And You Thought Your School Concert Was Long!

By Meera Dolasia on December 14, 2011

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Let's face it, concerts can get a little boring especially, if one has to sit through an hour-long chorus or orchestra performance that they are not part of. So, you can only imagine how much patience it would take to listen to a concert that will go on for 639 years!

But that apparently, is the length of the Halberstadt Performance currently going on at Germany's St. Burchard Church. Scheduled to end in 2640, it is not being performed by humans, but an automatic organ, which was not even completely ready when the 'concert' first began in 2001. But thanks to the slooooooooooooow progress, there was plenty of time to add the pipes and also a blower that keeps the music steady, by providing a constant stream of air.

The musical piece chosen for this concert is appropriately entitled ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible). While the piece was composed by the late American musician John Cage to allow artists to pace themselves for as long as they wanted to when playing the piece, even he, would have never guessed that anyone would take his words so literally. Prior to this, the longest it had ever been stretched out was 79 minutes.

So how do you elongate a musical piece for that long? By waiting for months before making a chord change. In fact, they are so rare that in July 2008 over 1,000 people gathered at the church to witness the momentous event live! Why 639 years? - That how long the church organ has been in existance. Curious to hear what this concert sounds like? Check it out at www.john-cage.halberstadt.de.

And, if you think this will go down as the world's longest concert, think again.  Longplayer, a computer concert that began in December 1999 is scheduled to continue until 2999 or, for a full 1,000 years! Unfortunately, none of us will be around to see if either will complete their tenure.

Resources: npr.org,longplayer.com, kiwikids.co.nz

VocabularyPlay Game

chordmomentoustenure

Geography

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282 Comments
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  • elliebee14
    elliebee14Monday, March 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm
    but how?????????
    • diamondkid
      diamondkidSunday, March 1, 2015 at 7:34 pm
      Cool!
      • animefan3
        animefan3Friday, February 6, 2015 at 4:56 am
        Whoa that like more people than years ago
        • nikukyu
          nikukyuFriday, February 6, 2015 at 3:07 am
          But.........what if we WERE around at that time!
          • nikukyu
            nikukyuFriday, February 6, 2015 at 3:06 am
            I have a school concert coming up-I'm pretty excited actually!
            • bigmelo
              bigmeloThursday, February 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm
              No way! I never thought that so many people would dedicate their time to a concert that lasted for 1,000 years!
              • cactus cutieWednesday, December 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm
                ITS ME!😏
                • perryWednesday, December 10, 2014 at 9:18 am
                  sooo long....
                  • perryWednesday, December 10, 2014 at 9:16 am
                    omg soooo cool...
                    • StellaMonday, December 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm
                      Cool

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