(C)1992, 1996, 1998, 2000 by Michael Riversong
Before starting to read this material, please keep the following in mind:
MUSIC IS A POWERFUL FORCE. USE IT WISELY. WHILE USING IT, REMEMBER THAT, IN OUR PRESENT SOCIETY, DEPENDING ON MUSIC ALONE TO ACHIEVE OPTIMUM HEALTH IS FOOLISH. CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST OF YOUR CHOICE WHEN DEALING WITH ANY HEALTH CONDITION. INFORM YOUR THERAPIST IF YOU ARE USING ANY METHODS DESCRIBED IN THIS WORK, AND KEEP YOUR THERAPIST INFORMED OF ALL CHANGES IN YOUR CONDITION. IF YOU ARE USING MORE THAN ONE THERAPIST, KEEP ALL PEOPLE INVOLVED HONESTLY INFORMED OF YOUR SITUATION AND CONDITION.
If there is any word here you do not understand, check the Glossary section at the end. If it is not there, use a good dictionary before continuing to read.
Art can change the Universe. All art will change its environment in some way. Music is the fastest way to do that. Exactly how it works is still unclear, but we know music has direct physical, mental, and spiritual effects on people.
Around 650 B.C. Pythagoras developed the system of musical notes, scales, and intervals that we still use today. He believed that music, medicine, and mathematics were one single subject, and founded a school which continued for nearly 1,000 years. This school attracted Bards from all over Europe.
These notes have been developed over a period of time, based on actual experience with the "7 Keys to Health" tape series, and live performances of music from the series in concerts, small groups, and individual sessions. They constitute a good set of guidelines for use of the tapes. Of course, compassionate and creative health professionals will always find new ways to use any tool, so these notes can never be regarded as the final and complete authority. I ask therapists who are using the tapes, to please send comments and case histories when possible. This will help many people in the future.
In part, this work has been an attempt to codify the art form of music, as set down by Pythagoras. At this time, it cannot be regarded as a final authority. New discoveries are being made constantly. Also, there are other technologies which directly affect the spiritual nature of people.
GENERAL USAGE NOTES
Each tape has a particular idea encoded in its underlying design. The philosophy behind this series is included later in this work, as it relates more to the technical points of music itself.
There are a few cautions about using some of the tapes. The packaging on each tape contains the most important warnings. Those warnings will be repeated here, under the headings for each tape. The warnings are necessary in part because more research needs to be done, and it is better to avoid playing a piece of music when in doubt than to put anyone at undue risk.
No subliminal voice patterns exist on any of the tapes! There are two reasons for this. First, speakers of all languages should be able to benefit from the music, and any subliminal instructions would be counter-productive to people who are not familiar with whatever language is used on the tape. More importantly, there is always a chance that any words could become hypnotic commands and cause harm.
The tapes are designed to work as background music. There is no reason to listen closely to the music, except as specifically noted. When a patient is in pain or under anesthesia, it is best not to have any music playing at all, since a later hearing of the same music could restimulate all or part of the pain. Note that during standard Dianetics or Scientology therapeutic sessions, music is never played. Effects from music will occur even at the lowest level before complete silence.
If anyone in the environment expresses irritation or dissatisfaction with the music, by all means change it or turn it off. There is no reason to dogmatically force this on everyone. When objections to this music surface, it can be due to the fact that it often lacks strong melodies. That characteristic actually should contribute to its effectiveness, because then melody would not necessarily cause a distraction. A few people may find that one or another piece of music puts them into some sort of restimulation, and until the source of the problem is found and erased, it is best to consent to their wishes.
Experience has shown that the tapes also can have unexpected beneficial effects in some cases, beyond the scope of situations presented here. Of course, we want to be kept fully informed of any such incidents.
All of this music was carefully designed to be strengthening to the human body. There should never be a weakening of any life force field while the music is playing. If tests show that there is a weakening, make a note and discontinue the music immediately! We are, of course, very interested in any such incidents. It is possible that a "reverse test" or "switching" situation is going on when this happens. In those cases, there may be a serious pathological condition which has caused separation of communication between halves of the brain. That problem will have to be solved somehow before any therapy can be effective. If it is determined that "switching" is the problem, then music can be re-introduced, even on a negative test. In these cases, music can influence the situation positively. The patient must also be taken off whatever music they habitually listen to, in order for this to work. The "switching" phenomenon is fully described in material by Dr. John Diamond. Also, many drugs can cause this problem, and the drug use of any such patient needs to be thoroughly investigated.
In no case should this music be used as an anesthetic. Tapes by Steven Halpern, Jonathan Goldman, and Jon Shore have been developed which can perform that function. Also, some of the NASA Space Sounds tapes developed by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson work well for that purpose. Generally, extended bell-like sounds seem to work best for anesthesia.
Never rely on music alone for a therapeutic effect! Although it is theoretically possible for this to happen, in today's intense health-care environment, to decline to partake of the services of competent professionals is both foolish and dangerous. In much of the world, there truly is a therapist to fit everybody's situation. A warning issued here is that people should be extremely wary of those who call themselves "psychiatrists", "psychologists", or "hypnotists", because many techniques often used by these people have been proven to be harmful and even fatal in many instances.
