Ancient Music

The first documents testifying a musical practice in the widest Central Asian region have been found in Mesopotamia: they belong to the third millennium B.C. In Sumeric and in later Babylonian civilizations, people knew different hand-made typologies of instruments: harps, flutes, trumpets, drums. Ritual dances, accompanied by drums and flutes, were practiced in springtime or in other season rituals and in religious ceremonies.

Some worthwhile hypotheses about instrumental evolution can be drafted looking to ichnographical documents and original findings. They are now safeguarded by Museè du Louvre in Paris, by British Museum in London, by University Museum in Filadelfia, by Museum of Bagdad. Most of these findings come from Kings Graves in Ur (Mesopotamia), from eastern Turkestan, from Pakistan (Gandhara), from western China (Kotan).

The musical instruments nowadays used in Bukhara, Samarkand, Ferghana look strictly similar to those ancient shapes of lutes, zithers, harps and drums. Different from site to site they reveal common roots and blend different influences: from Persian to Gandhara style, from Chinese to nomadic Mongolian or Turkish habits.

filmato sulle civiltà asiatiche