“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” (Pythagoras)
I’ve already mentioned how music affects water and, thereby, ourselves through our DNA. But what is it about music then, that makes it “the universal language of mankind” (H. Wadsworth Longfellow)?
Or, more specifically, what key to our universe does music contain?
Centuries ago, a group of mathematicians/philosophers/astrologers/etc. in Ancient Greece lead by Pythagoras came up with the first theory (or at least the first one we currently know of) that linked music to the rest of the universe and has hereby been known as Music of the Spheres or the song of the angels.
“[The Pythagoreans] saw that the . . . ratios of musical scales were expressible in numbers [and that]. . .all things seemed to be modeled on numbers, and numbers seemed to be the first things in the whole of nature, they supposed the elements of number to be the elements of all things, and the whole heaven to be a musical scale and a number.” (Aristotle)
Ok, so technically, it sounds more like the universe boils down to math instead (The Matrix, anyone?), but math = music, right? So it really is just the same thing :)
Oh, before I forget, the next few chapters on this topic involve math. However, I’m not too sure if you’re all too keen on seeing math equations (which I’d simplify a maximum and keep to a minimum) on this blog, so I’ve created a survey (see left column, below the “Subscribe To Blog” section), which will end on August 7, at midnight.
Now, let’s get back to our topic at hand.
It is said that the Pythagoreans (a secret society following the teachings of said Pythagoras) used music for a number of things, including healing (oh, did you know that studies show cows produce better milk after listening to Mozart?). But that wasn't the only application of music they used.
In ancient cosmology, the planets were seen as spheres that corresponded to different notes on a grand musical scale where the tones they emitted corresponded to the ratio of their respective orbits and rates of rotation. These had a deep impact on mathematics, architecture and art, astronomy and astrology.
How? More detailed explanations will follow in more posts.
PS: if you do already have questions though, please feel free to put them in the “Comments” section below.
PS2: don’t forget to fill out the survey on the left: math or no math in future posts?
July 21, 2009
July 20, 2009
OK, it only took me about (wait a sec, I'm counting) 7 months to figure it out, but one of the goals of creating this blog was to start discussions on the topics mentioned here. But, considering I was monitoring each and every comment on here before allowing them to show up, wel... let's just say that practice wasn't very conducive to it.
So as of today, you may now post your comments and they will immediately show on the blog. Of course, I still reserve the right to delete anything that's inappropriate (I apologize in advance if this outrages any of you, and you can give me the whole 'freedom of speech' soliloquy but this is my blog).
There you go. That's my Happy News of the day :) Enjoy!
PS: the picture's taken from Cowboy Bebop an AWESOME anime series that I watched when I still lived in Belgium. And, yes, they're making a movie out of it and Keanu Reeves is playing the lead role. Now that's going to be interesting!
July 10, 2009
Last time, I mentioned how our DNA interacted with light. Today, I’d like to talk about how it actually resonates with music.
Yeah, I know, I’m short on time today so I’m jumping right to business. Sorry, no easy intro for once :)
Why does it resonate with music? Is it because music is just a form of wave propagation that thereby interacts with the waves created by our own human system (and I’m not just talking about our eardrums here)?
Frankly, I don’t have the answer (I never really do, I just transmit hypotheses emitted by other, smarter people than me), but here are some interesting facts that I gleaned over during my book research.
1. We are mainly made out of water. Okay, nothing new, and I actually knew that before setting out to writing my book. Seriously people, I already knew that!
2. Water forms crystals when it freezes (i.e. snowflakes), and no two snowflake is ever the same (I admit it, I knew the first part of this statement, but not the second).
3. Different types of water ends up creating different types of crystals: the purer the water, the nicer the crystals are, the more polluted it is, the more deformed the crystals are until they actually stop forming (the water just freezes over without going through a nice snowflake-crystallization faze, which I find really sad, because snowflakes are sooooooooo pretty, don’t you think?)
4. When Dr. Masaru Emoto decided to test how water would respond to different types of music, guess what he found?
Ta. . .ta. . . taaaaaa. . .
The suspense is killing you, huh? Just admit it!
Okay, enough playing. This is what he found out:
1. Water subjected to beautiful, classical music (such as Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart) ended up creating beautiful, sometimes very frilly crystals.
2. Water subjected to heavy-metal music or other types that aren’t, well, peaceful, ended up creating distorted crystals that just weren’t very pretty to see (just like the Genie in Aladdin when he pretends to be coming back from the dead).
So what does this say about us? Well, consider the fact (already mentioned, I know, I know, I have a tendency to repeat myself) that we are made mainly of water. Now if we listen to “bad” music, it’s going to pollute our body (for lack of a better way to express myself--again, I’m sorry, but I am in a hurry).
Now the link with DNA? Not too sure, really. But what I can say is this: if music has that kind of influence on water molecules, imagine what it can do to smaller objects, like our DNA. . . Yeah, sca-hary stuff!
Well, while I let you ponder all this fascinating info, I’m gonna go get ready to go clubbing and, yes, I guess to pollute my body as well with all that unhealthy music :)
A better explanation for this can be found here.