These tapes are offered to the general public as standalone products. This is because they can be safely used in every situation, subject to the cautions contained here and on the labels. Allowing this music into the public environment will potentially cause benefits for many people.
In summary, the "7 Keys to Health" tape series can be a useful supplement in all areas of life. In addition, many people simply enjoy the music itself, even though it was not necessarily designed to stand out as classical music in the normal sense. In general, this music is more impressive than expressive, in that it is designed to impart a general atmosphere to a listener, which can improve the environment sufficiently to create beneficial effects on other levels. Naturally, the patient has to desire healing before benefits can happen.
TECHNICAL: Entirely in the key of C Major (Ionian mode), played on folk harps. Mild electronic enhancement, usually a lower-octave mirror effect, was used on a few selections. Three of the songs were recorded outdoors. There is a relatively high level of noise on several of the selections. That's why you will have the best results when using this on less expensive equipment, so the noise level will not be noticeable. When played on the most sensitive (and expensive) stereos, 50% reduction in the 3K and 10K bands is recommended by using the equalizer or tone controls. 23 minutes per side.
PURPOSE: Enhancement of general physical functioning.
For many people, this will be by far the most used tape in the series. It provides a good background for anything involving physical processes.
This tape could be safely used during exercise sessions or physical therapy. The alternation of strong and subtle rhythms adds variety, which can improve chances for success of physical rehabilitation.
Many massage therapists will find this tape especially useful, because of its overall soft feel, and the fact that only one instrument in one key is used.
Whenever you would like to use music, but don't know what to put on, this is always a safe choice. Some people have become fond of this tape and play it often.
2. BALANCE WITHIN
TECHNICAL: Dorian mode D to D. Harp on the majority of selections. Lakota flute appears in one place, Tenor recorder in another. One song on Side 2 is all-dulcimer. The last three pieces are layered dance numbers with strong rhythms, created in the studio. The layers include harp, flutes, lap dulcimer, drums, and mandolin. 23 minutes per side.
PURPOSE: Creating an example of balanced tonalities to suggest the ideal internal personal balance. This, in turn, communicates the idea of balanced relationships with others.
What makes this tape operative is the fact that the Dorian mode is balanced, with the same intervals on both sides of the mid-point. It is the only Pythagorean mode like that. It was reportedly the most popular mode in ancient Greece, but it is not always palatable to modern European and American listeners, and was for a time prohibited by church authorities. The flute songs are a reflection of Native American tradition, as such songs are often played for courting purposes in many tribes.
Even though the music is very different from what is normally heard in our society, most listeners have reported that it is pleasant. This tape is not recommended for body work.
RELEASE NOTE: In April 1991, a tape called "Balance" was released which formerly occupied the #2 position in this series. In June, 1995, the tape was withdrawn from release and replaced with "Balance Within".
3. EMOTIONAL MOTION
TECHNICAL: Phrygian mode, E to E. Side 1 has a selection of songs, two of which are in E minor, a harmonic of this mode. Side 2 is more specific. 15 minutes per side.
PURPOSE: Possible assist in healing broken bones. This mode is traditionally related to intense emotional expression.
CAUTIONS: Inform your therapist that you are using this tape. Do not play more than once a day. Do not play before any unusually stressful activity which might stimulate anger, such as driving in heavy traffic. If anyone in the environment begins to display inappropriate or destructive emotional expressions while this music is playing, discontinue it at once and put on something else.
On this tape, we hear the most mysterious-sounding of all the modes. It is not intended for general listening. It should only be used for its specified purposes. This music creates some environmental tension, which could potentially stimulate emotional outbursts in susceptible people. This phenomenon was apparently known to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Indications that someone is at risk for breaking a bone include: 1) Uncharacteristic participation in risky activities; 2) A tendency to hold emotions in; 3) Sudden personality changes; 4) Lack of appropriate emotional expression in traumatic situations. In these cases, locational processes should be applied, and this tape could be played for the person aftwerwards as an experiment, to see if it helps break the unhealthy pattern.
If emotional communication is somehow blocked, there is a danger of bones breaking. This is actually a serious condition. Ancient Chinese medical documents did not take broken bones lightly, and many writings specifically referred to an ideal of never having one happen, as if there were other, important structures damaged by broken bones besides just the physical body.
In some cases, subjects have reported movement of broken bones during or after listening to this tape. Naturally, we are extremely interested in further reports along these lines. The actual operative mechanism by which this could occur is still unclear.
Many times, a protective system that keeps bones intact has been observed. It causes people to behave in ways that automatically cause them to avoid accidents, and it is normally operative. Even when an accident occurs, law enforcement officers have sometimes observed an indication of psychokinesis that appears to cause objects to move contrary to commonly known laws of physics. This is most frequently encountered in ice accidents, which are often unavoidable, but in which movements can be completely unpredictable, often to the benefit of a driver with a strong, clear mind.
Of all the tapes in this series, this is the one most open to modification due to further research findings.
