News Archive

Making Music Out of Names
Posted 10/11/2017 05:50PM

What's in a name? Ask any ninth grade student enrolled in the new Upper School Concert Band course  and they will tell you: a melody! During their first few rehearsal periods together last month, the musicians learned about musical cryptography while reviewing and demonstrating important rhythmic and tonal concepts with Dr. Aaron Patterson. Each musician encoded their name into corresponding pitches A through G and selected a clef, meter, and rhythmic patterns. The results led to unique musical signatures!

Did you know you can encode your name into a one-of-a-kind tune? Try it! Follow the instructions posted in the pictures below. If you feel particularly daring, consider encrypting your name in a more complex fashion: German composers J.S. Bach and Schumann composed with H = B-natural and S = E-flat. Why? In Robert German solfege (do, re, mi, etc.), H is B and Es is E-flat -- and B is B-flat. Bach created entire fugues from his last name...B-flat, A, C, B-natural.  Other composers who have experimented with musical cryptography are Dmitri Shostakovich, Edward Elgar, and Franz Liszt. Amazingly, however, encoding names or words into music was first invented during the Middle Ages!

Check out these budding Bay Ridge Prep composers' coded creations on the walls of the lower level stairwell near the main entryway of the Upper School.

Can you deduce who wrote which melody?

Founded in 1998, Bay Ridge Prep is an independent, K-12 college preparatory school offering exceptional courses and intimate class sizes in a socially-mature and positive environment.



  • 8101 Ridge Boulevard
  • Brooklyn, New York 11209
  • Tel: 718.833.9090
  • Fax: 718.833.6680
  • 7420 Fourth Avenue
  • Brooklyn, New York 11209
  • Tel: 718.833.5839
  • Fax: 718.833.1043


Bay Ridge Prep is an independent, private, co-ed, day school accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Serving students in Kindergarten thru Grade 12 from all across the New York City area, Bay Ridge Prep is located in Brooklyn and dedicated to enriching intellectual curiosity, creativity, and emotional intelligence through a student-centered community that values the unique talents and learning styles of each person.



About Us

Bay Ridge Prep is a co-ed, K-12 independent school in Brooklyn, New York, that is home to 400 students and over 100 faculty spread across two buildings.  With a student-centered environment and fresh approach to education, Bay Ridge Prep provides an enriching academic experience in a socially mature environment.


Bay Ridge Prep is selective in admissions and prospective students go through a formal application process.  What we look for most in an applicant is a student who will benefit from our programs and make a positive impact on our community.


Bay Ridge Prep students get their first taste of hands-on learning in Kindergarten, when they become owners and operators of their own bakery.  By high school, they are deeply engaged in courses like Science, Research & Design - a three-year class that offers the opportunity to conduct original, independent research.


Led by experienced arts educators with advanced degrees in art, music and theater, the arts program recognizes that creative expression is a vital and integral part of a student’s development.


Home to nine championships in the last seven years, Bay Ridge Prep Athletics offers students an opportunity to explore physical challenges and develop leadership and teamwork skills.

Student Life

Student life is more than just classes, clubs and team sports.  Bay Ridge Prep is proactive in making every day life for students engaging, positive and enjoyable. 


Giving to Bay Ridge Prep has a profound impact on the daily lives of our students and helps give the school's administration the flexibility and financial resources to address spontaneous needs in and out of the classroom such as undertaking new programs and facility upgrades.


Bay Ridge Prep Alumni can be found everywhere.  Our newest alums are at some of the best colleges and graduate programs in the country and older alums are professionals in the fields of medicine, law, media, education, finance and more.

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