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To the Makers of Music - All Worlds, All Times

A sequence featuring music and sounds from the two Voyager spacecraft chosen to help passing aliens understand human beings and their world, 1977-style.

When NASA launched the two Voyager spacecraft in 1977, set incongruously among the on-board scientific instruments was the Golden Record, a sort of cultural handshake from humankind (or at least a NASA-approved version of it). The disc was optimistically intended for any passing alien to set up and play in order to hear a representative selection of the world's sounds and music. Hand-etched on its surface were the words 'To the makers of music - all worlds, all times'.

This un-presented sequence is made up from the music and sounds on the Golden Record, from Bach to Chuck Berry, Stravinsky to Australian aboriginal song; from erupting volcanoes and a small selection of the world's fauna to heavy industrial machinery and trains, planes and automobiles. Not to mention greetings in fifty-five languages and a personal 'hello' from 1977 UN Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim.

'To the Makers of Music - All Worlds, All Times' is a chance to imagine yourself as an alien in a distant galaxy in whose back garden a Voyager spacecraft has landed. Somehow, you've been able to follow the instructions which come with the Golden Record and, luckily, your auditory sense and your planet's atmosphere enable you to hear what's on it. Are you any the wiser about planet earth and its inhabitants? Or perhaps just a little perplexed? Is it time to get back to the gardening, plan an invasion or extend the hand (tentacle) of friendship? You decide.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Saturn 5 Lift-Off

  • Greetings from the Secretary General of the UN

  • Music of the Spheres

  • Greetings

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F (First Movement)

    Performer: Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter (conductor).
  • Volcanoes, Earthquake, Thunder

  • Wind, Rain, Surf

  • Birds, Hyena, Elephant

  • Wild Dog

  • Chimpanzee

  • China, ch'in

    Flowing Streams

    Performer: Kuan P’ing-hu.
  • Louis Armstrong

    Melancholy Blues

    Performer: Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven.
  • Senegal


    Performer: Recorded by Charles Duvelle.
  • Horse and Cart

  • Morse Code, Ships

  • Train

  • Tractor, Bus, Auto

  • F-111 Flyby

  • Igor Stravinsky

    Sacrificial Dance from The Rite of Spring

    Performer: Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky (conductor).
  • Aborigine Songs

    “Morning Star” and “Devil Bird”

    Performer: recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes.
  • Russia

    "Tchakrulo" collected by Radio Moscow

    Performer: Georgian S.S.R.Chorus.
  • Chuck Berry

    Johnny B. Goode

    Performer: Chuck Berry.
  • Herding Sheep, Blacksmith, Sawing

  • Anthony Holborne

    The Fairie Round (Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs)

    Performer: Early Music Consort of London.
  • Peru

    Panpipes and drum

    Performer: collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima.
  • Footsteps, Heartbeat, Laughter

  • Tame Dog

  • Bulgaria

    Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin

    Performer: Valya Balkanska.
  • Kiss, Mother and Child

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Prelude and Fugue No.1 in C (The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2)

    Performer: Glenn Gould.
  • Java

    Court gamelan, "Kinds of Flowers"

    Performer: recorded by Robert Brown.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Cavatina (String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130)

    Performer: Budapest String Quartet.
  • Life Signs, Pulsar


  • Sat 26 Sep 2015 00:00

A whole lot of night music

A whole lot of night music

Behind-the-scenes reflections on 25 years of Radio 3's Through the Night.