|Music is a dreadful thing. What is it? I don't understand it. What does it do? It exalts the soul. Utter nonsense. If you hear a marching band, is your soul exalted? No, you march. If you hear a waltz, you dance. If you hear a mass, you take communion. It is the power of music.. To carry on directly to the mental state of the composer. The listener has no choice. It is like hypnotism. - From the movie Immortal Beloved|
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History of Sound Therapy
Sound has been a critical sense for preservation and well being from the time man lived in caves. Man's ability to sense sound has been helpful in everything from communication with others to alerting one to danger. The sensation of sound is one of our most primal senses, and is therefore very deeply imbedded in the brain. The brains sense of hearing is the first sense to be developed invitro, and the last sense to lose in death.
The therapeutic effects of sound and music are natural and an innate part of our being. From a mother first song to her unborn baby to the therapeutic effects of a good cry, to the eerie spine tingling sensation of fingernails scratched over a blackboard, sound affects our physical and psychological state automatically.
Pythagorias of Samos (600 BC)
Pythagorias of Samos is the earliest recorded researcher of sound we have been able to uncover. He is reported to have had deer and other animals come out from the forest to listen to him play his dulcimer.
Pythagorias is also credited with some of the first experiments into the field of sound research, specifically in string vibrations and harmonics, noting that a string could be made to vibrate a different frequencies, or harmonics, and that a string 1/2 the length would vibrate at twice the frequency.
Keppler's Music of the Spheres
Keppler is most well known for his research into the three laws of motion. However, he also is responsible for describing the "Music of the Spheres"
Newland's Law of Octaves (1865)
We have found one reference to Newland in a German paper, as the person who first described what we know as the "Law of Octaves." In essence this law, which seems to be too simple, simply states that a sound at twice or half the frequency is characteristically the same and the fundamental frequency.
You might better understand the law of octaves when you think about the notes in our western musical scales. All of the notes that are half, or twice the frequency of on another have the same name, e.g., F, C, G#, etc.
Chiandi and Hans Jenny
Chiandi and Hans Jenny both continued to scientifically expand on our knowledge of sound, harmonics, and the effect of vibration by vibrating various shaped objects, and examining the modal vibration patterns created in the object. Their work has continued to be developed by Dr. Guy Manners in the UK.
German Research in WWII
We have run across some spotty reports that the Germans started researching sound therapy in its modern sense during World War II, and that it has continued in Russia and the Eastern European Countries. Please share any information or documentation you find relating to this or other early sound researchers.
Modern Day Researchers
Modern day research into sound has continued around the world, from musician's like Stephen Halpern and Jonathan Goldman to scientific endeavors like Tomatis and us.
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The information published on this web site is for entertainment purposes only and is in no way intended to dispense medical advice or opinion or to substitute for professional medical care, whether advice, diagnosis or treatment, by a medical practitioner. If you have a medical issue or feel ill, you should consult a health care professional.