Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Audio: Hieronymous Bosch Butt Music

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A 600 year old butt song from Hell.

Oklahoma Christian University student Amelia Hamrick has transcribed a piece of music hidden in Hieronymus Bosch’s 16th century painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, bringing to life a series of notes that originally appeared on the backside of one of Bosch’s sinners portrayed in the right panel of the tryptic.

“I decided to transcribe it into modern notation,” Hamrick explains, “assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era … The last few measures are kind of obscured, but I tried my best.”

The performance here is by James Spalink playing the lute, harp, and hurdy-gurdy. Spalink says, “The intro and outro employ the ‘Devil’s Interval’, and the last couple of measures are conjecture on my part. You could say that I just pulled them out of my — well, you know…”

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to listen to the audio.

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Bosch
The Garden of Earthly Delights (right panel)
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The Garden of Earthly Delights (detail)

5 comments on “Audio: Hieronymous Bosch Butt Music

  1. themothershipradioshow
    February 7, 2018

    we’d love to have an interview with you if you’re willing. please email us at: themothershipradioshow@gmail.com ty!

    Like

  2. brians51
    January 26, 2018

    Should have played it on—the sackbut!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steven H Plumlee
    January 24, 2018

    Bosch is my favorite surrealist….this melody is very hypnotic.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. themothershipradioshow
    January 24, 2018

    great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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