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Darwin-L Message Log 5:64 (January 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<5:64>From sctlowe@kraken.itc.gu.edu.au  Wed Jan 12 00:04:53 1994

Date: Wed, 12 Jan 1994 16:01:28 +1000 (EST)
From: Ian Lowe <I.Lowe@sct.gu.edu.au>
Subject: Beethoven's 5th and the BBC
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

My memory is that Roberto Barbieri, who pointed out that the opening notes
of Beethoven's 5th Symphony opened BBC news broadcasts during World War
II, and Ruth Solie, who noted that three dots and a dash are Morse code
for V [for victory], are both right.  In other words, the music was
chosen to open the news broadcasts because of the happy coincidence with
the Morse code symbol for the letter V.  The motif became a symbol of
resistance - and one it was impossible to suppress, being the work of a
great German composer!

I confess to having been quite young at the time, but I read that
explanation in the 1940s...

Ian Lowe
[neither a musicologist nor an expert in codes!]

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