Friday, November 9

A Coded Musical Message

It looks like I've found the perfect story to take me out of my blogging hiatus. It's about Giovanni Maria Pala, an Italian musician and computer technician who proposes a very plausible theory that there is a musical composition hidden in Da Vinci's much-lauded painting of "Last Supper."

Come on... it's a guy who's both a musician and a computer tech, and he spent four years solving a pictographic/musicological puzzle. If I lived in Italy, I'm sure I would have been helping the guy! The composition is found by overlaying a musical staff on the painting and treating the pieces of bread and the human hands as musical notes based on where they fall within the staff (here's a photo from the Associated press, though I bet that link will be dead in a week).

I find it odd that he didn't also include the wine glasses as musical notes, given that both wine and bread are still used today in churches as they participate in the sacrament of Communion that celebrates the Last Supper. However. I suppose Pala's book ("La Musica Celata" -- "The Hidden Music") probably serves up some explanation regarding what led him to choose only hands and bread.

Unfortunately the AP article draws a lot of parallels to the pseudo-thriller The Da Vinci Code, but in any case the actual story being covered here is very interesting. I don't think Pala's book has been translated into English, though I'd probably read it if it were. I suppose I can get a friend who lived in Italy for a while to read it and give me the "executive summary"...

Leonardo painting has coded 'soundtrack' - Associated Press

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The Geek Code desperately needs updating, but in any case here's mine (as of 2010-02-28):

Version: 3.12
GIT/MU d+(-) s:+>: a C++> ULXB++++$ L+++ M++ w--() !O !V P+ E---
W+++ N o++ K? PS PE++ Y+ PGP t !5 X- R- tv+@ b++ DI++++ D--- e*++
h--- r+++ y+++ G+

If you really care about knowing what that all means, you either know the code already, or you can get it decoded for you here.