The Rosslyn Motet

The incredible music discovered after 500 years carved into the stonework at Rosslyn Chapel

 

The music discovery

Nothing is wanting but the key


Rosslyn Chapel holds a musical mystery in its architecture and design. At one end of the chapel, on the ceiling are 4 cross-sections of arches containing elaborate symbolic designs on each array of cubes (in actual fact they are rectangles mostly). The 'cubes' are attached to the arches in a musically sequential way. And to confirm this, at the ends of each arch there is an angel playing a musical instrument of a different kind. After 27 years of study and research by Stuart's father Thomas.J.Mitchell, we believe he has found the pitches and tonality that match the symbols on each cube, revealing its melodic and harmonic progressions. It is what we could call 'frozen music', a little like cryogenics. The music has been frozen in time by symbolism, it was only a matter of time before the symbolism began to 'thaw out' and begin to make sense to scientific and musical perception.

 

The Code Cracking Team


What does it sound like


This is the most important aspect of the entire project for most people and is best explained by listening to the music. The unusual combination of instruments, their dynamics, tunings and textures re-create a sound long forgotten from the past. The melodies are simple but harmonically develops and unfolds in the most simplistic but charming way. The sequential arrangement of the cubes at many times is a series of repeated notes/symbols signifying a more functional than aesthetic sense to the music. Sometimes it sounds a bit like a 'nursery rhyme' and there is also a feeling of a 'Celtic air' about the music, possibly connected to Orkney where the Sinclair's home once was. We will be recording the piece as authentically as possible using instruments and the correct Pythagorean medieval tunings of the 1400's.

 

 

Documentaries


cymatics


Cymatics is about the aesthetic efficiency of nature, to squeeze together into the most beautiful forms, 'space'. Cymatics is entirely about how nature utilizes space.
This group on Cymatics is to show to the people who ask the question 'How could the builders of Rosslyn Chapel have known about Cymatics?' that through the observation of patterns in nature, we are literally surrounded by the phenomenon and any enquiring mind would be able to experience these geometries since the beginnings of understandings, especially in the field's of music, sound and acoustics..Nature herself employs sound as an infrastructure of great beauty and dynamics.

''Both silence and sound collectively contribute to the phenomenon of vibration. We cannot measure or define silence without sound as its ruler because all matter vibrates between two universes, the universe of sound within the dimension of silence, the interplay of two dimensions.
Like a poem of nature that never ends, together, sound and silence dance to the rhythms of life.''

 

Chladni Patterns created with Sand, a plate and a Violin bow. The pitch is 'A' natural.

 

 

The Rosslyn Stave Angel Notes

The angel points to B with his right hand and to A and C with his left. This was taken to indicate that the music was in the key of C major, or relative A minor, with the ''leading tone'' B balanced symmetrically in the centre. From this, each of the cube patterns was matched against a particular frequency using a square Chladni plate tuned to C. The resulting pitches were ordered from bottom to top, left to right around the columns beginning with the stave angel to produce a haunting melody.

Richard Merrick - Interference Theory
 

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Cymatics Patterns produced by John Stuart Reid - http://www.cymascope.com

 

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