A bit of Musical Espionage

Cryptology is all around us. Your first thought might be what is cryptology and your second, all around me where? Don’t be alarmed there are no forthcoming Tales of the Cryptkeeper. Think more Misson Impossible or the Da Vinci Code , secret messages, codes and a score that makes you want to get in on the action.

Cryptology is the art of hiding messages or information in plain sight. The only way to decrypt the message is to have the right key. It's the method used to hide our sensitive web data (e.g. online banking). It is one of the fastest-growing and most sought after skills in Defense and Cyber Security. If said encrypted codes and systems were to one day stop working, we would be in big trouble!

There are also connections to the world of music (e.g. a musical cryptogram). Bach famously, using the German System, hid his name at the end of his Sinfonia No. 9 in F Minor. He was not the only one; Beethoven, Schumann, and Lizst all left encrypted messages in a composition. There have been many patrons who have sat in symphony halls across the world unaware that they were listening to an encrypted code. But for those that had the key, in this case knowing that the BACH motif existed, they listen for the series of notes and pick up on the spelling of Bach’s name at the end of the piece.

And that's just the German System. There is the French System, the Honegger System, (perhaps the most versatile of the bunch) and Morse Code. Rush used it in their song "YYZ". And what about STEAM? Using the number system you can even integrate a bit of math into your music classroom, Fibonacci anyone? Music is the perfect backdrop to camouflage a message, with the everyday audience being none the wiser. As you teach your students the fundamentals of music, capture their interest with a bit of spy technology. It's the proverbial cherry on top of the sundae.

Crack the Code, a session in our latest program AR Classroom™, helps you do just that. Your students will learn musical concepts, experience the lesson via Augmented Reality, re-create the musical concept and then build their own interactive AR experience to house their project. In this case, they get to ultimately build their own musical cryptogram. This helps you bring STEAM into your classroom and who knows you may also spark interest in the next generation of cryptologists! Or more importantly, create intrigue around the art of creating beautiful music and leaving a signature or message behind. For more information on the AR Classroom™ program visit us here.

It's 2021, here's to integrating a bit of musical espionage into your lesson plans. Have other creative ways on injecting STEAM into your music classroom? Let me know! This message will self-destruct...just kidding

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