Greece - Alexander - Epitaph of Seikilos

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Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, 4 French Horns, 3 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, Tam-Tam, Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum, Triangle, Tubular Bells, Ancient Lute, Ancient Flute, Choir, Copper Drum, Dulcimer, Kaval, Shakers, Pad, Tambourine, Guitar, Oud, Wood Block, Female Vocal Effects, Harp, Strings 


2 Flutes, Oboe, English Horn, 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Contrabassoon, 4 French Horns, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Timpani, Bass Drum, Tam-Tam, Tubular Bells, Suspended Cymbal, Tambourine, Harp, Choir, Ancient Lute, Kaval, Ancient Flute, Guitar, Oud, Large Drum, Strings


The Epitaph of Seikilos is the oldest surviving complete musical composition in the world today. Dated back to anywhere between 200 BCE to AD 100, the tombstone contains ancient Greek musical notation and was found in 1883 near Aidin, Turkey (close to Ephesus). The musical notes are denoted by letters above the lyrics of the song, and the duration is specified by signs above the letters.

Above the song lyrics on the tombstone, the following is written (Ancient Greek):

Εικών η λίθος ειμί, τίθησί με Σείκιλος ένθα
μνήμης αθανάτου, σήμα πολυχρόνιον

English Translation:

I am a portrait in stone.
I was put here by Seikilos,
where I remain forever,
the symbol of timeless remembrance.

The lyrics to the song are as follows (Ancient Greek):

Οσον ζής, φαίνου, μηδέν όλως σύ λυπού
προς ολίγον εστί το ζήν, το τέλος ο χρόνος απαιτεί

English Translation:

While you live, be happy [shine]
don't suffer [be sad] anything at all;
[because] life is short
and time demands its toll [time leads to death]

Original Greek Inscription, including the ancient Greek musical notation:


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