RELEASE NOTE: Originally, two versions of this tape existed. The standard version was intended for assisting in the healing process for broken bones. On the second, "A" version, the songs on Side 1 were the same, but on Side 2, two songs were replaced with pieces recorded in the Flamenco scale, which is related to Phrygian with one note different (sharp 3rd). The "A" version was an experimental work intended for people who suffer from arthritis or tendon damage. We ask that anyone who has the "A" version provide feedback as to its possible effectiveness. It has been replaced by the 1996 release, "Gypsy Fire".
3A. GYPSY FIRE
TECHNICAL: All pieces are either in the Hijaz mode, or the closely related Flamenco scale. Hijaz originally came from India and Iran. After the Islamic conquest of Persia, which was later renamed Iran, this particular scale spread throughout the Islamic world and became the most popular mode. When the Islamic Moors took over Spain, they brought this mode with them. At that time, it was further modified into the Flamenco mode. Both of these modes are somewhat related to the Phrygian mode, but are not as intense in their character.
PURPOSE: An assist for repairing tendon or cartilage damage.
Somehow the Hijaz mode of the Arabic societies and the related Flamenco mode of Spain were always associated with romanticism. During research on this, several Flamenco players were interviewed. It was found that, despite the vigorous nature of the movements, Flamenco dancers rarely suffered injuries. This is in sharp contrast to the known injury rate among Aerobics exercise students and instructors. In fact, among the instructors, the injury rate was nearly 100% in the mid-80's. The music used for these sessions was usually a variation of "disco", with a strong beat and sparse melody. Almost all these injuries were to the soft cartilage and tendons which are most stressed by vigorous dance or exercise movements. In 1993, thanks to a Tunisian musician I met on a flight to Europe, the Flamenco and Hijaz modes were worked out on the Celtic Harp. Then, several informal tests were run with friends who had soft-tissue injuries. Almost all of them reported immediate improvement after hearing the music. The exact operative mechanism is unknown at this time.
RELEASE NOTE: In 1996, it was decided that, since most customers wanted the "A" version of Emotional Motion, a new album would be created which filled that need better. The two songs unique to the "A" version were pulled out and placed on Gypsy Fire. Then, several other solo pieces were recorded at my cabin in Wyoming. A few electronically modulated songs were made with the assistance of Dawn Peacock.
4. GOLDEN HEARTS
TECHNICAL: Lydian mode, F to F. Mostly harp, with some guitar selections in D major, which is the relative major to F minor. (On the original American version, two short narrations in English were included.) 23 minutes per side.
PURPOSE: To assist people in dealing with long-term grief and loss.
This is the most metaphysically oriented of all the tapes. To most people, the Lydian mode sounds "backwards". It seems to have some connection with a world beyond our own, which has been mentioned by other researchers. Thus, it could possibly be of assistance to people who are dealing with stages of the grieving process. Grief happens when someone who a person is attached to with strong emotional ties leaves forever. This absence, when caused by death, creates one set of problems, which are resolved in many cultures by prescribed mourning rituals. When caused by divorce or other types of abandonment, the problems tend to be more difficult and intractable, because one is never quite sure that everything is really over. Few cultures have developed any kind of mourning ritual for abandonment or divorce.
Sometimes, a person will get stuck at grief for a long period of time. This can cause a wide range of physical complaints. In cases where this pattern is detected, try this tape. If the patient finds the music pleasant, this is an indication that it is doing some good. There have been cases of patients playing the tape every day for a period of time. That's all right, because eventually, as the problem is resolved, use of the tape will naturally diminish. No negative reports have yet been received related to use of this tape.
TECHNICAL: Mixolydian mode, G to G. Harp, recorders, guitar, Lakota flute, and four ensemble pieces. Some songs were done in G major, for better variety. 30 minutes per side.
PURPOSE: To celebrate a strong bond with Nature.
Being separated from a connection with Nature is a serious pathological condition affecting entire major cultural groups in the world today. This condition causes a lot of ecological destruction, which is why this tape is being marketed as widely as possible as a single unit. Because of the active feel of the music, Side 1 is not recommended as background music. It can be used for dance, exercise, or physical therapy. Side 2 is more contemplative, but still is not completely smooth and quiet.
Most animals, when not getting food or resting, like to play. It is only a small minority of humans that has developed a system whereby most time is spent in activities geared only towards survival. This minority viewpoint has been imposed on increasing numbers of people worldwide for the past three centuries. This musical mode was rediscovered in several Western cultures that still live close to nature, including Irish and American Appalachian peoples.
TECHNICAL: Key of A-minor, entirely performed on folk harps. Electronic modulation was added to several songs, especially on Side 2. 23 minutes per side.
PURPOSE: To help improve navigational abilities in time and space.
Side 1 is quite suitable for general background. Side 2, which has a more mysterious character, is enjoyed most by people with an interplanetary outlook, such as science fiction fans.
The two sides of this tape are very different from one another. Therefore, they may normally be used at different times.
Side 1 is reminiscent of the medieval and Renaissance practice of using this mode as an aid in recovery from sudden shocks. These can consist of unexpected death or departure of a loved one, loss of a job, and body trauma. Use this side of the tape freely in any of these instances, after standard touch assists and locational assists have been applied.
Side 2 extends the understanding of this mode to a deeper underlying purpose.
