Music in Ancient Babylon and Ur
Babylonian musical instruments preceding Abraham. Since Abraham spent his early life in Ur of the Chaldees, it is more than likely that some of the musical instruments used by the patriarchs had their origin in that land. Woolley's excavations at Ur brought to light from one of the death pits in connection with a royal tomb, four harps or lyres, one of which was a magnificent specimen. The artistic beauty of these gold and mosaic musical instruments emphasizes the fact that the musical art was at a high level in those ancient days.
A cylinder-seal of a queen of the land of Abraham's birth, who reigned about a thousand years before his time, reveals the fact that timbrels were being used at banquets and at religious gatherings.
Jacob's father-in-law Laban, lived in Babylonian territory, and when Jacob left him in haste, he said to him: "Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly . . . that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?" (Genesis 31:27). This suggests the possibility that some of these musical instruments as used in Babylonia found their way into the life of the early Hebrews. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]