Hieronymus Bosch’s Butt Music

Hieronymus Bosch’s Butt Music

Say what?! What the Hell is Butt Music?

Well, if you’re into art you have probably seen or heard of Hieronymus Bosch‘s triptych oil painting called “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (finished in 1510). If you look closely there is one section of the painting depicting Hell, on the right side, where we see musical instruments (a lute, a harp a hurdy-gurdy and a couple of woodwind instruments). If you look even closer you can see a man bent over who has music written on his buttocks, and a pink monster who seems to have placed the notes there by whipping the man with its long tongue:


Wikipedia offers a very high resolution image file of the painting, available for anyone to download and someone has studied the music and has even recorded it! A Tumblr blogger named Amelia has done this and now there are various recordings of the “Butt Song” circulating around the Internet.

transcribed into modern notation by Amelia (tumblr user: chaoscontrolled123) 


OK, so how does Hell sound according to Bosch?

Well, here are a few videos on YouTube to give you an idea:

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And a more simplified version:

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And another, very creepy, version:

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Which version do you think is the most “hellish”? 🔥 Is there another version you’ve heard that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments. This painting and many other masterpieces can be found in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Keep supporting art and music! 

🎨🎶

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Joe has been singing since he can remember and started playing guitar when he was 10. He's been using it as a songwriting tool ever since. He is passionate about melody and harmony and admires musicians who create these in unique ways. Check out his alternative / indie projects Best of Feelings and Zef Raček.

One comment

    It’s fascinating but I wish the use of that polite American word for arse, ie ‘butt’ hadn’t ruined Bosch’s original intent: Eine Kleine Arsch Musik!

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