Songs have been written and sung all through history. Egyptians sang songs as early as 4000 B.C.; Hebrews in 900 15.3.C. had songs and chants which appear in the Bible; and Greeks in 500 B.C. had choruses.
For a long time, there was no universal method of recording words and music on paper. Songs were passed on by singing. Because the words changed when passed from person to person and because it was common for one tune to have many different lyrics, the original words and writers of many folk tunes and ballads sung today are unknown.
The chadouf chant is the oldest song passed from generation to generation that is still sung today. Since history was recorded, irrigation workers on the Nile water mills in Egypt have been singing this chant.