I need your help.

I'm a physics grad student, but I've always really loved music. So for the past few months, I've been interning with this Italian piano maker - I don't want to say his name here. He's very passionate about music, thinks of it like it's own language. But he's always really paranoid; he keeps the windows shut and locked at all times, doors locked, and he repeatedly looks over his shoulder whenever he's working on something. Of course I thought all of this was normal, just an old guy concerned about his pianos. Until yesterday, that is.

The last thing I remember is opening the door to our file room. Then darkness.

I woke up in some big hall, like a ballroom or something. I have no idea how long I was out for, but I still had my backpack and nothing seemed to be missing from it. There was this piano - it wasn't in the room I was in, it sounded far away. But it was playing this melody over and over again, and stomping. I was able to record it with my phone the 2nd or 3rd time it played.

Of course I ran out of there and through the streets for what seemed like hours before I saw a landmark I recognized, ironically enough a piano store. While in there I noticed a crumpled up piece of paper in my pocket. I definitely didn't write this, and I don't know who did. Maybe it's some sort of code? Or maybe this old dude's just insane. Either way, I want out of here. Here's a picture I took of the paper:

enter image description here

Here's what the actual text says:

Fpu cyf ip kbnils. Mqyf dcuhet aiap fpu tlblkgf. Tylota mput oputz bnf fpu ohz bg kfaf. Fpu plfd vv bcv xviermy. Vofsg wforsf, tjlz kpvx yqb, uhgf lnqd fvgyztjpog cipuv fpu. Ku prfls tq zvrxpwe avv mwzu lkzuep ap mg cfra jmoulmy.

2, 737495, 611, 1113620949182786, 736483, 14839, 27027468745970, 611, 176658196, 45284547, 734855825239233

Cz J tcbhhv fpu ypuh cuz pklde - fldoowpsg pu ipap iv'z dopzuivbfnv wbrvz bnf spom upt ca xhca uhgf brg ivt yobt vofy tlqrgzfnv.
Aie dltt qm muer uo avv.


Oh, and there's this new weird file on my desktop, which looks like it was made in MS Paint or something:

enter image description here

It just seems to be different parts of the same FM7 chord over and over again. I asked the owner of the store if he recognized it from any piece and he just told me "Hah! Quella non è musica!". And the weirdest part - while I'm in the piano store, typing this post, some hooded Italian guy comes up to me and says that it's my turn to play whenever I'm ready.

Is that a code too? What do I play?

I can't stop thinking about that melody...

  • $\begingroup$ Could it not be an am7 chord? $\endgroup$
    – tyobrien
    Mar 17, 2018 at 15:36
  • $\begingroup$ @tyobrien An am7 has a g as the 7th $\endgroup$
    – Nico A
    Mar 17, 2018 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ It is an am7 in bass clef and FM7 in treble clef. You didn’t specify. $\endgroup$
    – tyobrien
    Mar 17, 2018 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ @tyobrien You're right, I did assume. It could be either, then. $\endgroup$
    – Nico A
    Mar 17, 2018 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ It would be an em7 in tenor clef. There are other C-clefs it could be written in as well. $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2018 at 18:57

1 Answer 1



The paper's first and third sections are a

Vigenere cipher with the key "bach" decoding to:

You are in danger. More danger than you realize. Twenty four hours and you may be dead. You need to act quickly. These people, they know you, they know everything about you. In order to survive you must listen to me very closely.

As I taught you with any piece - decompose it into it's constituent parts and look not at what they are but what they represent.
The best of luck to you.

  • $\begingroup$ Ah - I see your edit. That's right, although there's a way to get to "bach" other than guessing. $\endgroup$
    – Nico A
    Mar 17, 2018 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ The BACH musical motif, right? $\endgroup$ Mar 18, 2018 at 12:50

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