Can the singing of melodies and harmonies based on the Natural Scale produce a marked increase in sensory awareness, intellectual perception, and emotional harmony?
The evidence clearly affirms such an hypothesis, and an experiment is being organized to test it.
The Natural Scale consists of the notes from the Natural Harmonic Sequence, and has never been used or explored by any race or tradition in recorded history. The Sequence is shown in the table below right, and it should be noted that the notes of the modern scale are only approximations to the corresponding harmonics, as explained in another document on this site.
|THE NATURAL HARMONIC SEQUENCE|
Chinese and Japanese music is based on the five-note Pentatonic Scale. In spite of having discovered papermaking, metallurgy, gunpowder, the compass, and many other valuable crafts and artefacts long before European civilization, the Chinese never evolved the scientific vision and insights of modern Europe.
The Greeks, too, used the Pentatonic Scale, but the Pythagorean extension of it included a Seventh that is woefully dissonant, presenting Greek musicians and philosophers with a mystery that they never successfully resolved. Greek science included many insights unknown to the Chinese, but deeply flawed by a predilection for theistic attribution and submission.
The Indians, by contrast, devised musical scales with up to twenty-two notes per octave, many in the upper register of the scale, but none tuned consistently pure during performance. They evolved a far broader intellectual tradition than either the Chinese or the Greeks, but similarly flawed for similar reasons.
By the tenth century, European culture had evolved to a stage somewhat equal to the early phases of Chinese and Indian civilizations. During the following six centuries, European music followed a course of development that is unique in recorded history, creating pure and powerful harmonies by massed choirs with acoustic structures far more complex than any before or since. These included pure Thirds; Fourths and Sixths that were at least consonant; a Seventh consonant with the Fifth; and the ability to modulate freely across the whole compass of the scale, all sung with a technical precision and vocal expertise that was and remains extraordinary. These remarkable musical achievements preceded and paralleled similar achievements in empire-building, technology, and, during the seventeenth century and beyond, scientific developments far exceeding anything else known to history.
Is all of this just chance coincidence, a freak accident of human evolution that may never be repeated, or are there natural causes as yet unrecognized that altered and evolved human consciousness as a direct consequence of the inspiration, dedication and conviction inspired by these musical arts?
At a time when our world is in turmoil, when anger, distrust and hatred dominate so many lives, to discard so valuable an insight, should it be true, would surely be an unparalleled tragedy. Can it, in fact, be proved? Such a question cannot yet be answered, but it can certainly be put to the test on the basis of the fact stated above, that the notes of the Fourth and Fifth Octaves of the Natural Harmonic Sequence have never been used as a musical scale by any race or tradition known to history.
Well-documented evidence from similar activities suggests that, if groups of people gather to sing music based on this scale, members of those groups should observe definite effects within a few months, and permanent changes within a year.
Additional evidence also shows that our individual psychic mechanisms are influenced by the acoustic structures of music to which we are repeatedly exposed, suggesting that we have available a potent method of enhancing and directing our psychic evolution, both individually and collectively, and thereby of turning our desperate world away from strife and conflict onto the path of peace, goodwill, and forebearance.
An experiment to test these suggestions could anticipate the following:
The evidence referred to above is drawn from a wide spectrum of information and is difficult to abridge, but the following excerpts from EarthSong (Carl Adams 2004 ISBN 0-9751917-0-5) cover the main points.
The recent acceptance of Oriental treatments such as acupuncture by many Western societies resulted from repeated and consistent success by their practitioners, in spite of the fact that no accepted basis exists within Western science for explaining them. This is but one of several instances where practical considerations have overruled theoretical shortcomings. Another is the thirty year history of Military Remote Viewing, the use of trained clairvoyants for military espionage, and the new scientific field of psi phenomena to which it gave rise that is now at the forefront of research in many countries.
The Indian and Chinese traditions have long taught of the existence of energy currents and structures within living organisms that are undetectable visually or with instruments. They can, however, be sensed directly within one's own body by anyone willing to undertake the necessary training. These teachings can be used as a basis for experimental investigation if it is recognized that they are quite ancient, derive from different schools and periods, and often appear to be inconsistent or contradictory for several reasons. Nor do they represent the final word or unchanging truths, but when combined with the very powerful techniques and insights of modern science, they suggest possibilities far more valuable than might be supposed.
A convenient beginning can be made with the Indian Vedic chakra system that is much in vogue with Western New Age enthusiasts (Figure 1). The shape and structure of the cerebrospinal system in all creatures, and especially in Man, corresponds very closely with those of an antenna system in electrical engineering, and the supposition of a resonating energy flow of some kind within it is amply justified. Moreover, this energy flow can be sensed directly if suitable exercizes are practised for a time. Many Western students have advocated a correspondence between the seven Vedic chakras and the seven notes of the modern Major Scale, but this suggestion fails to demonstrate anything convincing or useful on closer investigation. Basic musical mathematics shows that the most important note after the fundamental (DO) is the Perfect Fifth (SO) at a ratio of 3:2. This would presumably correspond with the most important chakra, that associated with the thoracic cavity, heart, and lungs, without which the body cannot live. Instead, it falls opposite the throat, an anatomical structure of far less significance. The upper node (DO') is missing, a serious theoretical defect if a resonating energy flow is presumed to be present. What is seldom realized by those who adopt these teachings from books or inexperienced teachers is that several additional chakras are mentioned in the Vedic texts, the seven selected representing only one of many schools of thought. The head contains a number of important organs - brain, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and tongue - and two chakras seems quite inadequate to explain the major functions performed by them. The Chinese teachings on which acupuncture relies for its success postulate a much more intricate network of energy centres and channels. Where in all of this can truth be found?