You will notice that, on Side 2, the music has an unusual etheric character. Most of the songs are electronically modulated. The character of the modulation is a deliberate attempt to unfix perception. Spiritually, think of yourself as the center of a circle with an infinite radius. Your perception can actually be anywhere. This is true navigation in time and space.
Buckminster Fuller often wrote about a navigational sense that exists in highly varying degrees among people. This theme crops up persistently in several books. This sense seems to be just as important in its own way as our more commonly recognized senses. It is what gives some people the ability to always find true North, and instantaneously reference the other directions from there. Also, it may be closely related to recently discovered magnetic particles in the human body. Note that there are places which geomagnetically distort this perception. Time and space navigation seem to be closely related.
7. PIONEERS IN THE UNIVERSE
TECHNICAL: Locrian mode, B to B. Harp, flute, and electronic effects. This mode sounds very strange to most Americans and Europeans. For "padding", a few songs were done in the key of B-flat major, and in a C-major mode with the seventh accented.
Much of this tape was recorded live in an office in Manhattan Beach, California, as a duet involving Michael Riversong and J. Bear Baker. Noise levels are thus relatively high, but are covered up by the extensive electronic modulation used on both instruments. 23 minutes per side.
PURPOSE: To enhance creativity and openness to new ideas.
CAUTION: Do not play more than once a week, as disorientation could result in susceptible individuals.
Use this tape when nothing else works. This was never intended for casual listening! It should be used only for its stated purposes. Sometimes, in an ongoing therapeutic program, nonspecific, obscure blocks may be encountered. When that happens, this is a good tape to try, just in case it would somehow cause the patient to become open to a new idea that dissolves the block.
Highly creative people seem to enjoy the music on this tape more than most. Some people, when told that this tape is the strangest-sounding one in the series, and is not very popular, decide they must have it.
If a person wants to become more creative, this is a celebration of the spirit of pure creativity. Keep in mind that few cultures presently on Earth tend to reward creative behavior consistently, so this is not always in someone's best financial interests unless that person is studying how to properly promote the resulting product. Keep in mind that many creative people have found, through experience, that 90 percent of their ideas are actually not viable. It is the other 10 percent that make all the difference, and make having the useless ideas worthwhile.
WHAT MAKES THIS SERIES DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER MUSIC?
This is the first time in history that anyone has recorded a series of tapes built around the entire Pythagorean modal system. While most other music intended to enhance health has concentrated on use of tonalities, this series is built around the concept of tonal sequencing and intervals as its foundation. From a technical standpoint, that is significant, although, as with any other music, the ultimate test always remains in the mind of each listener individually.
WHO SHOULD USE THIS TAPE SERIES?
Anyone who wants music which is created with the intention of encouraging good health. All of these tapes are available to the general public through the Light Age catalog. If someone is attracted to a particular tape through copy in the catalog, we will sell that tape with a money-back guarantee. So anyone can use these tapes.
IS IT WISE TO RELY EXCLUSIVELY ON THE MUSIC IN THIS SERIES?
No. Balanced approaches work best in everything. Many musicians have created music that works well for enhancing health or helping to alleviate disease. A good therapist should always be looking for music to meet specific needs. A large amount of therapeutic music is always being released, although at the time of this writing most of it remains difficult to find. The author has written a series of music reviews that may be helpful in the process of locating appropriate music. Most of these reviews are elsewhere on this web site.
HOW WAS THE MUSIC DEVELOPED?
Through years of research in cultural anthropology, musicology, and linguistics; and involvement with health practitioners and spiritual leaders. Many experiments with individuals and groups were carried out during several developmental phases, over a period of four years.
IS THERE ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO THE PACKAGING COLORS?
The spectral colors used on the seven tape packages are symbolic of the level addressed on each tape. You will notice that the colors do not form a perfect rainbow. In fact, numbers 4 and 5 in the series have reversed colors; 4 is blue and 5 is green. This symbolizes a matrix phenomenon that often appears in nature in a manifestation process. It is mathematically a doorway into a fourth dimension of the Pythagorean system that is not currently expressed in writings about this series. Those who wish to explore this phenomenon should study the Synergetics books by Buckminster Fuller.
WILL THERE BE MORE RELEASES IN THIS SERIES?
Perhaps. As it stands, this is a relatively compact and coherent series. Still, it is possible that, in the future, as understanding of Pythagorean tonal sequencing develops, one or more of these tapes will be replaced with a new edition. This has already happened twice. Also, experiments and analytical sessions need to be done with other, non-Pythagorean musical modes. This would include Arabic music and the huge variety of Hindu (Indian) music. In fact, the Raga system of India has over 80,000 possibilities, so there's always more research to be done.
We ask that you, the reader, provide feedback. If you are a musician, try playing these modes in the manner described, or in ways of your own, and report what you find. Non-musicians can buy tapes in these modes, or ask musical friends to try out these methods.
This is not a precise scholarly work. Instead, it is a challenge, meant to be tested by the general public. Therefore, the exhaustive and time-consuming task of citing each reference from twenty years of study in this field has been left aside.
A bibliography of the most important works consulted is provided at the end of this material. Libraries full of references to ancient Greek culture exist all over Europe and America, so it is possible for anyone who wishes to gather a coherent set of scholarly references, if they have the time. I'd rather be out there working with clients.
