Sheet Music: Song of Seikilos

TitleSong of Seikilos
ComposerTraditional Greek
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyE minor
RangeE4–E5
Time signature6/8
Tempo66 BPM
Performance time0:35
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (44 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (264 kB)
Date added2014-01-10
Last updated2014-01-10
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.5 (below average)
Categories
Traditional/Folk

Performances

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Friday 10 January 2014

Tune of the Day: Song of Seikilos

Ancient greek tune

The Song of Seikilos is the oldest surviving example of a complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world. The song, the melody of which is recorded, alongside its lyrics, in the ancient Greek musical notation, was found near Ephesus, engraved on a tombstone dating from the first century AD.

Here is an English translation of the lyrics:

While you live, shine
have no grief at all
life exists only for a short while
and time demands its toll.

The melody is in Ancient Greek Phrygian mode, which corresponds to the medieval and modern Dorian mode.

Thanks to Khan for suggesting this tune!