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Telling the Story of the Human Race Through Music


If alien life forms ever discovered human existence, how would you describe our life to them?

Interestingly enough, scientists pondered this question in the 1970s and we love that they thought music was an important aspect of human life.

NASA scientists created the Golden Record, a time capsule of sorts, which is a 12-inch gold-plated copper phonograph disk strapped aboard Voyager I and II that is traveling in the outer edges of the solar system as we write this post (In fact, the probes have surpassed the distance of Pluto). The phonograph includes 115 images and sounds of nature and life on Earth photos as well as greetings in 50 different languages.

However, the part we’re most interested in is the music. Scientists, led by famed astronomer Carl Sagan, filled the Golden Record with 90 minutes worth of music. Given the the decade, we are not surprised that it leans heavily toward Western music, especially European classical music such as Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” There’s also a nod to American including Louis Armstrong’s “Melancholy Blues,” Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and Navajo night chants as well as music from Bulgaria, Peru and India. You can read the full list here.

The Voyager missions are expected to end 2025 and no one yet knows if they will be replaced. Still, we like to think that scientists will create another time capsule for outer space as there are so many new songs and sights from plant Earth since the project was completed  in 1977. What songs would you add to the song selection? We think the next version should include more world music and we would like to hear more contemporary music. Would adding Outkast’s “Hey ya” and Paharrell’s “Happy” sound tless historical? We want alien life forms to think we’re a happy race, don’t we? What songs would you pick to describe humans?


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