Health should be much more than the absence of a deteriorating and debilitating pathological condition. Most people alive today have been under high stress for most of their lives, which means that the higher issues of what truly constitutes optimum health are rarely considered.
Optimum health is actually a condition in which the body, mind, and spirit move in a balanced, dynamic state. Intelligence, which is the ability to respond appropriately to changes in the environment, is maximized. This is an open-ended situation, much like many systems in our Universe. This means that optimum health is infinite, and there is always room for improvement, as far as we know.
Harmony is a key concept when considering optimum health. Just as there is a Universal harmony operating the vast and complex systems of galaxies that we see, there can be an internal harmony that allows us to continue on a course of ongoing improvement in our personal operations.
HOW THE KEYS WERE FOUND
Steven Halpern paved the way for most people working in health-related music in the past century. He has consistently been the pioneer in this field, since the initial release of "Spectrum Suite" in 1975. During one of his performances, he said, "Someday you will go out and buy a tape to heal a cold or flu, just like you buy drugs now." This brought back a flood of memories of studies in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. The stories of Orpheus are especially intriguing, as it was said that he could heal any ailment with music, and once even used his music to gain passage into the realm of the dead.
There was a passing reference in one of the accounts of the Orpheus legend saying that he attended the Pythagorean school near Syracuse, on the island of Sicily. This was an important connection, as many musical historians agree that the system of modes and scales that is the foundation of European music was developed at the same time as the Pythagorean geometry system, by the same person or people.
Since the loss of most of the Pythagorean knowledge at the hands of rioters in Alexandria a few centuries ago, many of the possibilities of using music for specific health-related work have been unknown to us. We are now faced with the challenge of rebuilding much of the information from scratch.
Starting in 1987, structural analysis of each mode was undertaken, and then the modes were played for individuals and small groups on a 26-string Celtic (diatonic) harp. The scale used was the conventional tempered scale, as developed by Bach. This was done because of the difficulty involved in retuning a harp to differently tempered scales several times a week. We do know that the ancient Greeks used what is known as a precisely mathematical scale to determine the exact pitch of each note. Theoretically, using the pure Greek scale should get more exact results. Bach modified the pitches of some notes slightly in order to allow several instruments to play better in chordal harmony, and that is the origin of the standard set of tone pitches in use today. Since the investigations could not be carried out under precise laboratory conditions at the time, the currently standard scale was chosen for convenience.
Subjects of these informal investigations were asked to close their eyes and let images form at random while the modes were being played. Reported images were taken into account in assigning characteristics to these modes, along with the backgrounds and medical histories (if known) of the subjects.
This recovery work is still in an experimental stage. More research needs to be done, especially in the area of kinesiology as it relates to specific meridians while certain modes are being played.
THE SEVEN MUSICAL MODES
Ancient Greek modes, as used by legendary Bards such as Orpheus and Homer, have a lot of power, according to scattered references in some of the ancient writings. In fragments of legends, some of these melodic forms were said to have specific healing properties. From the ancient Pythagorean system of music, there are a few indications as to what an ideal state of health can be. Some of this has to be assumed from the character of mathematical work that was done at the school, and from the fact that there were references to healing practices being taught there. Seven musical modes were plotted in their system.
Each mode is a sequence of tones at set intervals. The sequencing of these tones could cause physical effects. There are tremendous variations not only in the possible effects of the modes, depending on the integrity of the musician, but also in the specific effects on an individual listener, depending on pre-existing conditions. That's why research into this matter can be quite difficult.
During the ascendancy of the institutional church in Europe, most of the ancient Pythagorean system was lost. This system once embraced music, mathematics, and the healing arts. Not until the 1700s was any serious attempt made to recover this system, as the institutional church broke up. During the Middle Ages, only two modes were allowed in sacred music, in most locations. Those were what we call Major and Minor scales. For a long time, most music was even restricted to a few keys as well, and regulations involving harmony were very strict. Since about 1969, some modes have been rediscovered and occasionally incorporated in American popular music. Since this incorporation has been somewhat random and largely undocumented, with no clinical testing of these patterns, few people have any idea that physical effects could result from the skilled use of modes. Of course, anyone experimenting with these modes for healing purposes should also be in contact with a health professional who is treating the patient, if possible. Group experiments should be done carefully, with the consent of everyone in the group. No health claims should be made prior to an experimental performance, since those claims could influence the results.
Each of the seven modes can be started on any one of seven notes, which immediately provides 49 possible musical scale patterns within an 8-tone (diatonic) system. More patterns can be created by using sharps and flats in the full chromatic scale, up to 144.
There still exists, in the Raga systems of India, a similar set of ideas, developed in a more complex fashion. The Raga systems differ markedly from the Pythagorean system covered in this work in that most of the modes have differing structures depending on whether the melody is ascending or descending. Pythagorean modes are always the same either way, although it is possible to change modes within a piece of music in order to attain a special effect.
The name of each mode is derived from one of the ancient Greek tribes. At that time, there was a racist concept in vogue that each tribe had a particular temperament. Each mode name was supposed to reflect the temperament of the tribe that it was named for. Since then, of course, the tribes named have lost their identity, and racist psychology has been discredited. This makes memorization of these mode names a bit more difficult than it might have been.
