Music, The Work of Professionals

Nele Ziegler

in The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557301
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Music, The Work of Professionals

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  • Classical Studies
  • Historical Archaeology


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This article examines music and the work of professional musicians in ancient Mesopotamia. It explains that music was undoubtedly highly esteemed in ancient Mesopotamia given the numerous artifacts dating to the third to first millennium bc that show male and female musicians performing in the presence of the rulers of Mesopotamia or simply on their own. Cuneiform texts also indicate another equally important purpose of music which is to give pleasure.

Keywords: music; professional musicians; ancient Mesopotamia; rulers; cuneiform texts

Article.  10902 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Historical Archaeology

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