Monday, November 12, 2007

Music of the loaves

Music of the spheres. The light music of Irish whiskey. Music of the loaves? Doesn't ring out, does it? What about if I said it was a code in a painting by Leonardo da Vinci? You'd believe me even less, wouldn't you?

But this one actually sounds possible. The symbolism works.

Pala first saw that by drawing the five lines of a musical staff across the painting, the loaves of bread on the table as well as the hands of Jesus and the Apostles could each represent a musical note.

This fit the relation in Christian symbolism between the bread, representing the body of Christ, and the hands, which are used to bless the food, he said. But the notes made no sense musically until Pala realized that the score had to be read from right to left, following Leonardo's particular writing style.

He even found a time signature, though I wonder about this historically.

His first attempt at deciphering the musical clues failed. But then he noticed the apostles grouped in threes -- giving him the idea the piece should be played in 3/4-time...

I don't quite see how he can get the relative values of the notes. Nevertheless, this is good one. And it doesn't stop there.

The musician also claims to have discovered a chalice and Hebrew writings hidden in the 15th century masterpiece.

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