THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
Have you ever really thought very much about music? Have you ever wondered what it is or why it sounds so good or not-so-good to us? Have you ever noticed how it can create, enhance, or alter our emotions? Have you ever turned on you television set to a horror show, turned down the sound, and then played waltzes, calypsos, sambas, or pleasing rock on your hi-fi to accompany the picture?
The musical scale is so old we don't know where or when it began. In ancient Sumer we find the oldest known written music and the oldest known references to our twelve note scale. We changed the scale a bit not long ago, adopting an "A" pitch equal to 440 Hertz (cycles per second) as a standard in lieu of the old C-equal-to-256-Hertz scale. This change sharped the scale (moved it upward in frequency) a little bit, but not much. It is still about the same as it was in ancient Sumer.
Music does something to us emotionally. Hitler used martial music to hypnotize his people into aggression. Churches use hymns to win people over and to comfort them. Rock bands hypnotize people in another way. Regardless of the purpose, music can usually aid it.
On the other hand, have you ever wondered how astrology works - why the positions of the planets can alter your emotions, your thoughts, and your physical body? Could there be a relationship between music and astrology? Is there a part or parts of your body that respond to planets' positions by sensing changes in frequencies (vibrations) caused be the planets moving in respect to the 23.5" tilt of the earth that causes our seasons?
Recently, the Siberian hamster was a subject of research to determine how this animal could maintain its cyclic activity. It was discovered that only when the nerves between the hamster's pineal gland and his hypothalamus were cut, would he lose that cycle sensitivity which is so necessary for his survival.
Humans also have pineal glands and hypothalami. Our pineal gland is the only known non-dual part of the brain area. It was long thought to be a "third eye" and is now known to interact with other parts of the brain and eyes through both neural (nerve) and endocrine (hormonal) activity. It appears to be sensitive to electromagnetic vibrations. The hypothalamus is a coordinating area of the brain which is in contact either directly or indirectly with nearly every other part of the brain and the endocrine system as well. Thus, by means of the hypothalamus, your entire body can be affected in many ways. The hypothalamus can be affected by vibration-sensing mechanisms. Vibrations that exist in musical octaves and pitches throughout the entire frequency spectrum (from zero to the highest known frequencies) can affect the vibration-sensing mechanisms.
The brain and the vibration-sensing mechanisms are connected in such a way that the ear or eye can be used as a dominant sensing device to affect the hypothalamus, which then affects your emotional/mental/physical systems - which means that the psychology of music and color is at least similar that of astrology. This similarity is seldom positively exploited to overcome deficiencies in a horoscope because people prefer to play music and to see colors that reinforce rather than oppose their feelings. To understand just how music, color, and astrology relate, it is necessary to understand more about the nature of music.
Several years ago, it was discovered that music can be written to constantly rise or to constantly descend in pitch. Constant rising at a slow rate produced optimism in the listeners. Constant descending at a slow rate produced pessimism. Constant rising at a faster rate produced suspense. And constant descending at a faster rate produced despair. How can this be?
Pitch is not the same as frequency. Frequency is the number of times each second that a sound wave slaps our eardrums. Pitch, on the other hand, is a classification for a frequency such as A, B, C, or one of the other musical notes in our twelve-note scale. Pitch is most easily understood if we start at the beginning. And the beginning is with something called an octave.
Octave comes from a Latin word meaning eighth. In an octave are found eight notes when we refer to the diatonic (do-re-mi) scale. This is what we hear when we play the white notes on a piano keyboard from middle C to the C above it. C to adjacent C uses eight notes in the diatonic scale provided both of the C notes are played. The two C notes are the same pitch even though they are one octave apart. So the total number of distinct pitches in one octave of the diatonic scale is seven (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G). In old astrology, the seven pitches were likened to the seven visible planets.
There are five black notes on the piano keyboard between middle C and the C above it. If we add those pitches to the seven already mentioned, we have twelve pitches (the chromatic scale) which is the same as the number of signs in the zodiac.
The old scale had a middle C equal to 256 slaps-on-the-eardrum per second. The C above it had double the number of slaps per second (256x2=512). The next C up had double 512 slaps per second (512x2=1024). Going down the keyboard, the C below middle C had half the number of slaps per second (256/2=128) and the one below that had half of 128 (128/2=64). So going up one octave doubles the frequency, and going down one octave halves the frequency. This is true as well for pitches other than C. Octave separations of any note always means either a doubling of a halving of the frequency. And the human ear recognizes the same pitch in each octave as long as we are within the frequency range of audible sound. An A sounds like an A regardless of the octave, a B sounds like a B regardless of the octave, and so forth.
If we make a circle of a twelve-pitch scale so that it is a pie cut into twelve equal pieces, it looks like a zodiac.
