a ritual is called an udgātṛ, a word derived from the Sanskrit root ud-gai (“to sing” or “to chant”). A similar word in English might be “cantor”. The styles of chanting are important to the liturgical use of the verses. The hymns were to be sung according to certain fixed melodies; hence the name of the collection.”

    Courtesy – Wiki

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