What Music Would You Like to have been on the Voyager Golden Record?




Following the Brandenburg on the Golden Record are court gamelan from Java, percussion from Senegal, Pygmy girls song from Zaire, Australian Aboriginal songs, Mariachi from Mexico, Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” Japanese shakuhachi. Then more Bach, Mozart’s Magic Flute, Georgian S.S.R. Chorus, panpipes from Peru, Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven, Azerbajian bagpipes, Stravinsky, still more Bach, Beethoven Bulgarian music, Navajo Night Chants, Early Music Consort of London, Solomon Islands panpipes, Wedding Song from Peru, “Flowing Streams” from China, a raga from India, Blind Willie Johnson, and ending with Beethoven.

In addition there were greetings from world leaders and a broad range of other people who recorded greetings. The languages are:

Akkadian, Amoy (Min dialect), Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hittite, Hungarian (Magyar), Ila (Zambia), Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada (Kanarese), Kechua (Quechua), Korean, Latin, Luganda (Ganda), Mandarin Chinese, Marathi, Nepali, Nguni (Zulu), Nyanja, Oriya, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Sotho (Sesotho), Spanish, Sumerian, Swedish, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh, Wu

What music would you like to have heard on the Voyager Golden Record that they did not include? Or put another way, what list of music would you want to represent all of humanity and human history that might be launched on a future Golden Record that would travel through space for the next 5 billion years?

Join the discussion, email us with your ideas. We will endeavor to list all of them. please provide links when you can so we can all listen to them.

Suggestions so far:



Hamelmal Abete, Linur, suggested by Bob N, It’s a beautiful song from Ethiopia/Eritrea, one of the cradles of civilization.  A ceremonial coronation shield from Emperor Haile Selassie is in the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, donated by President Herbert Hoover.

John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” suggested by Carl Chistensen

Louis Armstrong

Louis ArmstrongOn the Sunny Side of the Street,  suggested by Karsyn (CSUMB):     I think that this song … really emphasizes putting yourself in a position for things to change … keep your head up and it will get better.

Louis Armstrong, La Vie en Rose, suggested by Jeff J

Louis Armstrong Wonderful World, suggested by Bob D, Jeff J, Ted L, Christian Sands, Joanne (CSUMB):  “I hear babies crying, I watch them grow, they’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know” almost sounds like what the Earth is saying … this lyric brings hope to the future. That the world will continue being wonderful. 

Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Jubilo / Balsom, Academy of Ancient Music, Choir of King’s College Cambridge, suggested by Philip P

Bach: Mass in B Minor, Van Veldhoven, Netherlands Bach Society, suggested by Barbara M, “I’d like to tell whoever is Out There that we small creatures had soul.”

Brandenburg Concerto #2, 3rd movement, Wynton Marsalis

J Balvin, Willy William, Mi Gente, suggested by Sasha

The Beatles: All You Need is Love, The Beatles. Suggested by PJ

Beethoven Piano, Concertos 3-5 and 9th Symphony, suggested by Philip P

 Hildegard Von Bingen, O Virtus Sapientiae, suggested by Marsha M

David Bowie, Space Oddity, suggested by Christian Sands 

Dave Brubeck, Time Out, suggested by Christian Sands  

The Bulgarian Women’s National Choir, live session VG Buiten Spelen, suggested by Nancy H; demonstrates the phenomenally intimate and moving harmonies of which human voices are capable

Terri Lyne Carrington & Social ScienceTrapped in the American Dream, suggested by Spencer (CSUMB): The overall message of this song stresses the unethical and racial injustice within our criminal justice system that black people in America face.

Playboi Carti Long time, suggested by Spencer (CSUMB):   Hip-Hop music was a genre of music I didn’t grow up with because it was somewhat frowned upon in my family … However, I was recently introduced to hip-hop with this song and was informed of how influential this genre of music is to society and humanity at large.

Johnny Cash, You Are My Sunshine

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme, suggested by Christian Sands, Eduardo Ochoa, Bob Danziger, and Juan Sanchez  

Chick Corea, Return To Forever, suggested by John Clayton

Croatian Klapa singing, suggested by Nancy H; demonstrates the phenomenally intimate and moving harmonies of which human voices are capable

Cubanismo, Descarga de Hoy, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

Bob Dylan, Blowin in the Wind, suggested by anonymous, Big Sur

Duke Ellington: 70th Birthday Concert, Duke Ellington, suggested by John Clayton

Cesaria Evora, Live d’Amor (2004  Cape Verde), suggested by Christian Sands

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace, suggested by Christian Sands    

Aretha Franklin: performance of Natural Woman at the Kennedy Center for President and Mrs. Obama, suggested by Bob D, Carmel

Aretha Franklin: performance of “Nessum Dorma” at the Grammy’s

Avenged Sevenfold – Exist [Music Video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNv7sWKC-cs

Hildegard van Bingen,

Black Eyed PeasWhere is The Love, suggested by Hailey (CSUMB):    If there is anyone out in space and they end up being in the same situation as humanity, maybe they could find a way to peace from our troubles.

