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Bach's Musical Offering


Professor Carl Sagan understood that to communicate our greatest thoughts, one needed music. In it, logic and beauty can become singular, inseparable. The Voyager missions, which launched the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 into interstellar space, was the professor's most poetic expression of this idea. J.S. Bach, who reveled in musical thinking, was Sagan's kindred spirit. For Bach, The Musical Offering may be the composer's most whimsical expression of the idea. In it, the performer is offered games and riddles, challenged to understand the logic of music and, thus, to discover beauty. We enjoy thinking of this today, especially, as the beauty of Pluto is beamed back using the language of science. 

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