Lullabies… Children first interaction with music.

By Ingrid Fuentes



Music might be considered a universal language. It is because of music makes human beings to interact without words and feel as one. The combination of these elements makes the listener able to perceive and share one feeling which can be interpreted as communication. It is important to mention that the musical taste acquisition is trashed back from our early childhood. Music and humans are slightly related since early ages due to our mothers who promote children interaction with music through nursery rhymes and lullabies.

What is a lullaby?

The ancestor of current children songs are Lullabies. A lullaby is a soothing song which is sung to children before they go to bed. Singing those songs speeds up the process of sleeping or relaxing babies when crying. The term lullaby comes from sounds like “lu lu” or “la la” which babysitters or mothers used in order to calm babies. It is also believed that comes from lull sounds like “by by” or “bye bye” which intends to wish a good night.

Where do lullabies come from?

lullaby2Those manifestations of music can be found in every human culture since centuries ago. The first registers of lullabies where in the middle of the 15th century when children appear to sing songs learnt between them or taught by their parents. Although these were the first findings about lullabies, the written form of them delayed in seeing the light. The first written collections of lullabies or nursery rhymes were found in the late 17th century. By this time the publishing of books for children was moved from an educational purpose to one of entertaining. For this reason, the publishing houses launched collections of nursery rhymes like Tommy Thumb’s Song Book and a sequel Tommy Thumbs Pretty Song Book or mother Gooses in The United States. Nowadays there is an extended variety of books which traits about these songs.

What topics do lullabies use?

Those soothing songs have their basis in a variety of sources. They come from traditional riddles, proverbs, ballads and historical events. In recent years the use of lullabies into education is a trend topic under the argument that putting information into songs increases the abilities of children on subject matters as Mathematics and Science.

babies of the world


Lullabies around the globe.

Each country and culture has their own representative lullabies. Some recognized lullabies around the globe are “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” which has been translated into various languages or “Arrorró” a lullaby from Argentina which has a similar version in Spanish called “Duermete mi Niño”. A remarkable project is carried out in Europe which intends to rescue as many lullabies as possible and translate them into several languages. The project involves translation of lullabies into Danish, German and French just to mention some. The project counts with a collection of 35 lullabies translated. This project projects the importance of lullabies in every culture.



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