In the Garden of Earthly Delights, a fantastical and disturbing triptych painting by 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, there is a panel showing the pains and punishments of sinners in Hell. One of these unfortunate souls has, for inexplicable reasons, musical notation painted or tattooed on his buttocks.

Of interest to us is that this four line notation, that our poor theoretical knowledge makes us think is similar to that of Gregorian chant, has been transcribed into modern musical notation, and then played. You might remember we previously looked at the resurrection of some ancient Greek music last year, but while that may have had some more historic importance it wasn’t transcribed from one of the most famous artistic arses of all time.

You can hear the original transcription here. You can also hear a choral rendition here. Neither quite has the Hellish originality of the Butthole Surfers, but we’re still quite impressed. You won’t find them on MusicManager anytime soon though.

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