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Sound has played a major role in our lives. It starts from our birth and it exists in our surroundings. You can hear it during thunderstorms, the singing of birds, and many other activities. Sound enables us to connect with both each other and our surrounding. Besides, providing link sound can help us heal. This is not a modern discovery. It has been known and used by civilizations for a long time.
Take the example of the sound Om or Aum. Hindus use it during meditation. The use of sound in meditation proves the importance of sound. You can say that sound can be used as a link to nature, your fellow human beings, and nature.
Use of sound in healing:
Many civilizations understood the power of sound and its ability to heal people. You can say the use of sound for healing can be found in all civilizations. From the ancient Egyptians to the indigenous people who still inhabit Australia.
The indigenous people of Australia had a wind instrument called the didgeridoo. The instrument was used both in ceremonial rituals and for healing purposes. It is believed that the origins of the instrument date back 40,000 years.
Importance of sound for Egyptians, Native Americans, and Greeks:
Egyptians also understood the importance of sound in healing. They gave special importance to the seven vowel sounds. These sounds were considered sacred and to protect them the Egyptians did not use any hieroglyphics to represent these sounds.
The Native Americans had a strong belief that sound was important. They used sound to contact their spirits, heal their warriors, and ask for assistance from their spirits. The sound that they use might not be rhythmic but the people who practice them are very passionate about them. Many researchers have found that the rhythms and sounds used in many of the rituals were highly complex. This is a common factor among all the tribes in North America.
Music therapy was the practice that was invented in Ancient Greece. The Ancient Greeks were similar to ancient Egyptians. They also believed in the importance of sound. These Greeks believed in "dream sleep" and they built healing chambers for this. In these chambers, you would find parallel-facing stone walls and reverberant surfaces. You would find musical instruments.
Tibetan and Chinese use of sound:
Ancient Tibetan and Chinese cultures understood the importance of sound. They understood that vocal chanting can help their wellbeing both physical and psychological. Also, through these vocal chants, they believed they could master the spiritual aspect of their lives. The Tibetans took this a step further. They used singing bowls in addition to the human voice. The Tibetans have been using these bowls for stimulating the brain and healing the body.
Resonance of sound:
Before Christianity became a dominant religion in Europe, many pagan religions had understood the importance of sound and harmonic intervals. They believed that an imperfect harmonic interval would help them understand how the world worked. Unfortunately, when Christianity became the dominant religion, the importance of sound was pushed out. They believed this was wrong and thus they have forbidden it. The problem became serious after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It was during this time that Christianity became politicized.
As a result of this ban, the knowledge of sound and harmonica intervals was forced underground. That has, however, not diminished the practice. It is uncertain whether ancient knowledge flourished despite the ban or due to the ban. Many notable figures have studied the sound and have practiced it. These figures believed in Cymatics. This was the study making sound and vibration visible on a surface. The surfaces are usually diaphragm, plate, and membrane. You can say many of the advancements made in acoustics were made by them.
Use of sound in modern technology:
Sound technology is also used in modern times. It has played a vital role in healing. Researches have suggested that it can be used to heal people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. However, at the moment it is limited to medicine. This is unfortunate as it has scope for other fields.
It seems that sound has provided a way of healing many of our medical problems and the scope is much greater than that...