On the Nature of Music
When Beethoven composed his “Pastoral Symphony” (#6), he was inspired by the vibrational frequencies of the forest as he walked, meditating, contemplating. The light, sounds, fragrances, feelings all were vibrating in his consciousness as he received them. His being saw and felt and heard, but even more than that, when the connection was made, Beethoven became aware of music beckoning to be composed and as a musician, knew that this was his to do. Hundreds of years later, that music continues to bring Beethoven’s vision to light.
When Moses heard that voice within as he walked in the wilderness, a burning bush illuminated and brought light to the words, and immediately he knew he had to listen to and pay heed to what he was hearing and seeing. This “knowing” differs from sensational knowing in that there is no ear, mouth, nose or eye needed to interpret or translate. In fact, there is no meaning; it just knows that it knows that it knows that what is spoken is the truth. Moses received the light of the burning bush and the words of God through the same channel that inspired Beethoven to compose that heavenly music.
Humans have heard music throughout their lives. It resonates with us because it vibrates our souls and we remember because it orchestrated our lives, filling us and inspiring us even when we were young and open to all life had to offer. We were in high school, college, getting married, etc. and music was all around; but more than just hearing the songs, the music vibrated us at diverse frequencies that know and resonate with our own unique frequencies. The full range of musical tones vibrate at faster/slower and/or higher/lower frequencies, as experienced when the violinist connects a bow with a violin to create a sound.
Theoretically Western music is based on the idea that tones vibrate at specific frequencies in the overtone series as postulated by Pythagoras. Imagine the fundamental tone “A”. This is the lowest A on any 88 key keyboard. It vibrates at 110 Hz, causing sympathetic vibration of higher frequencies. These are called harmonic overtones. The first one is an octave above the fundamental; it is also an A, but it vibrates at 220 Hz, 2:1. The second overtone is an octave and a perfect fifth above the fundamental. It is the fifth tone in the scale of A major (A B C# D E F# G# A) which is “E”. The second overtone vibrates at 330 Hz, 3:1. And on and on.
When the music elicits from us a response of “this is so good”, “ah, this feels right”, “how her voice pierces my heart”, etc., it has connected in a way that makes us feel all is well in the soul. It fits like a glove. On the other hand, music can feel not so good. It can elicit human responses ranging from dislike to disgust and even the emotions of hate and anger. It can frighten us or make us want to fight to defend our countries. As I sit in my garden, I am aware of the many sounds floating in and out. I am present in the being-ness of right here and right now. The sounds of the barking dogs, wafting breeze, chain saw, birds, running waterfall, etc., all join together. In no time, my consciousness has become a symphony, populated by diverse vibrational emanations which entered my being. My being receives it all at once and vibrates as it connects. Now I reflect and meditate on the very idea of how it enters my being.
My ears receive the sounds that I claim to hear. However, I feel the sound as well. I not only hear the sounds, but my being vibrates by them at specific frequencies which elicit responses at the soul level just like the music of Beethoven. When we hear a familiar bird tweet, it is recognizable and we search our memories to identify it. Perhaps it entered our memory files at a very early age. Now, when I hear that sound again, some inner feeling causes me to smile and relax as I allow it into my consciousness.
As I breathe in through my nose, fragrances of lavender, sage and rosemary fill me along with the sounds. Even my eyes join the party as they breathe in clouds appearing as dog-angels in the bright winter sky. As I breathe, see, hear and feel, I remember that this is a good way to be. The sounds resonate with my vibrating being again. I breathe in again. My senses, operating all at once, take in everything. My body breathes as it is warmed by the sun. My soul experiences the essence of life in this moment as earth’s vibrations create the music I hear.