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A little ass music: Hieronymus Bosch’s 500-year-old butt song from hell
02.13.2014
05:27 am

Topics:
Art
History
Music

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Hieronymous Bosch
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Another mark in the “why the Internet rules” column: an Oklahoma college student named Amelia has transcribed the music written on the ass of a figure from the “Hell” panel of Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, and posted a recording of it to her Tumblr.

Listen to it here.

It’s not the most mind-blowing music you’ll hear in your life, I know, but it’s still wonderful that this was done.
 

There it is. Wonder why it took five centuries before someone played it?

Music geeks may have noticed that the staff on the man’s butt (must resist obvious joke) has only four lines. It seems likely that this is an older form of notation used for Gregorian chants.

If you’ll indulge a nitpick—on her blog, Amelia calls this “LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell.” Given that most sources hold that the triptych’s completion date was around the year 1500, give or take, it’s much, much closer to about 500 years old. But an error like that is easy enough to ascribe to a slip of the typing finger.

If you’re curious to know more about the Bosch painting, it can be viewed at The Prado. If you don’t live in Madrid and your travel budget isn’t so indulgent, this episode of the fine BBC documentary series Renaissance Revolution covers it in fascinating depth.
 

 
Many thanks to Rob Galo for bringing this to my attention.

Posted by Ron Kretsch

 

 

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