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UNIVERSAL VIBRATIONS

WELCOME TO URBANICITY
SENSING URBANITY
LISTENING FOR WORDS
VIEWING IMAGES OF MYSTERY
LOVING MUSIC
READING FOR LIVING
CELEBRATING THE MIND
TRAVELING TO EXPLORE
SEARCHING THE FUTURE
MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Decorated flutes from mammoth bones have been found in Cro-Magnon settlements in Europe. Castanets and other percussive instruments were made 30,000 years ago.

Music has always been the binding force in human societies. There has never been a culture without it. Many traditions regard sound as sacred, as the primal rhythmic forces that harmonize the universe.

Pythagoras, in the 6th century BC, found that sound is subject to mathematical laws and proportions– and that music is linked to all phenomena: the seasons, tides, and the balance and dischords of the human spirit. He considered music to be the sound of mathematics.

He experimented by hanging different weights on strings of adjustable lengths, and plucked strings so as to produce different sounds. He discovered that the shorter the string, the higher the note. Halving the length of a vibrating string produced a note one octave higher.

Combinations of notes when the string lengths were in ratios 1:1, 1:2, 2:3, etc., he found, were pleasing to the ear. The belief that numbers possess such meaning remained associated with the study of musical harmony for nearly 2,000 years.

The ancient Chinese believed that music was the basis of everything, that all civilizations were shaped and molded according to the kind of music performed. According to Confucius, if the music changed, then society itself would change.

In Hinduism, the god Shiva Nataraj represents the vibrations of all matter. The patterns of Shiva’s choreography translate into musical harmonies: the changing of the seasons, the structure of snowflakes, sunflowers, and crystals. In Hindu tradition, rhythmic vibration is not just an element of creation. Rather, creation is rhythm. An ancient Sanscrit hymn has it that "your body is a sacred vibration."

Aristotle argued that each celestial body produces musical tones that depend on the distance and speed of the star to earth.

The ancient Greeks believed that the circular movement of the stars was a sonic harmony– and that music was the union of word and sound as an inseparable unit.

This led to the theory of the ‘music of the spheres,’ wherein cosmic music accompanied the heavenly spheres in their revolving dances.

Ancient belief systems might easily be seen as the transmigration of rythmic patterning  to current scientific research such as quantum mechanics, and wave and string theories.

(Notes are paraphrased excerpts from "Einstein’s Violin," by Joseph Eger)

         

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