Difference between revisions of "How Did Lullabies Develop?"

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==Early History of the Lullaby==
 
==Early History of the Lullaby==
  
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The earliest lullabies recorded are from Babylonia, in modern day southern Iraq, where the lullabies are not only songs to help babies sleep but they have characteristics we may find somewhat menacing. The piece mentions that the baby has cried and is waking up and disturbing the house god. Other lullabies from Babylonia were even darker, with threats that the baby would be eaten. While this may sound harsh to us, we should keep in mind of course many lullabies, including our own, have dark undertones such as death or pain caused to the child. Lullabies, with their melancholy rhythm, often have dark undertones in many cultures and that has stayed relatively consistent from their origin. Lullabies were also used as a basis to create magic spells used by Babylonian to help ward evil. So it may have been that saying bad or harmful things was intended to do the opposite, which was protect the baby from evil spirits. In Egypt, the mid-second millennium BCE lullaby, called <i>Magical Lullaby</i>, talks about protecting a child from evil spirits. Spells in Egypt involved some spell recitation, ritual, and a magician to be involved; however, lullabies seem to be one type of spell or magic that normal people could practice. However, it was important to cast the spell properly so lullabies were important for their words of protection from evil or night spirits. In fact, it was these evil spirits that were seen as making a baby cry so the soothing voice helped protect with that protection seen as putting a baby to sleep.
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In fact, in the Greco-Roman world, similarly lullabies often had negative connotation and were equated or incorporated magic or spells that the singer would seemingly try to induce to help protect babies. Night would have been seen as potentially a very vulnerable period for a baby and songs would help sooth a baby but also the lyrics were intended to act as spells to help protect a baby from the darkness, which was equated with harmful things that may inflict a young baby. Scholars have, in fact, suggested that lullabies were effectively spells and the soothing sounds were seen as evidence that such spells may have helped babies sleep and avoid the harm that night may cause on a child.
  
 
==Later Developments==
 
==Later Developments==

Revision as of 11:40, 10 October 2019

Putting a crying baby to sleep is hard as any parent likely knows. This has been an age old problem that is evident from a long history of parents attempting to put their children to sleep using song or music as an aid. The history of this starts soon after recorded history began and it is clear the problem of getting children to sleep has been going on for many cultures across time.

Early History of the Lullaby

The earliest lullabies recorded are from Babylonia, in modern day southern Iraq, where the lullabies are not only songs to help babies sleep but they have characteristics we may find somewhat menacing. The piece mentions that the baby has cried and is waking up and disturbing the house god. Other lullabies from Babylonia were even darker, with threats that the baby would be eaten. While this may sound harsh to us, we should keep in mind of course many lullabies, including our own, have dark undertones such as death or pain caused to the child. Lullabies, with their melancholy rhythm, often have dark undertones in many cultures and that has stayed relatively consistent from their origin. Lullabies were also used as a basis to create magic spells used by Babylonian to help ward evil. So it may have been that saying bad or harmful things was intended to do the opposite, which was protect the baby from evil spirits. In Egypt, the mid-second millennium BCE lullaby, called Magical Lullaby, talks about protecting a child from evil spirits. Spells in Egypt involved some spell recitation, ritual, and a magician to be involved; however, lullabies seem to be one type of spell or magic that normal people could practice. However, it was important to cast the spell properly so lullabies were important for their words of protection from evil or night spirits. In fact, it was these evil spirits that were seen as making a baby cry so the soothing voice helped protect with that protection seen as putting a baby to sleep.

In fact, in the Greco-Roman world, similarly lullabies often had negative connotation and were equated or incorporated magic or spells that the singer would seemingly try to induce to help protect babies. Night would have been seen as potentially a very vulnerable period for a baby and songs would help sooth a baby but also the lyrics were intended to act as spells to help protect a baby from the darkness, which was equated with harmful things that may inflict a young baby. Scholars have, in fact, suggested that lullabies were effectively spells and the soothing sounds were seen as evidence that such spells may have helped babies sleep and avoid the harm that night may cause on a child.

Later Developments

The Modern Lullaby

Summary

References

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