Music and physics are intertwined and inseparable. It is difficult to talk about the aesthetics and complex patterns of music without discussing the underlying mathematics that goes into creating a brilliant musical composition. It is evident that music can elicit a wide array of emotions, however, what is the underlying factor that gives music this special ability to touch us so deeply? Why doesn’t any sound create emotional pleasure, love or ecstasy? The answer is: the perfect mathematics.
Music is an arrangement of sound in precise geometrical patterns. These patterns create melodies that can stimulate the release of chemicals such as dopamine that make us feel good. Although much research has been done regarding the effect of music on human emotions, music can touch us on a much deeper dimension. Let’s look at it from a physics perspective.
The development of quantum physics, which studies the physics of the atom, has revealed that the entire universe is an amalgamation of energy and not matter. When enough energy concentrates in a particular area, it can take on a form that is tangible – a form that we can perceive. This means that even the human body is made up of energy that vibrates at a certain frequency. Theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku says that, “The universe is a symphony of vibrating strings. We are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes”. The implications of these findings are that music can touch us in a dimension beyond emotions and can possibly reverse diseases if used properly.
Dr. David Van Koevering, a musicologist and specialist in quantum physics, created a table of elements synthesizer, which tunes the frequencies to the atomic weight vibration of the elements that compose the human body. He hopes that this new technology can reverse diseases, which are essentially caused by distorted frequencies, by ‘restoring’ the original frequency of the elements within the human body. Therefore, the mathematical and geometrical form of the sounds may be much more important in healing than the aesthetically pleasing factor of music. Although, emotions play a large role in our health and well-being, in terms of therapeutic efficiency, it may be beneficial to consider the technical precision of the frequency of music. For example, there are many people who would not enjoy classical music, however, it is evident that classical music can positively impact the human body and mind. Therefore, sometimes, it is necessary to look beyond one’s personal taste in music when delivering music as a form of therapy.
The findings of quantum physicists facilitates our understanding of what the human body is made of, and how sound can affect its functioning. Therefore, we may be able to create music that touches us beyond our emotions – to the very core of the existence and to the way the human form vibrates. Further research on this topic could reveal many more beneficial aspects of music and may aid in the development of musical tools that can be as successful as existing medical interventions in treating disease and promoting health.
This article was written by Niyathi Annamneedi, and is part of a series provided by upper year health sciences students at McMaster University.