Most musical instruments are capable of playing more than one note a time. This is typically referred to as a “chord.”
Unfortunately, the list of chords is relatively small and well-understood (Fig 1): once music students learn them, they won’t have any more aspirational chord-learning goals, and will surely become demoralized.
We can take inspiration from Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah, which begins with “…I’ve heard there was a secret chord…” . Unfortunately, the specific secret chord in question is never revealed, so we’ll have to just create our own new set of “secret” chords.
These will use letters beyond just A, B, C, D, E, F, and G; perhaps even including Greek letters, Chinese characters, ancient Sumerian cuneiform.
There’s only one problem: what would these new esoteric chords actually be? For one possibility, see Figure 2.
Unfortunately, it’s not clear how additional “forbidden chords” could be created for instruments like the piano, where the internal workings are somewhat isolated from the user, and thus resistant to the shenanigans described in Figure 2.
By motivating music students with the tantalizing secret of forbidden knowledge, we can improve national musical education!
PROS: Motivates music students. If the “strum in two locations” system in Figure 2 is adopted, musical efficiency (notes per seconds) is increased by 100%, which should give our nation a competitive edge in the creative arts.
CONS: None! This is entirely practical, and should be adopted immediately.