Musicians unlock mystery melody in Da Vinci Code chapel

Musicians unlock mystery melody in Da Vinci Code chapel

1st May 2007
Daily Mail

A Scottish church which featured in the bestselling novel 'The Da Vinci Code' has revealed another mystery hidden in secret code for almost 600 years.

A father and son who became fascinated by symbols carved into the chapel's arches say they have deciphered a musical score encrypted in them.

Thomas Mitchell, a 75-year-old musician and ex-Royal Air Force code breaker, and his composer and pianist son Stuart, described the piece as "frozen music".

Musical mystery: Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland featured in Dan Brown's popular novel, The Da Vinci Code. Its construction started in 1440

"The music has been frozen in time by symbolism," Mitchell said on his Web site( (external - login to view), which details the 27-year project to crack the chapel's code.

"It was only a matter of time before the symbolism began to thaw out and begin to make sense to scientific and musical perception."

Carvings inside the chapel were deciphered to reveal a mediaeval music score

The 15th Century Rosslyn Chapel, about seven miles south of the Scottish capital Edinburgh, featured in the last part of Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" - one of the most successful novels of all time which has been turned into a Hollywood film.

Stuart Mitchell said he and his father were intrigued by 13 intricately carved angel musicians on the arches of the chapel and by 213 carved cubes depicting geometric-type patterns.

"They are of such exquisite detail and so beautiful that we thought there must be a message here," he told Reuters.

Years of research led the Mitchells to an ancient musical system called cymatics, or Chladni patterns, which are formed by sound waves at specific pitches.

Code breaker: Stuart Mitchell

The two men matched each of the patterns on the carved cubes to a Chladni pitch, and were able finally to unlock the melody.

The Mitchells have called the piece The Rosslyn Motet and added words from a contemporary hymn to complete it.

They have also scheduled a world premiere at a concert in the chapel on May 18, when four singers will be accompanied by eight musicians playing the piece on mediaeval instruments.

Simon Beattie of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust said he was delighted to have the mystery finally solved, and was intrigued by the music itself.

"It's not something you would want to put on in the car and listen to, but it's certainly an interesting
piece of music," he said. "It's got a good mediaeval sound to it."
Christ's Head
by Leonardo da Vinci
“The Grail,” Langdon said, “is symbolic of the lost goddess. When Christianity came along, the old pagan religions did not die easily. Legends of chivalric quests for the Holy Grail were in fact stories of forbidden quests to find the lost sacred feminine. Knights who claimed to be “searching for the chalice” were speaking in code as a way to protect themselves from a Church that had subjugated women, banished the Goddess, burned non-believers, and forbidden the pagan reverence for the sacred feminine.” The Da Vinci Code, pages 238-239)The Holy Grail is a favorite metaphor for a desirable but difficult-to-attain goal, from the map of the human genome to Lord Stanley's Cup. While the original Grail — the cup Jesus allegedly used at the Last Supper — normally inhabits the pages of Arthurian romance, Dan Brown's recent mega–best-seller, The Da Vinci Code, rips it away to the realm of esoteric history.
But his book is more than just the story of a quest for the Grail — he wholly reinterprets the Grail legend. In doing so, Brown inverts the insight that a woman's body is symbolically a container and makes a container symbolically a woman's body. And that container has a name every Christian will recognize, for Brown claims that the Holy Grail was actually Mary Magdalene. She was the vessel that held the blood of Jesus Christ in her womb while bearing his children.
Over the centuries, the Grail-keepers have been guarding the true (and continuing) bloodline of Christ and the relics of the Magdalen, not a material vessel. Therefore Brown claims that “the quest for the Holy Grail is the quest to kneel before the bones of Mary Magdalene," a conclusion that would surely have surprised Sir Galahad and the other Grail knights who thought they were searching for the Chalice of the Last Supper.
the medieval people knew about the shapes of sound waves? without oscilloscopes?
Quote: Originally Posted by hermanntrudeView Post

the medieval people knew about the shapes of sound waves? without oscilloscopes?

Hard to believe isn't it....
also intriguing that these fellows who encoded the music should want to set in stone a peice which is "not something you would want to put on in the car and listen to" but just "interesting".
Libra Girl
Fascinating. I'd like to hear the music.
One could look at cloud formations and "uncover" a musical score. This sounds like good old fashioned marketing.
My goodness but people will believe the stupidest things. . .


From the link

In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess. So, why bother with such a close reading of a worthless novel? The answer is simple: The Da Vinci Code takes esoterica mainstream. It may well do for Gnosticism what The Mists of Avalon did for paganism — gain it popular acceptance. After all, how many lay readers will see the blazing inaccuracies put forward as buried truths?
What's more, in making phony claims of scholarship, Brown's book infects readers with a virulent hostility toward Catholicism. Dozens of occult history books, conveniently cross-linked by, are following in its wake. And booksellers' shelves now bulge with falsehoods few would be buying without The Da Vinci Code connection. While Brown's assault on the Catholic Church may be a backhanded compliment, it's one we would have happily done without.

I've read the book and have seen the movie and while it makes fairly exciting entertainment for some, it really suffers if one examines the details.
Libra Girl
Dang! I fell for it hook, line and sinker...

*Wanders off muttering expletives*
El Barto
I think the ArcticMonkeys logo was a give away
Brown plagarized The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, which was a good read. Browns book was below average crap. Should be burned.

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