Scotland: Bringing Alive ‘Frozen Music’

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(Locate the moon: The moon is seen behind the Orthodox church Christ the Saviour in Pristina, a Scottish church which featured in the best-selling novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’ has revealed another musical mystery hidden in secret code for almost 600 years. photo Hazir Reka/Reuters)

Any mention of Scotland and the Rocky mountains in Canada evokes in me a wonderful nostalgia. Apart from the memorable trekking and cycling trips that I have enjoyed there, I have very fond memories of listening to celestial music in the churches there.

I am partial towards hills/mountains and hill people wherever, maybe because I come from the hill state of Himachal Pradesh in India (the lower and the middle Himalayas) and (stupidly perhaps) believe that hill folks are simple and trusting. They just can’t stand hypocrites and liars!!!

And, yes, the music. I love Himachal’s unique musical instruments, music and dances (they are so different from everything in the plains!). I felt so much at home in Scotland listening to the bagpipe music…and of course the church music.

So I read the following news report with great interest: “A Scottish church which featured in the best-selling 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’.”

For details please visit their website by clicking here…

Author: SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist

Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.) Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department's SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi. In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF's Eco-tourism policy. He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on "Development Journalism" to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years. In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India --- West Bengal and Orissa. Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia. Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there. He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation. And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.

  • Holly in Cincinnati

    Swaaraj – I think the church in the photo may not be the church in the article.

  • Swaraaj Chauhan

    Well Holly…this site says that this the church we are talking about…please click here…

  • Holly in Cincinnati

    I see it, but think it’s unrelated.

  • domajot

    I don’t care about which structure is involved. The idea of music being saved for future ages is fascinating!