Has music been lying to us all this time? The head of Eltham College’s music department, Sebastian Johns, gave a unique and interactive talk about musical cryptograms to the Year 7 scholars. Mr. Johns thoroughly explained about the hidden messages in music, and how each note is assigned a few letters.
Johannes Sebastian Bach was one of the best-known composers to write cryptograms into his music, most famously in The Art of the Fugue. Using the German system of ‘spelling’ notes, he used B flat, A natural, C natural and B natural spell out B-A-C-H in this and other pieces and many other composers have namechecked Bach in their compositions since.
Then to top off the session, Mr. Johns took to the piano, improvising songs based on some of the year 7 scholars’ names. This included jazz, classical and more! “A once in a lifetime experience!” says Alex, a year-7 scholar. “Truly unique.”