World’s Longest Piece Of Music Is LIVE And Will End In Year 2640

Read about world’s longest piece of music called “As slow as possible” composed by John Cage. It is commonly abbreviated as ASLSP while a unique project is known to be playing it since 2001 until 2064

When I started learning music, the first bizarre thing that I ever heard was Yngwie Malmsteen playing guitar as fast as possible. The next bizarre thing I read, was today – the longest piece of music known as “As slow as possible”.

How slow is “As slow as possible”?

A typical piano version of the piece would normally last for 24 hours.

However a historic project initiated in Germany says that “As slow as possible” will be played for 639 Years.

Yes, I am damn serious!

And the best part is that the performance is LIVE at St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany. The performance began on September 5, 2001 and is scheduled to have a duration of 639 years, ending in 2640.

The most exciting thing about the project is that you will have to wait till 2020 to hear the next musical note.

Yes, That’s True!

Book your tickets now and pack your bags in 2020 – in case you want to hear the next note 🙂

So, when did we heard the last note change?

The last note change occurred on October 5, 2013.

The longest piece of music – timeline

It is believed that the note change occurs after several years. The performance started in Year 2001 followed by a musical pause that lasted for almost 3 years.

The first chord was played on July 5, 2005.

The piece is so slow that the maintenance crew can repair or alter the organ in the interim. The performance is scheduled to end on September 5, 2640

Why “As slow as possible” will be played for 639 Years?

The composer, John Cage never gave specific instructions about the tempo for the piece. A typical piano concert piece would last for 20 to 70 minutes.

However, the tempo of the piece for the historic performance was chosen in order to commemorate the first documented organ installation, in 1361 in the Halberstadt Cathedral.

That means:

Year 1361 + 639 Year = Year 2001 (Approx.)

Also, it is being played since 2001 and will take 639 years to complete.

So, the performance end date will be:

Year 2001 + 639 Years = Year 2640

“Note change” events

It is a known fact that more than thousand visitors attended a “note change” event just to hear a single note change in year 2008.

Here’s the video of the 11th note change that occurred in year 2011



639 Years would be too long for us to practically play the piece.

However, even if you are playing a piece at a tempo; as low as 1 BPM – it is your qualities like PATIENCE and DISCIPLINE (to wait till that next minute) – that will define your passion for the music.

Positive Vibes

Everything does not need to happen so fast. If something needs a bit longer then it can give us an inner calm that is rare in normal life. – Rainer Neugebauer

Thanks for reading my article in the series 100 Day Music Blogging Challenge. You can read more about the ASLSP Project and let me know if you find any more interesting facts around it.

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Published by Bharat

Hi, I'm Bharat. An artist, blogger, musician and digital marketing professional dedicated to sharing musing and stories about music, art and mindful resonance! Follow me @bharatpc