The Voyager Golden Record

The Voyager Golden Record is a phonograph record that is being carried by the two Voyager spacecraft, whivh were launched in 1977. the disc contains sounds and images selected toreflect  the diversity of life and culture on our planet due to the size of interstellar space there is almost no chance that it will ever be discovered – it is more a symbolic gesture, rather than a serious attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life. Here is an excerpt of President Carter’s official statement placed on the Voyager spacecraft for its trip outside our solar system, June 16, 1977:

We cast this message into the cosmos… Of the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, some — perhaps many — may have inhabited planets and space faring civilizations. If one such civilization intercepts Voyager and can understand these recorded contents, here is our message: We are trying to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope some day, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of Galactic Civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination and our goodwill in a vast and awesome universe.

There are 115 images are encoded in analogue form and the rest of the record is audio, designed to be played at 16⅔ revolutions per minute.

The first audio section contains spoken greetings in the following languages:

Akkadian 

Amoy (Min dialect)

Arabic

Aramaic 

Armenian 

Bengali 

Burmese 

Cantonese 

Chinese 

Czech 

Dutch 

English 

French 

German 

Greek 

Gujarati

Hebrew 

Hindi 

Hittite 

Hungarian 

Ila (Zambia)

Indonesian 

Italian

Japanese

Kannada

Kechua 

Korean 

Latin 

Luganda

Mandarin

Marathi

Nepali 

Nguni

Nyanja

Oriya 

Persian

Polish 

Portuguese 

Punjabi 

Rajasthani

Romanian

Russian 

Serbian

Sinhalese 

Sotho 

Spanish 

Sumerian

Swedish

Telugu 

Thai 

Turkish 

Ukrainian

Urdu 

Vietnamese 

Welsh 

Wu 

The next audio section is devoted to the Sounds of Earth including:

Birds

Blacksmith,

Chimpanzee

Crickets,

Earthquake

Elephant

F-111 Flyby

Fire,

Footsteps

Frogs

Heartbeat

Horse and Cart

Hyena

Kiss,

Laughter

Life Signs

Lift-off

Morse Code

Mother and Child

Rain

Saturn 5

Ships

Speech

Surf

Thunder 

Volcanoes

Wild Dog

Wind

Then there was a music section. Sagan had originally asked for permission to include “Here Comes the Sun” from the Beatles’ album Abbey Road. While the Beatles favoured it, EMI opposed it and the song was not included. That is so out of character for the record companies. Here is all the music that was put on the disc:

“Dark Was the Night,” written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15

“Johnny B. Goode,” written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38

“Melancholy Blues,” performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05

Australia, Aborigine songs, “Morning Star” and “Devil Bird,” recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26

Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30

Bach, “Gavotte en rondeaux” from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55

Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40

Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48

Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20

Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet. 6:37

Bulgaria, “Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin,” sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59

China, ch’in, “Flowing Streams,” performed by Kuan P’ing-hu. 7:37

Georgian S.S.R., chorus, “Tchakrulo,” collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18

Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, “The Fairie Round,” performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. 1:17

India, raga, “Jaat Kahan Ho,” sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30

Japan, shakuhachi, “Tsuru No Sugomori” (“Crane’s Nest,”) performed by Goro Yamaguchi. 4:51

Java, court gamelan, “Kinds of Flowers,” recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43

Mexico, “El Cascabel,” performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14

Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55

Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57

New Guinea, men’s house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20

Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52

Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38

Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08

Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12

Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35

Zaire, Pygmy girls’ initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56

The following is a list of some of the pictures electronically placed on the phonograph records showing Scenes from Earth:

Airplane in flight, Frank Drake

Andean girls, Joseph Scherschel

Antarctic Expedition, Great Adventures with the National Geographic National Geographic

Astronaut in space, NASA

Birth, Wayne Miller

Bushmen hunters, R. Farbman, Time, Inc.

Chemical definitions, Frank Drake

Children with globe, UN

Chinese dinner party, Time-Life Books

Conception , Albert Bonniers

Cooking fish, Cooking of Spain and Portugal, Time-Life Books

Cotton harvest, Howell Walker

Crocodile, Peter Beard

Dancer from Bali, Donna Grosvenor

Demonstration of licking, eating and drinking, NAIC

Diagram of continental drift, Jon Lomberg

Diagram of vertebrate evolution, Jon Lomberg

DNA Structure, Jon Lomberg

Eagle, Donona, Taplinger Publishing Co.

Egypt, Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula and the Nile, NASA

Elephant, Peter Kunstadter

Factory interior, Fred Ward

Family portrait, Nina Leen, Time, Inc.

Father and daughter (Malaysia), David Harvey

Fishing boat with nets, UN

Forest scene with mushrooms, Bruce Dale

Golden Gate Bridge, Ansel Adams

Grape picker, David Moore

Great Wall of China, H. Edward Kim

Group of children, Ruby Mera, UNICEF

Gymnast, Philip Leonian, Sports Illustrated

Heron Island (Great Barrier Reef of Australia), Dr. Jay M. Pasachoff

House construction (African), UN

Human sex organs, Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Jane Goodall and chimps, Vanne Morris-Goodall

Man from Guatemala, UN

Mathematical definitions, Frank Drake

Modern highway (Ithaca), NAIC

Mountain climber, Gaston Rebuffat

Museum, David Cupp

Nursing mother, UN

Physical unit definitions, Frank Drake

Radio telescope (Arecibo), NAIC

Radio telescope (Westerbork, Netherlands), James Blair

Rush hour traffic, India, UN

Sand dunes, George Mobley 

Schoolroom, UN

Solar system parameters, Frank Drake

Sprinters (Valeri Borzov of the U.S.S.R. in lead), History of the Olympics, Picturepoint, London

Street scene, Asia (Pakistan), UN

String Quartet (Quartetto Italiano), Phillips Recordings

Structure of Earth, Jon Lomberg

Sunset with birds, David Harvey

Supermarket, NAIC

Thailand craftsman, Dean conger

Titan Centaur launch, NASA

Train, Gordon Gahan

Underwater scene with diver and fish, Jerry Greenberg

Violin with music score (Cavatina), NAIC

Waterhole, South African Tourist Corp.

Woman with microscope, UN

X-ray of hand, NAIC

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One Response to The Voyager Golden Record

  1. […] media week 14/02/10 By molivam42 A while back I did a piece about the Voyager Golden Record, which contained sounds and images selected to show the diversity of life and culture on Earth to […]

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