Timeline of Music Notation

Score for the Hurrian Hymn to Nykkal discovered in Ugarit (Syria) dating to 1400 BCE

BCE Music Notation

  • ca. 2000 BCE Iraq – Music notation on cuneiform tablet created at Nippur, in Sumer (Iraq)
  • ca. 1400 BCE Syria – the Hurrian Hymns are a collection of music inscribed in cuneiform on clay tablets excavated from the ancient Amorite-Canaanite city of Ugarit (Ras Shamrah in northern Syria)
  • ca. Early 5th Century BCE Greecesystema teleion fully eleborated
  • ca. 433 BCE China – inscriptions on musical instruments found in the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng

CE Music Notation

  • ca. 4th – 6th Century CE Greeceecphonetic notation
  • 7th Century CE  China – Longhand form of qin music notation called wenzi pu 〔文字譜〕 (literally “written notation”), said to have been created by Yongmen Zhou (雍門周) during the Warring States period
  • 8th Century CE ArmeniaKhaz notation
  • 9th – 12th Century CE Greece – Early Byzantine neumes (palaeobyzantine)
  • 9th Century CE Francia – earliest examples of cheironomic neumes or in campo aperto neumes
  • 10th Century CE Georgia – Georgian neumes
  • Early 11th Century Italy – Beneventan neumes
  • 11th Century Russiastolp notation for Znamenny Chant (знаменный распев)
  • 1252 Iran – Safi al-Din al-Ormavi notation system
  • Early 15th Century CE Korea –  Chong Gan Bo (정간보, 井間譜) traditional Korean musical notation system introduced by Sejong the Great and known as the first musical notation system
  • Late 17th CenturyDimitri Kantemiroğlu notation for Ottoman music
  • 1813-1815 ArmeniaHampartsum Notation created
  • 1900 CE IndonesiaKepatihan is a type of cipher musical notation that was devised for notation of the Indonesian gamelan, based upon the Galin-Paris-Chevé system, imported in the nineteenth century by Christian missionaries