Analysis of two terms related with music in ancient Mesopotamia: Nam-Nar an Narutu(m)
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AuthorSánchez Muñoz, Daniel
Universidad de Granada
DirectorMartín Moreno, Antonio
DepartamentoUniversidad de Granada. Programa de Doctorado en Historia y Artes
Historia antiguaHistoria de la músicaFilologíaCiencias auxiliares de la Historia
Sánchez Muñoz, Daniel. Analysis of two terms related with music in ancient Mesopotamia: Nam-Nar an Narutu(m). Granada: Universidad de Granada, 2020. [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/58701]
SponsorshipTesis Univ. Granada.
We know many terms in the Sumerian and Akkadian sources for designating the musical instruments, musicians, compositions and some aspects of the musical “performance” in ancient Mesopotamia. However, there was ever a term for designating all these aspects together? There was a term for "music" in ancient Mesopotamia like in our western culture? According to the main current researchers in Mesopotamian music, there is no term in Sumerian nor Akkadian for “music”. There would be specially no term for "Music" as a sound combination as we could understand nowadays in the western culture. The closest terms to that word "music" would be nam-nar (Sumerian) and nārūtu(m) (Akkadian). However, they designated only some musical aspects, like the office of a musician or the ability for making music. In any sense, only few texts containing nam-nar and nārūtu(m) have been analysed for these researchers in order to make those statements. In consequence, the objective of this study is to analyse all the extant current mentions to nam-nar and nārūtu(m) in order to prove the consistence of that scientific agreement. The hypothesis of this study is that nam-nar and nārūtu(m) actually meant “music” in most occasions and, therefore, it existed actually a word for "music" in Mesopotamia. In order to prove the hypothesis of this study, we analyse 70 texts containing nam-nar or nārūtu(m) from the Old Akkadian Period until the Late Seleucid Period. They are presented in our study with a transliteration, translation and philological notes, and they are analysed with a commentary. In this sense, three disciplines are combined in our study: Assyriology (for the cultural-historical framework and the philological methodology), Musicology (for the topic and some comments) and the History, since all the textual excerpts are presented here according to their chronological and geographical provenance.