Following is a summary of the seven Pythagorean modes and their possible effects. Along with each mode is given the starting note when playing on a C-tuned diatonic instrument, such as a harp. When using a piano, it is easy to learn these modes simply by playing only white keys. After you become familiar with the system, you can extrapolate modes into any other key.
1. IONIAN [C] This is the Major scale that we use for about 80% of the music released in America. It was said to be a good general-use mode. It has a built-in imbalance of tonality as we presently use it, which mirrors the asymmetry of normal physical body structures, as noted by Aston1. In other words, the fact that everybody has the heart on the left side of the body is a metaphor for the way that the Major scale is built, and probably has a lot to do with why that scale has become a preferred expression of music throughout the modern world. When combined with smooth rhythmic patterns and pleasant tonality, this mode has been shown by Diamond(2) and many subsequent researchers to be beneficial for the entire physical body, especially muscle tone.
2. DORIAN [D]: This is known as the "balanced mode", because tone intervals are the same on each side of a center point in the scale. It was said by Ramsay(3) to be a favorite of the ancient Greeks.
The first experiment with this mode was in November 1987. It was played for a woman who had been divorced about a year previously. She immediately reported a feeling of emotional peace, which she had not felt for a long time. A tape was made for her, and she played it often in subsequent months. It was later reported that she entered into a healthy relationship with a man and moved into a household with him.
The Dorian mode can also be played in a very active, strident manner. When that is done, many listeners regard it as a dramatic emotional expression. This mode has been used in some "hard rock" songs since about 1965. It is sometimes associated with a sense of mysticism.
3. PHRYGIAN [E]: There is an intensity to this mode that makes experiments difficult. It seems to have a physical effect on some level of the physical body, but at the present time the precise reason for any effect has not been determined.
Images of water were reported by several test subjects. Experiments should be approached with extreme caution! The key of E minor is closely related to this mode, although less extreme. That key has often been used for works that express extreme emotional states, especially grief and anger.
4. LYDIAN [F]: In 1988, a man had just lost his mother, father, and brother in a single auto accident two days before. He showed up at a meeting in great sorrow. He agreed to participate in an experiment, visualizing the three as being safe and in the presence of the Creator as he understood it. The harp was played in this mode, beginning and ending on F. The man reported that he felt better able to come to terms with his tragedy after listening to the music. Several other experiments have been tried with this mode, usually in group situations. It appears to assist in the processing, recognition, and release of emotions involved with separation or tragedy.
5. MIXOLYDIAN [G]: People who live close to Nature, such as Appalachian dulcimer players and Irish farmers, have long found this mode to be a favorite. (The Irish "Concert D" tuning is the Mixolydian mode beginning and ending on D.) It has a pastoral character, and could be useful in helping people to relate better with nature. Most listeners have reported nature images while visualizing. Many people have said that music played in this mode seems carefree and relaxed. This mode was originally named "Lesbian", and the name was changed in the 1800's.
6. AEOLIAN [A]: This is also called the "minor scale" in classical European music. It has long been used to express sorrow, which could be helpful up to a point. Unfortunately, it often has become associated with ideas of helplessness and fatalism. This probably has something to do with the fact that Europe experienced several extended periods of high fatality rates associated with wars and plagues from 1200 through the 1800s. The practice of using minor-keyed music at funerals seems to have caused an association with sorrow for most people of European ancestry, but that is not necessarily the original or best use of this mode. When taken out of the funerary context, some non-musicians in group situations have reported seeing nature scenes while visualizing. Since this mode has sometimes been carelessly used in the past, it would be best for a musician, when using this mode, to think of pastoral scenes instead of sorrow. This may help to direct the power of this mode in a more healthy manner. When played quickly, it feels good for dancing.
7. LOCRIAN [B]: This mode must be played with two-tone fourth chords in order to sound at all palatable to the American ear. Early institutional church doctrine held that the fifth interval [B-F] based on this mode was the "Devil's Fifth" and was to be avoided at all costs. It seems to have some relationship to expressing the development of a new way of thinking. One experiment during a performance of Atlantean Lights (a sequenced color projection environment) apparently caused some people in the group to withdraw into their own thinking for a time, with consequent difficulty in relating to others. Since that time, I have learned to never use this mode in the last of a series of compositions. This is a very powerful mode, and it should be used carefully. One researcher who started playing in this mode most of the time, and also was using drugs, went insane for a time. It is closely related to music that uses Major Seventh chords. In Major Seventh music, however, the more unpalatable effects seem to be blunted.
Each of these modes can also be obliquely related to the major key relative to the starting tone of the mode. This is the source of much of the relationship of musical keys to colors, as Halpern4 and Scriabin did in their systems. From that standpoint, the possibilities of experimental situations become obvious. Within the first 49 possible combinations of these modes is a whole universe of musical healing practice.
 ASTON, JUDITH, seminar, Boulder, Colorado, March 1988.
 DIAMOND, DR. JOHN, Your Body Doesn't Lie Warner 1979.