Black Eyed PeasOne Tribe,  suggested by Haley (CSUMB):    I feel that we all need this message, that we should be united and not separated, that we should love each other and help one another. 

Antonio Carlos Jobim, Desafinado, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie: Bird and Diz (1952), suggested by John Clayton

Life Forum, Gerald Clayton, suggested by John Clayton

Nat King Cole, Nature Boy, suggested by Donna M: This song answers the question of what life is really about: to love and be loved. The aliens would know that was our quest, even if we didn’t make it.

Alice Coltrane, Universal Consciousness, suggested by Christian Sands 

Cranberries, Dreams, suggested by Nestor G: Dreams by the Cranberries because I feel it would go really nicely with an intergalactic coming of age soundtrack / storyline ~ I would also love to imagine extraterrestrial life forms listening to this on their space craft while they try to discover other habitable planets, and possibly love, on the way.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Our House, suggested by Chris (CSUMB):  I chose this song because I like the feeling of it. I think it sends a message that we value relationships and home. I think it is a great introduction to us as emotional beings who value our house, or our planet.

Sheryl CrowSoak up the sun,  suggested by Destinee (CSUMB):   It is easy to dwell on the little things and wanting things you can’t have. This song represents enjoying all the good things while you can. 

Miles Davis

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, suggested by Christian Sands, Biff Smith and John Clayton

Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, suggested by Christian Sands 

Miles Davis: Milestones, suggested by Barbara M, “I’d like to tell whoever is Out There that we small creatures had soul.”

Lewis Del Mar, Painting (Masterpiece) suggested by Caroline (CSUMB):   This song has always been very uplifting for me, and during the same bridge described being able to have anything you could wish for, and springs hope which is something I think everyone can benefit from.

Mamadou Diabate,  Tunga, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

Bill Evans, Peace Piece, suggested by Marsha M

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ella and Louis,suggested by John Clayton

Bela Fleck and Toumani Diabete, The Ripple Effect, suggested by Christian Sands 

Marvin GayeMercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), suggested by Haley (CSUMB):    We are dealing with environmental injustices around the world. When I listen to this song, it makes me want to be a steward for the earth … there is still time to make a change.

Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive, suggested by Bruno C

Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto, suggested by John Clayton

George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue, suggested by Bonnie I, Hawaii and Jeannette F who says, “because it combines both classical elements and jazz.”

Gundencha Brothers, Shiva, suggested by Shweta S: The song describes Lord Shiva, who’s body contains the cosmos and who wears the moon and stars as his jewelry. The improvised harmonization of the Gundecha brothers is soul-stirring and a beautiful exhibition of two artists in perfect communion with each other.

Guns N’RosesSweet Child O’mine, suggested by Erika (CSUMB): It is an uplifting song that sees the beauty of your significant other.

Bon JoviLivin’ on a prayer, suggested by Erika (CSUMB): These lyrics are just so positive … [they]  inspire the listener to move forward despite difficulties. It shows that love for one another is the best way to survive

Herbie Hancock (1962 and 1973 versions), Watermelon Man

Sid Hemphill, Carrier Line, suggested by Jennifer J: An excellent example of Mississippi’s Hill County style and an important note in the black history of country music and country blues.

Jimi HendrixOne Rainy Wish,   suggested by Ryan (CSUMB):   This reminds me of Monterey with our stormy weather where you always have one eye on the weather, cause you never know what direction it’s gonna take, and this is eerily similar to Jimi because you never know where his vocals or guitar solo is gonna go. 

Billy Joel, Vienna, suggested by Samantha (CSUMB): Vienna is this idea that there is always life beyond the decisions you make or the dreams you have … This song is sort of the opposite of all those “live life to the fullest” songs.

Dave Holland, Conference of the Birds (Dave Holland), suggested by Nate M, Los Angeles

Shirley Horn, Here’s to Life, suggested by John Clayton

JourneyDon’t Stop Believin, suggested by Zeus (CSUMB):  I nearly gave up, which is something you should never do. The moment of defeat is not from the lack of trying, or trying too hard, but it is the point from when we stop believing that we give up.