A scientific approach requires an hypothesis derived from known facts and a means of subjecting it to rigorous tests. The existence of a resonating energy flow between the base of the spine and the top of the head (Figure 2a) requires that these two points be nodes of the implied waveform - that is, points of minimum motion. This corresponds to the First Octave of the Natural Harmonic Sequence containing only the Root and the Octave, and suggests investigating the results of adding nodes in sets derived from each higher octave.
The Second Octave contains Root, Fifth and Octave. Adding an antinode at the position of the Fifth (Figure 2b), the point of maximum dynamic energy in the First Octave, gives a correspondence with the Second Octave. It falls within the thoracic cavity, and it is reasonable to assume that the energy extracted from the raw creative energy in the spine at this point is used by the heart and lungs, the two bodily organs that vibrate slowly and ceaselessly throughout the whole life of the organism, even during sleep and unconsciousness. We experience this energy transformation as desire or emotion.
Proceeding to the Third Octave (Figure 2c) suggests energy centres within the abdominal (MI) and oral (TI) cavities. The intestine is the source of bodily nutrition, and the mouth, nose and gullet provide passages for the ingestion of foodstuffs and atmospheric respiration. The Fourth Octave adds four more centres located close to the seminal organs (RE - prostate in men and ovaries in women), stomach (FA), vocal chords (LA) and eyes (SE, a term used for a note that is missing from the modern Major Scale). The primary antinodes DO and DO' are not only the "anchor points" of all of these waveforms, but also the junction of the psychic world (i.e. consciousness) with the physical (DO) and spiritual (DO') worlds. The fact that these are the two areas where body hair grows most profusely suggests that this hair is a physical manifestation of whatever energy exchange is occurring in these regions.
It will be noticed that the centres in the diagram are biassed towards the top of the body. This is because the proportion of each interval grows less as the scale ascends, as given in the right-hand column of the table below. It seems that by following the Natural Harmonic Sequence and moving up an octave at a time, we obtain credible correspondences between the harmonics and the major organ systems of the body, and, moreover, in a sequence suggesting their possible evolutionary emergence. Additional centres can be postulated corresponding to the Fifth and higher octaves, and if it is remembered that this is a simplified, diagrammatic two-dimensional representation of a complex, living three-dimensional organism, the close and consistent agreement between well-established facts about energy structures and major physiological systems is surely remarkable.
|RATIOS IN THE NATURAL SCALE|
|Interval||R||R - 1||(R - 1)/ Sum|
|C' - B||16:15||0.0667||0.0919|
|B - Bb||15:14||0.0714||0.0984|
|Bb - A||14:13||0.0769||0.1060|
|A - G||13:12||0.0833||0.1149|
|G - F||12:11||0.0909||0.1253|
|F - E||11:10||0.1000||0.1379|
|E - D||10:9||0.1111||0.1532|
|D - C||9:8||0.125||0.1723|
These correspondences are all the more remarkable when it is realized that they can be used to predict racial characteristics. The most common musical scale used by civilized but warlike peoples is the Pentatonic. Deriving from a sequence of Perfect Fifths, the Fifth and Second of this scale are pure, but other notes are deficient. The Fourth, Seventh and Eighth are missing, the Third is sharp, and the Sixth properly belongs to the Fifth Octave. A study of these facts leads to the conclusion that the intellectual development of such races will not evolve beyond a certain stage. As remarked above, this is certainly so in the case of the Chinese, who made many important discoveries at an early date but were unable to progress to true scientific insight. The Pythagorean Scale of the Greeks is essentially a Pentatonic Scale with a dissonant Seventh added, implying a more acute intellectual capacity than the Chinese, albeit somewhat defective. The further addition of chromatic ("black") notes in European music suggests an overall higher degree of evolution, and the purity of the intervals prior to the introduction of equal temper in the eighteenth century suggests high aspirations and unquestioning conviction.
The modern equal-tempered scale does not contain any pure intervals other than the octaves, and as it grew in popularity during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, so too did the power and influence of music based upon it decline as the emotions evoked grew more coarse, sentimental and mundane. Today, equal temper is all but ubiquitous, natural tunings only surviving in ethnic and traditional styles. The offensive vulgarity, banality and lack of inspiration that characterize so much modern music are logical deductions from these considerations.
Modern electronics now offers us the unique opportunity of exploring the effects of a new and untried musical scale. If the suggestions contained in this article should prove to be well-founded, we may be entering on an age in which we are able, consciously and deliberately, to direct the course of our own evolution instead of relying, as do the lower creatures, on blind chance and the limited capabilites of Nature unaided by wisdom and intellectual insight. The proposed experiment is surely justified by such a promise.
- Adapted from Chapter 14 of EarthSong