The frequency range that one can hear depends upon the size of one's eardrum. Those people with larger eardrums hear lower frequencies than those with smaller eardrums. Those people with smaller eardrums hear higher frequencies than those with larger eardrums. Most men have a lower hearing range while most women have a higher hearing range. The old-scale C pitch one can hear could be any frequency from 32 Hertz (slaps per second) to 16,384 Hertz. The various frequencies for C can be found by doubling or halving - but only as long as we begin with a C pitch.
Now suppose we want to know the frequency of one of the other pitches. Is there an easy way to find it? Yes, there is, and it is fascinating. First we halve the lowest audible C frequency to find the frequency of the inaudible C an octave below. This frequency may not be audible to the human ear as a pitch, yet it is a frequency of the C pitch. So, 32/2=16. Now we continue to go down in frequency by halving frequencies of C. 16/2=8. 8/2=4. 4/2=2. And 2/2=1. When we get to one Hertz, we stop.
Do you remember what the roots of a number are? The square root of four is a number which, when multiplied by itself, is four. 2x2=4, so two is the square root of four. If we want to find the square root of two, we must use a decimal. The square root of two is about 1.414 which means (1.414)x(1.414)=2. Now we write the numbers 1 and 2 on the piece that is the pitch of C on our musical zodiac that resembles a pie. Then we then go halfway around the pie to the piece that is F# (F sharp) and write 1.414. This can be written as 21/2 which is a way to say the square root of 2.
The cube root of 2 is about 1.260 (this can be written as 21/3). This means (1.260)x(1.260)x(1.260)=2. We now place 1.260 or 21/3 on the piece of pie that is one-third of the way around our musical zodiac, so it will be written on the piece that is E.
The fourth root of two is about 1.189 which means (1.189)x(1.189)x(1.189)x(1.189)=2. Note that 1.189 appears four times in our equation and can be written as 21/4. This number can be placed one-fourth of the way around our musical zodiac on the piece marked D#.
The sixth root of two is about 1.122 which means (1.122)x(1,122)x(1.122)x(1.122)x(1.122)x(1.122)=2. Note that 1.122 appears six times in this equation and can be written as 21/6. This number is written one-sixth of the way around the musical zodiac at D.
The twelfth root of two is about 1.059463. If we have this number appear twelve times in an equation times itself, we have two again for an answer. This number can also be written 21/12. We write it one-twelfth of the way around the musical zodiac at C#.
Now note that if we multiply 21/12 at C# (1.059463) by itself we have 21/6 or 1.122462. In other words, (1.059463)x(1.059463)=(1.122462). So we progress from C# to D. Multiplying 21/6 at D by 1.059463 we have 1.1892069 which is 21/4 at D#. If we multiply 1.189069 by 1.059463 we have 1.259921 or 21/3 at E. If we continue this process, we can fill in the other numbers around our musical zodiac thusly.
Now if we want to know the correct number of slaps-on-the-eardrum per second (frequency) for any pitch in any octave, we can find it easily by choosing the number for the pitch (one of the foregoing decimals on the pie) and multiplying it by the C frequency of the chosen octave. For instance, if we want the frequency for the E above middle C, we look at the E piece of pie to find the correct decimal and multiply it by the frequency for middle C which 256. (1.260)x(256)=(322.56). 322.56 is the frequency for the E above middle C. If we want to find the frequency for G above the C above middle C, we go to the G piece of pie and find the decimal, 1.498. The C above middle C has a frequency that is twice that of middle C, or 512. (1.498)x(512)=(766.976). The correct answer is 766.976.
So how do we make music that constantly ascends or descends in pitch? First we play several octaves of the same pitch all at once. This is like playing all the C notes on the piano simultaneously, so you may have to get some friends to help you if you wish to try it. Next play all the D notes simultaneously, and then all the E notes, and so on until you get up to C again and start over. What you will hear as you continue this routine is constantly ascending pitch.
For a constantly descending pitch, you simply play all of the notes of the same pitch on the piano simultaneously going down the scale. Don't do this too long as it tends to bother a person.
If astrologers use a zodiac that operates on this musical principle, we would feel optimism from normal forward planetary motion, pessimism from normal retrograde motion, suspense from fast forward motion, and despair from fast retrograde motion. Does this sound familiar?
Music was not invented. Music was discovered. It is more than just the human ear's recognition of coinciding pulses. It is literally mathematics as sensed by the ear. Music is confined to a series of pitches in the sound range of the human ear. These same pitches exist in the octaves below sound, the octaves between sound and visible light, the octave of visible light, and the octaves above visible light. If frequencies sensed by the pineal gland or any other biological sensing mechanism can affect the hypothalamus, then other octaves such as those of sound and light, working through our ears and eyes, can also affect it. So music was discovered by humankind, probably due to its noted effect upon the emotions.
The implications are much greater than the scope of this article. Are we sensitive to music because of our cycle-sensing mechanisms which are, in turn, the key to why astrology works? I believe music is the key to a better understanding of astrology.
Copyright (C) 1986