This book was originally published in 1937. Its author, Francis Galpin, has produced a thorough and carefully researched account of the music of the Sumerians and their immediate predecessors, the Babylonians and Assyrians. On its publication, this book was one of the few studies to concentrate on the music of the ancient civilisations of modern-day Iraq. Today, it still holds great value for all interested in the study of the ancient production and use of music and musical instruments. The work's chapters focus in turn on percussion, wind and stringed instruments, before exploring the musical scales of these societies and the roles that music and performance have played in their history and culture. Numerous photographic plates also provide fascinating examples of Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian instruments, as well as documenting the ways in which the performance of music was represented on the tombs and tablets of these ancient societies.
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