 RAMSAY, DOUGALD CHARMICHAEL, The Scientific Basis and Build of Music London 1893. Available through Delta Spectrum Research, and an essential aid in building the experiments.
 HALPERN, STEVEN, Tuning the Human Instrument Belmont, CA 1978. This book has been superseded by Sound Health, which is more complete and currently in print.
Each key to health could be also seen as a relationship, in a symmetrical system of philosophy. For the purposes of this analysis, seven key relationships in life have been identified. Optimum health could be partially seen, then, as the best balance of all these relationships. Do not confuse this system with the Dynamics of Dianetics and Scientology -- there is no relationship. This system is meant to apply only on the physical level
1. Balanced body functions: This is what we may normally think of first when thinking of optimum health. This means all bodily organs are working together in a harmonious fashion, according to natural body asymmetry. This is the most commonly heard mode in Western society, and it is very popular in many other cultures. It represents a baseline of health which must be attained in order to optimize any higher keys. Corresponds to IONIAN [C] mode.
2. With the opposite sex and family: Family and friend relationships are very important. In recovering from any traumatic event, a support network of these people greatly facilitates a return to purposeful functioning. These relationships go far beyond mere exercise of power over other individuals, and encompass complex and enlivening social systems. Corresponds to DORIAN [D] mode.
3. With emotions and the skeletal structure: The skeleton is the foundation of the human body, and emotions could be considered the foundation of the human brain. We need to have a sense of emotional security from the threat of breaking bones, as well. That's an integral part of this key. Any broken bone affects the emotions as well, and can also be part of a cycle involving a chronic emotional state. One thought in connection with work in this mode is that even though it may not always be appropriate to express an emotion, it still should be recognized as present. Trying to hide from our emotions can cause many serious problems. Corresponds to PHRYGIAN [E] mode.
4. With the next world: We don't talk about this much in polite company in Western society, but it is important. Those who have influenced our lives and are in the next dimension remember us just as we remember them. Optimum health requires that we recognize their situation. Part of that involves dealing with feelings of guilt over past traumas or unfinished business. Now, if someone was once present in a relationship which has ended, but is still alive on this planet, the process of dealing with that loss and the grief associated with it becomes more complicated. Therefore, even though a person may not actually be in the next dimension, it may seem that way, and anything designed to help deal with grief and loss is appropriate. Corresponds to LYDIAN [F] mode.
5. With Nature: This is a beautiful and unique planet we live on. As our society progresses, more and more people will see an unbalanced attitude toward Nature as a pathological condition. Music is a good art form to use in addressing this pathology. Note how young children will always draw pictures of trees and flowers, even when imprisoned in concentration camps. People who live close to nature tend to create large amounts of music in the MIXOLYDIAN [G] mode, which makes what most people think of as a playful sound (embodied in the flat seventh of this scale). You will notice that animals, when they are not directly concerned with survival, tend to spend time in play. Interestingly enough, children often seem to prefer this mode over others. Younger children especially have often been observed to start dancing when this mode is introduced into a performance.
6. With Time: Living in this world will inevitably produce shocks from time to time. We are as healthy as our ability to bounce back, in a reasonable amount of time, from any catastrophe or setback. In Europe's Middle Ages, most herbal therapists were burned at the stake. This created a situation where many people tended to die young from untreated ailments and poor sanitation. The Church, at that time, chose to use the AEOLIAN [A] mode to help people get back to work quickly in the midst of their tragedies. It is not known whether this choice was conscious or reactive.
7. New ideas: This is not always necessary, but when it is, this part of health is mandatory for continued survival. Wars, natural disasters, extreme poverty, and extreme prosperity require a large number of new ideas in order for individuals to develop strategies that allow for personal (and cultural) survival. Note how music with major seventh chords, which is a more palatable expression of this need for new ideas, became popular in Brazil, where there is extreme poverty, and then in the United States during the 1950's, when many people experienced sudden, extreme prosperity. Corresponds to LOCRIAN [B] mode, which is the strangest sounding of all the modes.
Working with individuals while using these principles must be done carefully. Intuition can be very important when choosing a musical sequence, but it is best to verify that with other information if at all possible. Of course, no one should rely entirely on music for a therapeutic course of action. Some other healing discipline must be involved in order to satisfy the legal requirements of our society and allow for the best chance of an individual gaining optimum health. Any healing practice, such as allopathy, chiropractic, or naturopathy, that has consistently produced positive results for patients, should work well with music, within the guidelines given in this work.
To experiment with these keys, try playing music (preferably live) for situations where one key or another is enhanced. If the experiments begin to show something more than normal placebo value, we may be on to something here. The suggestion that music is being specially designed to help someone in a specific situation is quite powerful in itself. Furthermore, the vibrations of sound, both from within and outside the body, are very important to healing from pathological conditions and then moving toward a state of optimum health.
Do not use music when someone is in acute pain or under anesthesia! Complete silence is best in those situations.
Hearing a song just once, in the right setting, can be a powerful experience for a person, and can have a leveraging effect. In other cases, it may be best for a song which has been well-designed, or tested using accepted kinesiology techniques, to be repeated on a daily basis. Cases of patients listening to a tape almost constantly while healing from a shock of some kind have been reported. In many of those cases, patients reported that the music was a factor in their recovery. Usually, traditional religious music or cantatas have been involved in these episodes.
