This online discussion is open for comments April 15-28. An overview of these assignments and how you’ll be graded is available here.

The approximate reading time of this post is 1 minute, not counting any audio media.


The Voyager spacecrafts were launched in 1977 and have traveled beyond the edges of our solar system, carrying information about life on Earth. Both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 contained a phonograph record of sounds and music selected by a committee chaired by Carl Sagan. The phonograph is nicknamed “The Golden Record.”

The recordings include the greetings in 55 languages; sounds of ocean surf, wind, thunder, footsteps, laughter, trains, and animal noises; and 90 minutes of music.

The plaque which is attached to the spacecraft includes a message from President Jimmy Carter:

This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours.



Sample of recordings included in the Golden Record (in the order they appear)

The entire list of music (27 recordings) included on the spacecraft is available here: What criteria do you think Sagan and his team used in 1977 to choose the recordings that represent humanity in space? How would those criteria be updated if a similar project were launched in 2019?

Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, in F Major, BWV 1047, I. Allegro (1718)


Mangkunegara IV, Puspawarna (Kinds of Flowers) [Indonesia; gamelan ensemble]


Lorenzo Barcelata, “El Cascabel” (1941) [Mexico]


Chuck Berry, “Johnny B. Goode” (1958)


Tsuru no Sugomori (Nesting Cranes), performed by Yamaguchi Goro [Japan; shakuhachi]


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Die Holle Rache” from Die Zauberflote, K. 620 (1791)


Igor Stravinsky, “Sacrificial Dance” from The Rite of Spring (1913)


Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, book 1, Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C Major (1722)


Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, I. Allegro (1807-08)


Izlel ye Delyo Hajdutin [Bulgaria]


Blind Willie Johnson, “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” (1927)


Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130, V. Cavatina: Adagio molto espressivo (1826)


Sample of images included on the spacecrafts





Voyager 2019!

Each of you should add your own piece of music to a playlist to be included on a space craft launched by Mu 101 in 2019 and explain why you think your chosen piece needs to be on the space craft.

Continue the conversation as usual: ask each other questions and respond to each other’s ideas to receive Credit for your participation.

-Dr. J.

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