July 18, 2024



Engraved on a tombstone almost 2000 years ago, this is music’s oldest surviving composition

Classic FM

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

November 4, 2021

Hear the ‘Seikilos Epitaph’; written in Ancient Greece, it is the oldest surviving musical composition.

Written in the 1st or 2nd century CE, the Song of Seikilos was discovered on a tombstone in Turkey in 1883.

The song explores themes of the transience of life and the passage of time. At almost 2000 years old, it’s believed to be the oldest surviving piece of music in the world.

Listen to a performance of the musical engraving, as its tender, heartrending tones pass through millennia.

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