While admiring Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights, a music and information systems student at Oklahoma Christian University recently noticed a score written on the buttocks of one of the painting’s figures. So what did she do? Like any good music student, she transcribed it.
She explains the process on her Tumblr blog:
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.
The Garden of Earthly Delights, created between 1490 and 1510, depicts Eden on the left, scenes of debauchery in the center panel, and hell on the right, where the score is placed. As the student aptly points out, “so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell.”
Don’t be shy. Go have a listen.