Bon Jovi This House Is Not For Sale, suggested by Zeus (CSUMB):  Despite everything that I have gone through in life … everything I have done …  has been built as a foundation … all built by me, that makes me who I am today.

Kansas ,  Carry on Wayward Son, Suggested by Allana (CSUMB): This song is about encouragement and to not lose hope in what you are doing or trying to accomplish.  The message in this piece is about persistence and to not worry about right now because you will get to where you need to be soon enough. 

Vance JoyBonnie & Clyde, suggested by Caila (CSUMB): I chose this song because the lyrics relate to exactly how I am living in Monterey right now … I am living In Monterey with my girlfriend and we both work on the water and take strolls all the time. We go to secret little beaches and enjoy the day.

Iron Lodge Native American Spirituality Behind Bars; Suggested by Ismana C

Brudda IZ, Medley of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World,suggested by Bonnie I, Hawaii

Kachucha featuring Ibrahim Maloof, Roberto Fonseca, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule, suggested by Amy L: Simply, it’s a song about love and it rocks!

Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream, suggested by Christian Sands and Bob Danziger

La Bamba, Richie Valens, suggested by Chris C

La Llorana, suggested by Bruno C

 Las Cafeteras, “La Bamba Rebelde”

Latcho Drom soundtrack, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

Laurie Spiegel, Music of the Spheres (excerpt appears on Golden Record), suggested by Lanier Sammons, CSUMB

John Lennon, Imagine, suggested by Ted G, San Diego; also suggested by Alana (CSUMB): If there was extraterrestrial life that was able to hear this song, it would be a great representation of how our world operates … from a perspective of someone who strives for world peace and empathy.  

Los Lobos, Saint Behind a Glass , suggested by Claudia M

Mahk Jchi – Ulali, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

Bob MarleyAfrica Unite, suggested by Laura (CSUMB):     The texture of the piece speaks very clearly of religion in a very positive way. That it also represents a higher power that promises you a new life, which is a better future for everyone.

Angelica Mata, MARIACHI PLAZA, Suggested by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts; In 2020, ACTA commissioned local musicians with connections to Boyle Heights to compose original songs that represent the histories and current stories of the neighborhood, throwing light on Boyle Heights’ existence as the home some Japanese Americans returned to following incarceration during WWII, as the first stop for new immigrants from Mexico, as a sanctuary for mariachi musicians, and a changing landscape shaped by freeways, gentrification, and other changes. 

Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E min, Anne-Sophie Mutter suggested by Juan Sanchez

Mendelssohn: the Hebrides, Op 26 “Fingal’s Cave,” suggested by Kevin O

Mac Miller2009, suggested by Ryan (CSUMB): This is part of the genius that each day, you may start out sad, but there is always a chance to change things around, and reach for the clouds.

Moms Mabley at Geneva Conference, suggested by Christian Sands 

Mongolian Throat Singing, Batzorig Vaanchig, suggested by Till L, Leipzig

Mothership Connection, Parliament, suggested by Quetzal F: The song just showcases another level of thinking, taking black people to another place on the mothership, removing them from this decrepit rotten system and fulfilling the promise land.

Mozart, Requiem, suggested by Marsha M

Kacey Musgraves, Oh, What a World, suggested by Alyssa (CSUMB): This song is calming, yet makes you realize how small we are in comparison to the world. It makes you think of how amazing it is to be a small part of something so complex. 

Star Wars, Rey’s Theme, by John Wiliams, Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), suggested by Nicola Reilly

Thelonious Monk, Well You Needn’t

Monkey Chant (Bali), suggested by Nate M, Los Angeles

We Pray With Tobacco: Collected Songs, suggested by Ismana C

Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, From Here to the Moon and Back

Frank OceanWe All Try, suggested by Ivan (CSUMB):   I nearly gave up, which is something you should never do. The moment of defeat is not from the lack of trying, or trying too hard, but it is the point from when we stop believing that we give up.

Carl Orff: Carmina Burana o Fortuna, suggested by Harriet L; It is powerful, timeless and even the stars will be excited and moved!

Ozomatli, After Party, the sweet sounds of people in the neighborhood gathering for all the good times

Pachelbel : Canon – Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Field / Marriner, suggested by Mary S

Violeta Parra (sung by Mercedes Sosa), Gracias a la vida, suggested by Juan Sanchez

(Dolly Parton, and Whitney Houston, I Will Always Love You

Katy PerryFirework, suggested by Hailey (CSUMB):   This represents me and my future in Monterey because of my past life and how I want to have new beginnings here in Monterey and I want to particularly shine and become as bright as I can be.

Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson, Ali And Frazier (live at the Montreux Jazz Festival), suggested by Kelly Peterson; Oscar loved to use this in classes when he taught at York University. He would play the first track, Ali & Frazier, and stop it just before the bass solo. He’d then ask any bassists in the room if they would want to take a solo at that moment…all would shake their heads no, and then he’d start the track again, with Niels-Henning’s solo. He loved the response from the students!

Oscar Peterson, Night Train; suggested by Kelly Peterson; This is one of the most influential of Oscar’s recordings. Recorded in 1962, released in 1963. It contains the original version of Hymn To Freedom (which was composed in the studio during the record date.) So many people talk about this being their first introduction to jazz and to Oscar, and how they never looked back.  John Clayton says, “NIGHT TRAIN and the TRIO, LIVE IN CHICAGO are the 2 recordings that changed my life as a teen.”

Oscar Peterson, Africa Suite, Conducted by John Clayton, not yet released (March 2021), suggested by Kelly Peterson.

Oscar Peterson, Bach Suite, suggested by Bob D, Nate M, and Bonnie G

Oscar Peterson, Canadiana Suite, suggested by Kelly Peterson and John Clayton

Oscar Peterson, Live in Chicago, suggested by Kelly Peterson and John Clayton

Kelly Peterson: Oscar, With Love, produced and released in 2015. My intent was to showcase Oscar as composer. 16 pianists came to the Peterson home to record Oscar’s compositions on his own piano. Primarily solo piano, it includes a few duo tracks with Dave Young (one of Oscar’s bassists) and a solo track played by Dave. The pianists are Monty Alexander, Kenny Barron, Bill Charlap, Gerald Clayton, Chick Corea, Benny Green, Hiromi, Michel Legrand, Oliver Jones, Ramsey Lewis, Makoto Ozone, Renee Rosnes, Justin Kauflin, Robi Botos, Audrey Morris, and Lance Anderson.

Kelly Peterson: Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass, A Salle Pleyel. This is a personal favorite – no other reason!

Kelly Peterson : Live at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival: From 1956, another one that people cite as a major influence, along with We Get Requests, from the early 1960s.

Kelly Peterson: This is one of my personal favorites. No other reason for recommending it! This one, and Ella and Oscar.

Pink, Glitter in the Air, suggested by Alyssa (CSUMB): This song is about admiring the little things in life and the feelings you have about certain moments or a person.

Ellen Prendergast, Peter Moon Band Version,KAULANA NĀ PUA, suggested by Larry K, Hawaii

Maxi Priest,  Peace Throughout the World, suggested by Chris (CSUMB): The reason I chose this song is because it is a wish that I want to see in my lifetime. The title says it all. It connects to what I want in my personal and professional world. 

Louis PrimaWhen you’re Smiling/The Sheik of Araby, suggested by Joanne (CSUMB):    Like the song, my life in Monterey has always been filled with smiles and laughter, and my hope for Monterey’s future is that it contains people with the same feeling as I have.

Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, suggested by Caroline (CSUMB): Of all the musical pieces I could think of this one is the stand alone that will surely stand the test of time, and provide a glimpse at the drama and variety that can be conveyed through music.

Rise AgainstMiracle, suggested by Raymond (CSUMB):   How this can relate to the future I hope for Monterey Bay is that we all work together as a community. When disaster strikes or something that wasn’t expected happens, we won’t be scared and back down, we will find that miracle, that solution that will solve our problems. 

RushLimelight, suggested by Connor (CSUMB):  It is true how the world is a stage and how people are the performers, portrayers, and players in which our actions entertain each other. If there are any beings outside this galaxy, this passage would somewhat symbolize how our world somewhat functions.

Selena – Disco Medley (Official Live From Astrodome), suggested by Jasmin T: This is just of the most awesome starts to a concert I’ve ever seen online. I was too young to go in person, but the energy and the songs themselves with the band are just awesome and beautiful. For this floating out in space, this moments of just really awesome performances are important— not just songs but real moments in time when humans were experiencing live music.

Jaden SmithPlastic, suggested by Ivan (CSUMB):   I am not taking, “No” for an answer. I want to create noise that is going to turn the heads of audiences around the world. 

!Sly & the Family StoneEveryday People, suggested by Connor (CSUMB):  [We are all] … everyday people in which we are trying to figure out this thing called life. One of the keys to a happy life is treating your fellow neighbor with respect, kindness, and equality … 

Special: Ancestry of Christian Sands: How a Jazz Musician Found Family Stories He Never Knew, suggested by Christian Sands 

Nina Simone, Mississippi Goddamm, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

Frank Sinatra, Fly Me to the Moon, suggested by Ted G, San Diego

Jaden SmithPlastic, suggested by Ivan (CSUMB):   I am not taking, “No” for an answer. I want to create noise that is going to turn the heads of audiences around the world. 

