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November 8 2013

Listen to performances of the world's oldest complete surviving song


The Seikilos epitaph is the oldest known complete composition of music in existence, a Hellenistic Ionic song with complete notation likely inscribed in the first century AD. And its notation have allowed modern music scholars to play the song in the modern day.

Although there are certainly older musical texts and fragments, the very brief Seikilos epitaph is a complete song, found engraved on a tombstone near Aidin, Turkey, along with the inscription, "I am a tombstone, an image. Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance.".

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