Nabnitu

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Nabnitu ("Creature") is an ancient encyclopedic work of the Old Babylonian period (circa 1800 BCE) that consists of multiple tablets. Its Tablet XXXII (often called as U.3011) is a Sumerian-Akkadian text from Ur, and notable as one of the oldest extant documented examples of musical notation. Although on its own the tablet is somewhat cryptic, analysis of other ancient Babylonian texts reveals that it describes the nine strings of an unidentified instrument and its intervals. The nine strings, numbered symmetrically as 123454321, are presented in two parallel columns, one in Sumerian and the other in Akkadian. Tablet XXXII is now in the collections of the British Museum.

References[edit]

  • Coover, James B. and Franklin, John C. "Dictionaries & encyclopedias of music". Grove Music Online (subscription required). ed. L. Macy. Retrieved on March 5, 2007.
  • Kilmer, Anne Draffkorn (April 22, 1971). "The Discovery of an Ancient Mesopotamian Theory of Music". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 115, No. 2. pp. 131-149.
  • Wulstan, David (October 1971). "The Earliest Musical Notation". Music & Letters, Vol. 52, No. 4. pp. 365-382.