My mind tends to wander. The other day it wandered to the following question: “What is the oldest surviving piece of written music?” I knew that modern musical notation was a relatively recent creation (probably less than a thousand years old), but I was certain that there must have been earlier techniques for writing down music.

The answer is the Seikilos epitaph, a 2000-year-old tombstone in Turkey with a song written on it, even including Greek lyrics. The way the music was written quickly reminded me of cantillation, the symbols written above the Hebrew in the Torah that guides the chant.