Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bosch's butt

At the turn the 16th c., Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch painted a cautionary triptych (IMAGE ABOVE), the title of which was lost to time. Now referred to as "The Garden of Earthly Delights," the work hangs in the Prado in Madrid and depicts the Garden of Eden on the left, the delights of earth in the center, and the horrors of eternal damnation on the right. Earlier this month, a student at Oklahoma Christian University was perusing a reproduction of the painting with a friend. Amelia – who also blogs and describes herself as a hard-of-hearing music and information systems double major – writes, "Luke and I…discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era." Surprised at all the attention her discovery has received, she is working with the college music department on a more precise transcription, but until then we have the "600-year-old butt song from hell," a.k.a. the "torture victim's backside hymnal" (LISTEN HERE).

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