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Einstein's Piano

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EINSTEIN'S PIANO

Einstein once said that he would have preferred to have been a musician, and he was a very competent violinist and pianist, giving concerts for charity throughout his life.

According to Einstein's wife Elsa, the great genius had a peculiar habit while dreaming up his mathematical theories in their Berlin apartment.

Einstein worked in his study on various scientific and mathematical theorems, the most notable of which is the General Theory of Relativity, which eventually made nuclear energy possible.

At certain times during his work, his wife would see Einstein suddenly appear in their living room.

Einstein would go to the piano, quietly, almost absentmindedly, according to his wife, apparently wrapped in some deep thought.

At the piano, he would play a few chords, and then retire to his study as quietly as he had entered the living room.

What price would you pay to know what those chords were? And what relationship could they possibly have to mathematical theories, such as the Big Bang?

I think I have some idea, and while I am not in any way a mathematician, I have several ideas that may draw parallels between higher mathematics and chord structure.

I'll assume you're not a musician, and structure our discussion accordingly.

First of all, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was based upon Sir Isaac Newton's Theory of Gravity. And in the same fashion, the Big Bang, as it is known, is based on Einstein's Relativity,

Taking the Big Bang as a starting point is a logical step in trying to retrace Einstein's steps through his calculations. Einstein was always searching for the answer to the mystery of life, in mathematical terms. We now know that as the Big Bang, and it was its origins that Einstein was apparently trying to figure out.

Remember that the Big Bang has a single, central moment in time from which all matter expanded.

Then examine Einstein's taste in music, which was almost exclusively Bach and Mozart. His musical preferences were so conservative that Schumann and Beethoven were dismissed as "suspect."

These two composers always stayed within the bounds of conventional harmony, at least in pre-Beethovenian terms, and obeyed what is known as the "tonic" key, that is, the piece always begins and ends with the same chord.

Is it not possible that Einstein was struck by some similarity between cosmic structure, and conventional tonal harmony? After all, they both begin in a central place, the universe with the Big Bang, and harmony with the tonic chord.

The central movement factor in Bach's music (and all music, for that matter) is, in general, a progression of chords called the circle of fifths, in which a group of related chords progress logically and pleasantly from one to another, returning to the first chord (the tonic) so that the piece has a sense of balance.

Perhaps it was this musical "balance" that Einstein was seeking in his cosmic models.

If there were some cosmic factor as simple and elegant as musical harmony, one can see Einstein's attraction to it, and ardent search for it.

A similar question would be, "What makes Bach's music so satisfying?" The answer might be, "It has a sense of balance as it moves from one element to another."

When one considers modern films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which music was the main form of the alien's communication, it is not such a far stretch to see some similarity between musical structure and cosmic structure.

Is this similarity what Pythagoras called, 2500 years ago, the "Harmony of the Spheres?"

The next time you look at the stars, think of the perfect form of Bach's music, and consider that both the stars and the music may be made according to exactly the same principles.

By John Aschenbrenner Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press All Rights Reserved

See also EINSTEIN'S GYPSY VIOLIN

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4. 132 page TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP Book, 56 minute DVD Video and removable stickers 

5. 141 page THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER Book with 130 songs, and removable stickers 

6. 88 page EASY CLASSICAL PIANO BY NUMBER Book with 10 songs, and removable stickers, and 29 minute Play Along Audio CD 

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Our Play Along Audio CDs are an important element in making the piano fun for kids, and are produced by Grammy Award winner (Sesame Street) Joe Castellon. 

Our colorful books and videos have been created by Emmy Award winning composer and teacher John Aschenbrenner and are guaranteed to get your child happily started at the piano.

Digitally engineered and mastered, these high quality educational recordings include fun, familiar songs that children love to hear and play along with, and are sure to give hours of musical enjoyment, entertainment and guidance to your child.

Special thanks to these schools recently joining our growing list of organizations using PIANO BY NUMBER:

Primrose Day School, Jumping Jacks Preschool, Valley Elementary, Kid's Korner, Play All Day Nursery School, Children's Development Center,  Springfield Child Time

If you're not sure what book is right for your child, email us at info@pianoiseasy.com and we will be glad to help you.

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