Mercedes Sosa, Gracias a la Vida, suggested by Eduardo Ochoa

Harry Styles, Treat People With Kindness, suggested by Jordynne (CSUMB): There is so much hate in the world … I think that treating people with kindness is a good start to mend the divide that has been created. 

Harry StylesSign of the Times, suggested by Samantha (CSUMB): I think it’s really hard for people to open up and share their feelings with those around them even though it’s such an important part in forming a relationship in every aspect of life. 

Richard Swift Broken Finger Blues, suggested by Sandy (CSUMB):   When defining the human experience, it is necessary to include moments of pain and sorrow. If other intelligent beings were to find the Golden Record, not only should they listen to our moments of great joy, but also those of sadness.

Bounseung Synanone, Lam Phu Tai , Suggested by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts; Bounseung is a master khaen player currently living in Fresno, California and originally from the Savannakhet Province in Laos.

Bounseung Synanone, Lam Salavane, Suggested by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts; suggested by Amy K: Bounseung is a master khaen player currently living in Fresno, California and originally from the Savannakhet Province in Laos. Bounseung is playing a Lao mouth organ, which involves doing circular breathing. He is THE guy for khaen music (Lao party music)!

Taksim Trio, Gözüm & Kulağım, Suggested by Juan Sanchez

The The, This Is The Day, suggested by Jordynne (CSUMB):Creatively, I feel like Monterey was where I was meant to be for this time in my life … I felt like I was somewhere that I was meant to be and I have met people that accept me for who I am.  

Igor Stravinsky, Rite of Spring

Art Tatum, Piano Starts Here, suggested by John Clayton 

Art Tatum – How High the Moon

Art Tatum – Someone to Watch Over Me

Art Tatum – Humoresque

Art Tatum – Yesterdays

Art Tatum – Sophisticated Lady

Koko Taylor – I’ m a Woman, suggested by Lily K: Koko Taylor is paving the way for women in space!

Chavela Vargas, Paloma Negra 1961,suggested by Betty M: Chavela Vargas was a very special singer, bringing raw emotion to her singing and popularizing traditional Mexican music mostly sung by men. She was queer and herself, and originally from Cuba.

War,  Why Can’t We Be Friends, suggested by Caila (CSUMB): I believe the biggest problems we have in the world are race, religion, and politics and this part of the song acknowledges two of those things.

We As Human, We Fall Apart, suggested by Raymond (CSUMB):   Though human history is not perfect, there were mistakes, humans suffered, empires fell, and there were many moments where it was believed that it would be the end of the human race. What this song is implying is that the mistakes of the human race are beautiful, that even if we thought we were invincible and completely unbreakable, we were not and that’s fine.

U.S.A. For Africa, We Are the World, suggested by Laura (CSUMB):    This song intends to transmit a message of the union in brotherhood, to have the solidarity of reaching out to our fellow men even if emotional ties do not unite us. It has to be done for the simple fact that we are alive and in the same world. That is why we have to help each other

Bill Withers, Lovely day, suggested by Sandy (CSUMB): To me, the song is about being there for one another, and that is something that I wish for Monterey Bay.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life, Ssuggested by Christian Sands

Stevie Wonder, Secret Life of Plants, suggested by Christian Sands 

Stevie Wonder, Superstition

Stevie Wonder, Fingertips

Village PeopleCan’t Stop The Music, suggested by Destinee (CSUMB):   

John Wineglass, Christina Mok, violin, Alone, suggested by Nicola Reilly

Yo-Yo MA and Allison Krause, Simple Gifts

Yollotl Xochitl, suggested by Sasha Z

Yothu Yindi, Tribal Voice, suggested by Till L; Leipzig



Sounds on the Golden Record

        Sounds on the Golden Record

• Music of The Spheres

• Volcanoes, Earthquake, Thunder

• Mud Pots

• Wind, Rain, Surf

• Crickets, Frogs

• Birds, Hyena, Elephant

• Chimpanzee

• Wild Dog

• Footsteps, Heartbeat

• Laughter

• Fire, Speech

• The First Tools

• Tame Dog

• Herding Sheep, Blacksmith, Sawing

• Tractor, Riveter

• Morse Code, Ships

• Horse and Cart

• Train

• Tractor, Bus, Auto

• F-111 Flyby, Saturn 5 Lift-off

• Kiss, Mother and Child

• Life Signs, Pulsar