On Sound & Matter
I'm intrigued about sound's effect on matter. The conclusion of this piece will lead to my own (possibly crackpot) theory about SETI and their search for alien signals via the Kepler telescope scans. If this idea of sound affecting matter tweaks your curiosity into implications about why we are where we are in our evolution, come with me to see if it's worthy of your rumination.
This began with my reading a biography, Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheny. Tesla understood things about physics and energy, and as we know, was well ahead of his time. Tesla led me to cymatics, the study of sound and its visible effects on matter, or the geometry of vibration. This in turn led to Solfeggio tones and their correspondence to Fibonacci numbers, to international concert pitch and its off-landing in 1955 and finally, to aliens and why they might be avoiding us. I know it's a nutty trajectory but bear with me.
Let's begin with cymatics. Here are two great videos about how sound affects matter by David Icke and a TED talk by Evan Grant. If you're still interested, you can watch a few more of the links, which demonstrate how sound frequencies move sand particles, salt or liquids to create amazing patterns; geometric in the former, and surreal in the latter. This makes for a really fun science experiment you can do with your kids at home, with parts you can pick up at a hardware store to more sophisticated rigs that use Chladni plates and frequency/tone generators. All you need is a space where you can get a bit messy, and a video camera to record what you see. (Trust me, you'll want to record it.) An anglepoise light would be helpful, and a C-stand to fasten the camera to, so you can point the lens toward the plate in a direct overhead shot. Here are some examples: cymatic experiment #1, #2, and #3. And here's a cymatics lesson plan for kids.
If you are interested and ambitious, you can download the six primary solfeggio tones to see how they 'look' in your experiment. Play them as loops through iTunes by connecting your computer to a speaker. Mount the speaker beneath a Chladni plate, experiment with volume, and see what patterns each tone creates. In case you're wondering why it's called a Chladni plate, Ernst Chladni, a contemporary of Beethoven and the leading acoustician of his day, defined C=256 (which is A=432) as the scientific tuning.
The six primary tones are (Latin names):
Ut(queant laxis) - 396 hz
Re(sonare fibris) - 417 hz
Mi(ra gestorum) - 528 hz
Fa(muli tuorum) - 639 hz
Sol(ve polluti) - 741 hz
La(bii reatum) - 852 hz
The Solfeggio frequencies above are all said to have corresponding healing abilities. All of these tones reduce to a 3, a 6, or a 9, and the vibrations of thirds, sixths, and ninths are extraordinarily powerful. Nicola Tesla: “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would hold a key to the universe”. When tuning instruments and A is tuned to 432hz, the frequencies across all the other notes and octaves become divisible by 3.
International Concert Pitch
A= 432 vs. A= 440
International concert pitch was not always the A= 440 tuning it is today. Beginning with Bach (who not only played organs but built them) in the 1700's, A = 432 was perfect tuning pitch for music. In 1815 Czar Alexander began messing with it and demanding the world's musicians follow suit, and in the mid-1800's, the Romantic school of composers like Liszt and Wagner championed higher pitch. By 1850 pitch chaos was in full effect across Europe and in America, going even higher than A=460 hz in Venice.
In 1884, Guiseppi Verdi worked to institutionalize A=432 in Italy, and most operas in France, New York and elsewhere in Europe maintained pitches between A=432 to A=435 from then until WWII. A=432 became known as Verdi's pitch (in Italian, La Verdiano). Verdi's music was scored/played to A=432, a decidedly smoother pitch for opera singers, especially when transitioning from chest to head voice. A=432 hz is better, rounder, more colourful for singers, and corresponds with the Golden Ratio. A=440 hz is higher yet has a duller, dampened undertone harmonic even though there is a certain brilliance in string and wind instrument tones. Musical concert pitches varied all over Europe until the 19th century and as instrumental music became more popular, pitch levels continued to rise with players competing for a brighter, more brilliant sound. For an example of how higher pitches were not kind to the vocal chords of singers, here the great baritone Piero Capullicci shows us the difference in sonic colour:
Here's a lengthier video of the conference in Italy where opera singers got together to plead for a return to La Verdiano. Renata Tebaldi is on fire in this video. Great! Disclaimer: I don't know what on earth Lyndon LaRouche has to do with this so please don't think I'm a supporter of his!
Pitch around the world wobbles along like this (between A432 -A45) until the 1930's, and here's where it gets wonky. Enter Joseph Goebbels. In 1939, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, in concert with the British Standard Association organized a conference in London to standardize concert pitch to A=440 (what a surprise! Remember, this was Wagner's pitch). No French or Italian composers were invited. The Anglo-Nazi agreement didn't last after the war broke out, but a second congress in London met in 1953 to try and impose A=440 once again. It was never written into law exactly, but the International Org. for Standardization affirmed international pitch as A=440 in 1955, and to make a long and fluctuating story short, it remains so today. :-(
Rudolf Steiner called A=440 "Luciferian" and claimed it responsible for discord on earth. Is it true that our shift to A=440 has possibly created an unhealthy effect in our consciousness? DNA oscillates to protect itself from stress. Could this change of 8hz affect the ability of our DNA to protect and regulate our genetic make-up? Let's look at Fibonacci.
Imagine if we were to use sound in the public arena to shift perception. We already do. Think about the major companies who run the airwaves choosing to dish out in heavy rotation the most violent rap music, and how it may affect a community, as one example. Here's a more benevolent use of music... on garbage pick-up day in Taiwan, people are lured out to the street with their bags of refuse by the sound of a tone-generated version of Beethoven's Für Elise, played by the garbage trucks!
Let's take this idea of sound manipulation into the mysteries of monolithic architectures. (I know it's a reach, from Taiwanese garbage to Giza.) Sorry if I'm jumping all over here... but I recently saw a program on the extraordinary churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia, which were excavated out of single pieces of granite. How could this be humanly possible? Imagine if you can make particles of sand move on a metal plate with one single source of sound, alone in a room, what does that imply if, for example, a civilization came together to do the same simultaneously? Other architectural and inexplicable wonders like Giza, Teotihuacan... could they have been created with sound? Can it be this simple and yet we've completely missed it?
Imagine sound is not a wave, as science once thought, but a bubble. Then imagine if you will, a being of an alien race completely attuned to sound, coming into the stratosphere of the earth's sound bubble, or should we say toxic noise bubble. If I were an alien I'd flee in horror! Multiply the sound of one noisy household with its family members on cellphones, ringtones, music, news broadcasts, TV, electric and microwave devices, etc., or the noises of one urban avenue at prime-noise-time, then multiply that by megalithic zillions and imagine the toxic density of the sound bubble around the earth's atmosphere. I get vertigo just thinking about it. Hence my theory that SETI will never establish contact with aliens. Any intelligent life out there would be repelled by our collective sound, and the fact that we've been completely ignorant about how to use sound to our best advantage, toward our higher evolution, for aeons.
I'll leave you with this Great Hymn to St. John the Baptist, UT QUEANT LAXIS, the six Solfeggio notes in action.
Ut queant laxis
So that your servants may resound the miracles of your creations with loosened vocal cords,
wash the guilt from our lips, Saint John.
© Adele Bertei, all rights reserved