'Butt song from hell' hidden in 500-year-old painting
Sam Downing, ninemsn 11:04am February 19, 2014
A tune hidden in a famous painting is believed to have been transcribed and played for the first time.
Amelia Hamrick, an honours student at Oklahoma Christian University, was recently poring over Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights, which depicts the fall of humanity from the garden of Eden into hell.
Hamrick spotted a tiny, easily overlooked detail in the richly detailed painting's lower-right corner: a man — who is being lashed by a demon's tongue — with a musical score etched across his buttocks in Gregorian notation.
"It's kind of like a 500-year-old 'Where's Waldo'," Hamrick told the Oklahoman.
She transcribed the song into modern notation and played it out loud, which her university says may be the first time such a thing has ever been done.
Hamrick posted her recording of the moody tune to her Tumblr blog, where it immediately went viral — possibly because of the hilarious title she gave it.
"This is literally the ... butt song from hell," she wrote.
The name has stuck, though Hamrick admits it's not 100 percent appropriate.
"I feel like 'The 500-Year-Old Butt Song from hell' is a pretty funny name, but it's not the most academic," she said.
"That's literally what it is, but in retrospect, I probably should have chosen a little more dignified name."
Henrick concedes there are minor errors in her transcription of the butt song, but she hopes that when they're ironed out it will be rerecorded by the Oklahoma Christian Chorale and Band.