Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The lowest note in the universe

If you know where to look, music can be found just about everywhere, even in space.  That’s right, space

Astronomers know about sound waves coming from a couple of giant black holes.  There’s the sucker that’s lurking at the centre of the M87 galaxy in the heart of a bunch of galaxies called the Virgo Cluster, some 50 million light-years away.  You can’t hear them, obviously, because they’re so low on the scale that the waves themselves are spaced four million years apart, which means you get hit with the first wave and have to wait four million years for the next one to come along.  That’s deep bass. 

But if you want to go even deeper, there’s the sound coming from the Perseus cluster of galaxies.  This could be the phattest bass note in the universe:  B flat, 57 octaves below middle C.

The last Ongoing History Daily post was on Jack White’s band resume.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ongoing History Daily: The lowest note in the universe

  • Dear Alan,

    First, thank you for your website, email newsletter, and podcast. They helped get me through the pandemic, although I’m writing this email from my bed as I currently have Hopefully it won’t be too bad. You’ve always said if we had any questions we should send them in. I’ve hesitated to send this question in because it might just be a dumb question, but hey they all can’t be winners.

    In the song Saved By Zero, by The Fixx, there is a percussion sound that I love. However, I don’t know how they made that sound. It occurs throughout the song but I’ll give you 4 places it occurs – at about 3 and a half seconds, 7 and a half seconds, 11 and a have seconds and 15 and a half seconds. Is it a wood block, a synthesizer drum sound or just a kick drum? I hope you can solve this mystery for me, it’s been bugging me for years.



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