The OTHER Da Vinci Code

19 Feb

Okay, apologies in advance, I promise that this is the one and only time that I will ever mention Dan Brown on this website (probably). You’ve all, unless you’ve been in outer space for the past ten years, heard of a little novel called The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown’s cash cow has made him millions of dollars, hit the silver screen and annoyed almost as many people as it has entertained. If you found it hard to believe that the Renaissance artist and all-round genius Leonardo Da Vinci passed on the secret history of the offspring of Christ through cryptograms (or backwards crossword puzzle word searches or whatever), the suggestion that he actually embedded a secret soundtrack into The Last Supper may just be a step too far for some people. Let’s look at the evidence.

Look at the picture above. Apparently, those tasty dinner rolls scattered in Da Vinci’s (second) most famous painting, The Last Supper, may be the notes of a musical arrangement. Actually, not just the bread, but the hands of Christ and the Apostles as well. One musician found that by drawing a five line musical stave across the painting, the hands and buns seem to line up as the notes of a pretty little composition. This is assuming, of course, that the notes are read from right to left, which was how Da Vinci tended to write in any case. If you don’t believe this particular theory, why not hand the illustration below to a piano-playing friend (or give it a try yourself if you just happen to be musically gifted).

Even skeptics have acknowledged that the composition’s harmony is too perfect to be a coincidence. Each loaf of bread in the picture represents a note, all of which combine to create a sound like a requiem…or even a hymn. That this was entirely intentional is certainly not too far-fetched a theory given that the artist was, after all, also a capable composer in his own right. Da Vinci was perhaps the ultimate embodiment of a Renaissance Man, and one of his many gifts was that of music, as well as painting, sculpture and invention. But the madness doesn’t just stop with the notes. The same individual who discovered the music also claimed the painting held clues to the rhythm of the song and the duration of each note. So, technically, the first album containing a secret message when played backwards was The Last Supper!

15 Responses to “The OTHER Da Vinci Code”

  1. Samir February 19, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Yeah… okay. I’m still not going to read the book though, just not my thing. But I did find this informative because indeed, Da Vinci was the ultimate Renaissance man.

  2. grosenberg February 19, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Interesting stuff for sure and yes so far I’ve been able to avoid Dan Brown in either cinematic or literary form as well

    • ashsilverlock February 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Thanks, I’ve only managed to avoid the films!

  3. Diane Tibert February 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    I loved the book. I couldn’t put it down. The movie wasn’t as good, but I predicted as much since movies are never as good as the book.

    As a person who knows nothing — or as little as she possible can — about religion, I was fascinated by what others who were taught religion thought about certain things.

    Take The Last Supper painting. I have never been told there were only men in the picture. I thought that was a woman beside Jesus. You couldn’t convince me otherwise not even now. That is a woman. And there are other women in the photo. Often if you are told something, you don’t look for anything else. I was not blinded by knowledge.

    I realise the book is fiction but it’s filled with many interesting facts and possible facts. If nothing, it inspired people like me to learn more about the world of religion. When it spoke of The Last Supper, I had to google the picture to see it, to see what they were talking about. The book got people talking and that’s always a good thing.

    I don’t want to start a religious argument because we’re discussing the value of the book, not so much what it stood for. The book was well written, moved at a quick pace, had a great cast of characters, a fascinating plot and a great mystery. I’d read any book that had that.

    Fascinating finds like the music notes in the painting feed the imagination and something similar can be used in our own writing. Imagine a character finding a painting and seeing the secret message within, one the others in the group can’t see. He uses this knowledge to further his own wealth. There are many places this can go.

    Thanks for sharing. I haven’t read Devils and Angels or whatever the other book is. Apparently it is better, so I’ll read it some day.

    • ashsilverlock February 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      I’ll say this much for Dan Brown – he’s found a recipe for success when it comes to being a bestseller, and we all know that’s hard enough to do!

      • Diane Tibert February 19, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

        Yes, it’s a recipe we wish we could duplicate in our own stories. Brown saw a need and he filled it just like the Twilight author. No, I haven’t read those books and never will, but my daughter loved them.

  4. nickelcrowrow February 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    It is an intriguing concept, though, isn’t it? Could make for a great story.

  5. KT February 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    I always find it fascinating when something like this pops up and makes us wonder. Did DaVinci really intend this message, and what does it say? Or did he just like playing around with people? I think he composed that little melody as an accompaniment to the painting. It was the melody he thought of while painting or something. Fascinating stuff!

  6. D. D. Syrdal February 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    I read the book, I remember enjoying it at the time as a fast, fun read, but great prose it was not. I have to wonder, if Da Vinci went to all that trouble to stick a few notes into one painting, why didn’t he do that with all his paintings? Seems kind of pointless to stop with that little bit, no?

  7. deshipley February 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    A painting with a soundtrack: Fun to think about!

  8. kalyrical February 21, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Loved The Da Vinci Code…this is really cool! I’m totally into stuff like this and I’m so glad this appeared on my wordpress newsfeed! I just don’t know how many other ingenious things Da Vinci has hidden in his works… given that this really is what he intended the dinner rolls!

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