Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Is There A Physics To Musical Healing?

I recently received a fascinating email from a reader who saw some of my blogs writings about musical healing, and about how writing and singing the music for The Last Session, had a measurably healing effect on my body.

From Stuart Vail:


I had a chance to read some of your writings online and was intrigued by what you had to say about the healing aspects of music. You may be interested in an editorial I wrote in my Internet magazine, of which this is an excerpt:

A French scientist who became interested in the connection between frequencies and sound discovered that a molecule can be broken down into a chain of amino acids, each possessing its own frequency, which is a vibration measured in cycles per second. In music, the "A" above middle "C" resonates at 440 cycles per second, therefore any molecule can be translated into musical terms. The scientist analyzed the frequencies of the amino acid chain for the molecule prolactin, a milk-inducing hormone, and notated the resulting melodic pattern. The melody was then played to a group of cows for eleven minutes every hour for a week. The cows then began to produce the largest quantity of milk anyone had ever seen, and it was by far the sweetest -- yielding the most flavorful cheese anyone had ever tasted.

Imagine the good that can come of this. The healing powers of music, written with the proper "amino acid/melodic relationships," could be wildly phenomenal. But, consider the potential for evil. In the 1930s the famous Argentinean tango composer, Carlos Gardel, composed a tango with a haunting melody which had a very strange effect on people. Many who heard it became severely depressed. There was a documented case of someone who jumped out of a window to her death. The French scientist analyzed the melody and, reversing the process, determined what chain of amino acids would be created by the melodic frequencies. The result was a drug that is a known major depressant.

How was Gardel to know? Imagine the power of music -- its powers to soothe, seduce, and heal. But with knowledge of molecular structures and their frequency relationships one could conceivably create melodies designed to kill. As of this writing, the French government has confiscated all of the scientist's research and has prohibited any further work on his part to this end.

Copyright 2001 by Stuart Vail


Here is the full piece:
What do you think, reader? Is there a conspiracy afloat to keep a medication based on vibrations out of the market or is this a theory for Snopes to figure out? I'm not sure if I fully believe that vibrations can be turned into a medication as in the above story, but I do know what music did for me -- and what's done for countless others. I like what he says here at the end of his editorial:
Imagine a rhythm started by one person playing a conga drum at the pace of an average heartbeat. A neighbor hears the rhythm and joins in, perhaps playing a tambourine. Another plays along on a tom-tom. Someone else down the street adds to the rhythm with hand claps. Soon, the entire block is involved in a rhythmic jam session, pulsing out a groove for the rest of the neighborhood to hear. Others join in, and the beat travels to outlying areas. Entire communities become united in one collective rhythm. Like “Hands Across America” the country is soon linked coast-to-coast with a national heartbeat. It spreads across both borders into Mexico and Canada. Via telephone lines and satellite the beat travels overseas to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia. The earth pulses with a unifying world beat. Every country is of one people, vibrating at the same frequency. Global entrainment. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine the potential.

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