THE SCIENTIFIC SORCERY OF SOUND
The art of music can be a powerful tool; it can comfort in times of sorrow, bring back memories of times past, excite the senses, and relax the savage soul.
Music surrounds us in our daily lives and is an integral part of the human experience. Since the dawn of time, mankind has utilized the ritual aspect of rthymn and harmony to heighten the senses and evoke emotional responses. Through the ages, music has evolved and metamorphisized from the primal beat of prehistory to the vast myriad of sonic genres we now have access to. During this process of musical evolution, processes developed to create music in more diverse and intricate ways.
From the Monophonic tone structures of Gregorian Plainchant developed Polyphany, from polyphany developed Counterpoint and more intricate harmonies. The Tonal Modes of the ancient Greeks were developed into the various Major and Minor Scale systems still in use today. Music has grown alongside the other artforms and sciences by becoming more technical, diverse and complex as the tools at the musicians disposal have evolved and allowed composers to explore new realms and harmonic structures based off of knowledge gained from the past, and new ideas and visions as to how music can be created.
The very fact that music surrounds us on a daily basis generally goes unappreciated by the casual listener. A scant Century ago, music was reserved for special occasions and events, and meant a night on the town to the local Opera house, Theatre, or pub depending on your social preferences. Thanks to the development of Radio and electricity by such visionary minds as Marconi and Tesla (who is credited with the creation of the Radio alongside Marconi) we now have access to music in our homes, our cars, while we ride, run, eat, sleep, and dance, music can be enjoyed just about anytime one would like.
And therein lies the rub. For when you turn on the radio, walk into that local department store, or clap your hands during Sunday sing-a-long, you are being subtly manipulated on various levels. Radio is geared towards nostalgia and peer-grouping, offering you set playlists and specific genres to keep you pigeon-holed into a regiment of recycled songs. Religious and spiritual songs on the other hand seek to move and to soothe the soul with feel good lyrics and consonant scale structures. Department stores are even more devious, as they utilize music to manipulate the mind and tempt the potential customer into spending more time and money than they had perhaps anticipated.
Ths is the art of musical manipulation. By utilizing soothing scales you can calm an individual, thereby making them more docile and open to influence. By playing music that is familiar to the listener, you can spark a connection with their past and bring that into the present. But these are but general and topical uses as to how music can be used to effect the mind. There is a deeper level even beyond what you normally hear.
Before we delve into how we can be manipulated by sound, I feel I should explain how sound is processed by the brain. The accepted range of hearing is generally considered to be between 20 to 20k hertz. Hertz is defined as a unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second. the brain perceives frequencies below the 16 to 20 hertz range as rythmic pulses, called infrasonic sound. Studies have shown that infrasonic sound can cause a range of symptoms including nausea, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, vibration of internal organs and feelings of oppression.
Another name for Infrasonic sound is U.L.F. (ultra low frequency) waves. These waves are categorized by four major cycle patterns in which the brain operates, these are the Delta (.5-3 hertz), Theta (4-7 hertz), Alpha ( 8-14 Hertz), and Beta (14 -38+hertz) waves. Delta waves are usually associated with deep sleep or extreme meditation, during this stage the brain is functioning at it's lowest or deepest level. Theta waves are associated with normal sleep and meditation stages, the mind is slightly more active though not fully conscious. Alpha Waves are generally considered to be associated with a relaxed awakened state or light meditation while Beta waves are categorized by active consciousness and alertness, generally our normal state of being.
Many sources of information will tell you that by accessing these various states, you can achieve alternate mindframes of existance; anything from lucid dreaming to out of body experience, self healing, to extra sensory perception. I will leave the exploration of these possibilities to those of you who are interested in such phenomenon. Instead, I will focus on the means to 'trick' the brain into synchronizing it's internal frequency with that of outside sound sources. This act of synchronization is called entrainment.
Entrainment is the process of synchronization, where vibrations of one object will cause the vibrations of another object to oscillate at the same rate. the most effective way of entraining the brain to sub-audible frequencies is through the usage of binary beats. Binary beats are a subtle way of fooling the brain into hearing U.L.F waves by combining higher frequency waves which when combined create a third oscillation or frequency which the mind registers as being lower that can normally be heard. The best way to describe this is to take two frequencies, say a 500 hertz wave, and a 510 hertz wave. When played simultaneously, these waves create a pulse ( if you have ever tuned a guitar or other stringed instrument, you will notice that this pulse is apparent when the two strings are slightly out of tune with each other). The brain in turn 'hears' this 10 hertz frequency as a sort of phantom sound.
Once these concepts are recognized, it can get very interesting, for by using Binary beats for extended periods of time, you can manipulate brain frequency to alter the level the brain is operating on. Music is the perfect vehicle for this type of manipulation because focus and attention are needed to achieve the maximum results. Depending on the effects you are aiming for, various frequencies can be utilized, in fact there is good reason why the minor 2nd diad is generally regarded as dissonant, as this pattern exhibits the process of binary beats most effectively.
In closing, I would like to encourage musicians and others to experiment with these concepts. I believe that with the proper usage and technique, sound can become an effective instrument for Magic and Sorcery, as well as the evocaton and manipulation of emotions. Be careful what you hear, it may be more than meets the eye.
LE' RUE DELASHAY
RULE SATANNIA Magazine, Issue #4
Le' rue Delashay...Rule Satannia Magazine, Issue #5.