When a condition is encountered that no one medical technique has been able to address, such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or leukemia, then music becomes even more important. In general, it is good to do musical experimentation intensely, using the principles outlined here along with other proven items in the listening diet, whenever the best available medical science has been unable to come up with a solution to a problem.
When dealing with chronic or psychosomatic pain, this writer has observed, over a period of many years, and through acquaintance with a large number of therapists, that only Dianetics therapy has produced consistent results.
In some cases, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has alleviated chronic pain resulting from physical damage to tissue. Music may also help in these cases. Opportunites to conduct experiments along these lines have been limited so far.
Regular communication between patient, musician, and therapist is essential, because in these cases, subtle changes in physiology, attitude, or other patterns can give important clues for developing the next composition.
So here we have a practical experimental framework for using music in front-line healing practice. Any good therapist knows that often, the cause of a disease may be embedded in an area that does not at first seem related to the symptoms. Thus, these musical experiments may provide bridges that will allow for a more rapid return to health when used in conjunction with conscientiously applied therapies.
Here is a list of books on music and its relationship to health for further study:
BERENDT, JOACHIM-ERNST, NADA BRAHMA The World Is Sound Destiny 1983/1987.
CAMPBELL, DON G., Introduction to the Musical Brain Magnamusic-Baton 1983. CAMPBELL, DON G., The Roar of Silence Quest, 1989.
DAVID, NADA FOSTER, Sing With Your Soul 1980.
DIAMOND, DR. JOHN, Your Body Doesn't Lie Warner 1979.
DIAMOND, DR. JOHN, Life Energy Dodd, Mead 1985.
GODWIN, JOSCELYN, Harmonies of Heaven and Earth Harper & Row, 1987.
GOLDMAN, JONATHAN, Healing Sounds Element 1992
HALPERN, STEVEN, Tuning the Human Instrument Belmont, CA 1978. HALPERN, STEVEN, Sound Health
HELINE, CORINNE, Color and Music in the New Age DeVorss, 1964.
HUBBARD, L. RON, Art Bridge Publications
HUBBARD, L. RON, Assists Processing Handbook Bridge Publications
KHAN, HAZRAT INAYAT, The Music of Life Omega, 1983.
RAMSAY, DOUGALD CHARMICHAEL, The Scientific Basis and Build of Music London 1893. Reprint available through Delta Spectrum Research. SCOTT, CYRIL, Music Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages Aquarian Press 1958.
STEINER, RUDOLF, The Inner Nature of Music and the Experience of Tone Anthroposophic Press 1983.
TAME, DAVID, The Secret Power of Music Destiny, 1984.
JOURNAL OF SYMPATHETIC VIBRATORY PHYSICS, VOLUMES I, II, & III -- Reprints of issues and compilations from 1985 through 1989 are available from Delta Spectrum Research.
Steven Halpern, who did groundbreaking research into how music can affect the body and mind, and willingly shared it with the world.
Dale Pond, who has thoroughly researched the interconnections between science and spirituality. Some of his achievements include the creation of a comprehensive database of all known source material on Sympathetic Vibratory Physics, and the rediscovery of the remarkable experiments of John Keeley.
Roberta Rivers, my former wife, who provided a tremendous amount of support during the difficult research which brought forth this music.
Rev. Wallace James Duke, who gave vital encouragement and input during the critical intitial stages of this project.
L. Ron Hubbard, who wrote a tremendous amount of material which clarifies all aspects of physical and spiritual life.
Bruce Wareing, synthesizer on EMOTIONAL MOTION & NATURE
Hoover Price, percussion on NATURE
J. Bear Baker, flute on PIONEERS IN THE UNIVERSE
FOUNDATION: Glenn A. Tanner
NATURE: Judith Sauceda
BALANCE, BALANCE WITHIN, EMOTIONAL MOTION, GOLDEN HEARTS, NAVIGATORS, PIONEERS IN THE UNIVERSE: Alison Doran
GYPSY FIRE: Leah Rich
FOUNDATION: Michael Riversong
BALANCE (original cover): Debra Thompson
NAVIGATORS (original cover): Jennifer Foster
PIONEERS IN THE UNIVERSE: Michael Riversong
RECORDING ENGINEER: Park Peters
REMASTERING on FOUNDATION: Norbert Veel
RECORDING ASSISTANCE: Roberta Rivers, Debra Thompson, Trish Walorski, Nikki Suncat, Robin Underwood, Dawn Peacock
DESKTOP PUBLISHING: Mercedes Hernandez, Arlene Andrews
OFFICE AND PROMOTIONAL ASSISTANCE: Lori Myers, Ruth DeOreo, Ted Birkey, Debra Thompson, Lisa Thomason, Arlene Andrews
DSM-2 MICROPHONES by Leonard Lombardo, Sonic Studios
These were used on parts of FOUNDATION, BALANCE, NAVIGATORS, and PIONEERS IN THE UNIVERSE. These extraordinary microphones are worn by each ear, picking up a sound that can, when heard through headphones, create a sensation much like being at the original recording session.
Home | Music | Catalog
Environment | Poetry