Anyone who has learned to play the piano will tell you the first lesson begins with locating middle C. Most of us first play that note with our right thumb since we can easily progress up the scale from there with our other fingers.
Middle C is the first note in the C Major scale. A scale consists of seven notes completed by the first, one octave higher to make eight notes in all plus twelve semitones.
In the Bible, numbers work like a silent code in the background of the narrative. Knowing something about these numbers can help us unlock meaning in all kinds of apparently everyday things. Like music.
Three for example is the number of the Trinity, or Father Son and Holy Spirit. This incredible number mirrors many aspects of our existence. For example: birth, life, death; past, present, future; Jesus spent three days in the tomb; the moon's dark phase lasts three days; the three phases of a woman's life, etc. From a mathematical point of view three gave birth to all the numbers above it. For example: 3+1=4; 3+2=5; 3+3=6; 3+4=7; 3+5=8; 3+6=9.
As you may have noticed, from a logical standpoint, the center of the piano ought to be A. ABCDEFG. instead it is C, the third note alphabetically. I like to think that C Stands for Christ. He is at the beginning of the scale as he is at the beginning of life. Then as the scale progresses and the music plays it completes on C, reminding us that Christ is at the end of life. C is the central note on the piano, so Christ is at the center of life.
Four is an important number also in the Bible. The four seasons; the four winds; four points of the compass; the forty years wandering in the wilderness and Jesus's forty days fasting in the desert. As three represents heaven, four connects to earth. Together they add up to the perfect number seven which represents humanity and divinity, completing to eight, the number of Resurrection .
So seven represents man, being the first number to contain three and four, the heavens and the earth, spirit with flesh. The mummification process in ancient Egypt took seventy days, thirty days of cleansing with water and forty days of drying. This process was behind of the idea of baptism, representing as it did a burial to the old and a preparation for the new. The gospel story of Jesus expands and clarifies this thought by announcing that if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, old things have passed away and become new. It goes further to proclaim that we are all one in him.
So music tells us that Christ is at the beginning, center and end of life and that he makes all things new.
Finally, we should consider the number twelve, since there are twelve semitones in music. Let's start the list... Twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the day, twelve hours of the night, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles, twelve gates to the New Jerusalem, twelve foundation stones, etc... Whereas seven is the result of 3+4, twelve is the result of 3x4. It represents multiplication, it's a powerful symbol of expansion and growth, of God walking in the world in mankind, his Church. The beginning of immense possibility. It's also the number of inclusion and completeness. Family, belonging.
What we hear then in music is first the content: Christ. Then the message: eternal life for all in Him and finally the distribution system: you and I, his people who spread the good news throughout the world.