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!