Thursday, August 29, 2013

Elgar's E.F.B. Ciphers

You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.

The Enigma Variations hold at least fifty ciphers, and it is highly probable there are even more awaiting discovery. These secret codes are incredibly important because they encode the answers to Elgar’s sphinxian riddles. What is the secret melody behind the Enigma Theme? What is the secret "dark saying" hidden within the Enigma Theme? Who is the secret friend portrayed in Variation XIII? The covert Principal Theme is Ein feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress), the famous Reformation hymn by Martin Luther. No one would ever guess a Roman Catholic composer like Elgar would surreptitiously quote the battle hymn of the Reformation, a piece composed by a heretic excommunicated by the Pope. The Enigma Theme’s "dark saying" is an incredibly ingenious Music Box Cipher. The secret friend portrayed in Variation XIII is Jesus Christ, the Lord of Elgar’s Roman Catholic faith. A discreet subset of these ciphers identifies the Turin Shroud, the most studied religious artifact in history that is believed to be the burial cloth of Christ.

The Nimrod Timpani Cipher

There are at least ten different ciphers that encode the solution letters EFB, the initials for Ein feste Burg. The first is the Keys Cipher in which the accidentals for the Enigma Theme's G minor and major modes are B-flat, E-flat, and F-sharp. The second is the Nimrod Timpani Cipher in which the tuning for the three timpani drums for Variation IX is indicated in the score as E-flat, B-flat, and F. The third is the FAE Cipher in Variation XIII. The fourth is the Letter Cluster Cipher in Variations XII and XIV. The fifth is the Enigma Date Cipher at the end of the original score. The sixth is the Dominant-Tonic-Dominant (5-1-5) Cipher embedded in the Mendelssohn fragments of Variation XIII. The seventh is the Cover Page Cipher where Elgar traced a box and wrote the letters "FEb" not once, but twice, on the original cover page of the Enigma Variations. The eighth in the form of the Enigma Date Cipher appears on the final page of the master score where Elgar wrote "FEb" for a third time. The ninth is the Enigma Variations Key Numbers Cipher which also encodes the initials E.F.B. The tenth is the Mendelssohn Melodic Intervals Cipher. With so many ciphers pinpointing the same set of initials, is it absurd to maintain they must be coincidental and fabricated.

Original cover page of the master score

The interrelated decryptions of the Enigma Variations Ciphers are mutually consistent and reinforcing, erecting an elaborate yet rational set of solutions to one of musicology’s enduring mysteries. With so many ciphers pinpointing the same answers, there is no room for doubt. The ciphers are genuine, so we may be confident that the answers are true and accurate. These solutions to Elgar’s enigmas are highly unpalatable to secular scholars like Julian Rushton who reflexively attribute them to coincidence, confirmation bias, and even contrivance. Ultimately the only thing that is contrived is Rushton's vacuous objections. Like the Bible they routinely disparage, academics contend the Enigma ciphers and their decryptions must all be concocted in some elaborate ruse to misinform and mislead rather than to enlighten and guide. If the ciphers are merely the product of an overactive or determined imagination, how then does one account for their precise and consistent solutions? The secret melody to the Enigma Variations is Ein feste Burg by Martin Luther. The secret friend of Variation XIII is Jesus Christ, Elgar’s inspiration behind not only the Enigma Variations but also to his sacred oratorios: The Light of Life, The Dream of Gerontius, The Apostles, and The Kingdom. To learn more about the secrets of the Enigma Variations, read my free eBook Elgar’s Enigmas Exposed.

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About Mr. Padgett

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Mr. Padgett studied violin with Michael Rosenker (a student of Leopold Auer), and Rosenker’s pupil, Owen Dunsford. Mr. Padgett studied piano with Sally Magee (a student of Emanuel Bay), and Blanca Uribe, a student of Rosina Lhévinne. He attended the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, California, and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in psychology. At Vassar he studied music theory and composition with Richard Wilson. Mr. Padgett has performed for Joseph Silverstein, Van Cliburn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Steve Jobs, Prince Charles, Lady Camilla, Marcia Davenport, William F. Buckley, Jr., and other prominent public figures. His original compositions have been performed by the Monterey Symphony, at the Bohemian Grove, the Bohemian Club, and other private and public venues. In 2008 Mr. Padgett won the Max Bragado-Darman Fanfare Competition with his entry "Fanfare for the Eagles." It was premiered by the Monterey Symphony under Maestro Bragado in May 2008. A member of the Elgar Society, Mr. Padgett is married with five children.