What Is the Longest Piece of Music?

A London lighthouse is playing a 1,000-year-long musical piece, composed for singing bowls, that began in 1999 and will finish in 2999.
A London lighthouse is playing a 1,000-year-long musical piece, composed for singing bowls, that began in 1999 and will finish in 2999.

If you happened to have been at a particular London lighthouse on the last day of 1999, you could have heard the first notes of a musical composition known as "Longplayer." But you won't hear the last notes. Neither, for that matter, will your children or their children or even their children's children.

"Longplayer" is a piece of music intended to last for 1,000 years, ringing out its final note at the last second of the year 2999. The composition by Jem Finer is playing at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, but it can also be heard at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Yorkshire, England, and the Long Now Foundation Museum in San Francisco. It is also streaming at https://longplayer.org/listen/live-stream/.

Although it is mostly being performed by computers, "Longplayer" was composed for singing bowls, a type of standing bell that has existed for centuries. The musical piece is constantly in flux and will continue to change over the years. And when it finally concludes in 2999, it will begin again.

Musical numbers:

  • The largest free concert in history was Rod Stewart's New Year's Eve concert in 1993 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which drew a crowd of 4.2 million people.

  • The highest price paid for a musical instrument was the $15.9 million USD paid in 2011 for the "Lady Blunt" Stradivarius violin.

  • The oldest known musical composition is the "Seikilos Epitaph," a song with lyrics found etched into a column near a grave in Turkey; it dates to the first century A.D.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

dimchild

The oldest known musical composition dated from AD 1 from Turkey? What the heck are you talking about? All those fine musical pieces with both their instruments and exquisite lyrics called psalms, written by David and others at least 1000 years BC found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and sung by Jesus Christ and the early Christian Church, what are they?

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • A London lighthouse is playing a 1,000-year-long musical piece, composed for singing bowls, that began in 1999 and will finish in 2999.
      A London lighthouse is playing a 1,000-year-long musical piece, composed for singing bowls, that began in 1999 and will finish in 2999.