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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The DaVinci Code is nonsense - mysterious carvings are probably musical notes

Mysterious church carvings in that spooky church in Rosslyn, Scotland? They must reveal the secret truth about the children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene! Or perhaps a medieval Scottish UFO crash!

Ummm, no... turns out it's probably just musical notes, actually. The wire services are buzzing today with the news that mysterious carvings in Rosslyn Chapel are actually musical notation. Britain's Sunday Mail says:

Music teacher Thomas Mitchell, 75, strived for 27 years before he and pianist son Stuart, 41, deciphered symbols in the chapel which featured in the Da Vinci Code book and film....

Thomas, of Edinburgh, said: "The music is the result of years of painstaking research, recreating secret notes hidden for almost 600 years in carvings on the arches within the chapel itself.

"We believe this is the Holy Grail of music and, unlike the Da Vinci Code, it is absolutely factual...."

Using skills learned as an RAF code-breaker during the Korean War and his lifetime knowledge of classical music, he finally realised they depicted the vibrations of musical notes. He said: "It was a Eureka moment to end all Eureka moments.

"Many angels were carrying musical instruments and some were even grouped as if they were a choir.

"But one angel gave me the biggest problem. He was carrying something and at first I thought it was musical instrument which had been lost in the mists of time.

"It was only when I realised that he was carrying a musical stave, the blueprint for all musical composition, that I knew I was looking at a secretly coded piece of music.

"By recreating the patterns on each of the carved cubes, with Stuart's help, we unlocked the notes to find a haunting piece of music had been hidden in the arches for centuries.

"For the choral sections, we've used the words from the hymns to St John the Baptist taken from Matthew in the Old Testament which is fitting because the chapel itself is dedicated to St Matthew."

Stuart, a classical composer and pianist, used computers to decipher the carvings' secret music.

He has named the mediaeval music the Rosslyn Motet.

He said: "I also used authentic mediaeval instruments to recreate the music exactly and it truly is a masterpiece.

You can hear a snippet of the music here. Interesting stuff, and quite haunting actually (mp3 file about 45 seconds long).

To me, the discovery of music hidden for many centuries is more interesting than the Da Vinci Code because the Da Vinci Code is fictional and this is quite possibly very real.

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