A magical discovery! (This is definitely something that could inspire a novel..)
From Ancient Origins,
“It’s the song that ensured the stele would truly be an everlasting memorial because he didn’t just have the lyrics engraved, but rather also included the melody in ancient Greek musical notation.”
“The Song of Seikilos is the oldest complete surviving music composition in the world engraved in a marble stele that served as a flower stand. The beautiful composition, also known as the ‘Seikilos epitaph’, dates from around the first or second century AD, and was inconspicuously being kept in the garden of a Turkish woman prior to its current placement in the National Museum of Denmark.
The Song of Seikilos was discovered carved on a marble column-shaped stele in Tralleis, near Ephesus in Turkey, in 1883. Although short in length, this piece of the past has remarkable historical value in its rarity as an artifact. It is not the oldest song in the world, which is attributed to a Sumerian hymn, but it is unique as the sole composition which has remained complete throughout history.
The song of Seikilos was originally engraved on a tombstone, a stele, accompanying the message ‘from Seikilos to Euterpe“, together with a poem. Most researchers seem to agree that the song was a dedication by a man, named Seikilos, to his wife, possibly named Euterpe, who had passed away.
There are two different translations of the poem but the message remains the same: enjoy life to the fullest because death will come for all of us. The first translated version of the poems reads as follows:…”
For the lyrics, more pictures, and even a resurrection of the song itself, click here.