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The 500-Year-Old Butt Song from Hell by Hieronymus Bosch

Written by on June 15, 2021

If the internet is good for anything, it’s going down rabbit holes of the odd things people find and post online. Today’s ventures ended up at this article from ArtNet a few years ago about a piece of music in the 15th Century Hieronymus Bosch painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Look closely at the poor figure towards the bottom-left of the right-most panel, the one with no pants on laying under a lute and harp…is that music written on his…butt?

It certainly is and Oklahoma Christian University student Amelia Hamrick noticed it herself and transcribed and recorded the music:

“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,” she explained in her Tumblr blog where you can also listen to her original recording.

There have also been a few adaptations of Hamrick’s work:


This last piece by Jim Spalink even uses the “Devil’s Interval” which we just covered in our previous post.

Not sure where this song would fit in our program schedule but there is certainly a place for it!

All artwork courtesy of Wikipedia.

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