Musical Concepts

Appendices: Part D – Musical Concepts (excerpt 1)

“Music is the medium through which we express our feelings of joy and sorrow, love and patriotism, penitence and praise. It is the charm of the soul, the instrument that lifts minds to higher regions, the gateway into the realms of imagination. It makes the eye to sparkle, the pulse to beat more quickly. It causes emotions to pass over our being like waves over the far reaching sea.” – Carl E. Seashore.¹

Music is the result of the interaction of the effects of angulation as it represents the ratio of one frequency to another frequency. When a non-periodic sinewave is confined to a sphere, the result is a periodical natural resonant frequency pattern, or “standing wave, which consist[s] of waves propagating back and forth between the boundaries, [which] lead[s] to resonances in vibrating systems.”² This movement then represents music.

According to Tomatis, “The critical range for musicality is 500 hz to 4,000 hz (hertz),”³ and music is composed of melody and rhythm. “Music has all the characteristics (pitch, timbre, intensity, rhythm) of spoken language, except semantic value,”⁴ Tomatis points out. And children’s songs and nursery rhymes harmonize body movements and motor functions by their effect on the cochlear vestibular system of the ear. They also increase the child’s a͟w͟a͟r͟e͟n͟e͟s͟s͟ of his body and help shape his body information, according to Tomatis.⁵

“The psychological attributes of sound, namely pitch, loudness [intensity], time [rhythm], and timbre, depends upon the physical characteristics of the sound wave: frequency [the number of waves per second], amplitude [the intensity/height of the wave], duration [wavelength], and form,”⁶ states Carl E. Seashore. He goes on to mention that the form of the sound wave “determines its harmonic constitution, which gives us the experience of timbre.”⁷

After forty years of research and a career in the science of music, Seashore summed up his findings by saying: “On the basis of our experiments in measuring these sensory capacities, the sense of pitch, the sense of time, the sense of loudness [intensity/amplitude], and the sense of timbre are elemental, by which we mean that they are largely inborn and function from early childhood.”⁸

Over the next few pages, he gives the definitions for these basic capacities: “The terms ‘frequency,’ double vibrations (d.v.),’ ‘the number of vibrations per second,’ ‘cycles,’ and ‘waves’ are synonymous and may be used interchangeably to designate frequency and pitch.”⁹

Then he states further that “for psychological purposes, the intensity of tone is expressed in terms of decibels (db). Like pitch and loudness, the decibel is a psychological unit representing the degree of loudness. Its physical counterpart, intensity, is expressed in terms of units of electrical energy.”¹⁰ He defines the “wave form: timbre [tone]…in terms of the form of the sound wave,”¹¹ and says that “timbre is determined primarily by the number, the order, and the relative intensity of the fundamental [“the mode of vibration or component of sound with the lowest frequency”¹²] and its overtones as expressed in the waveform.”¹³

Timbre is further described by Seashore as the “distinguishing or characteristic quality of a sound.”¹⁴ He adds that “the investigations of Helmholtz proved that the timbre of a sound is determined by the proportions in which the various natural harmonics are heard in it.”¹⁵ Harmonics refers to the vibrational modes of a system that are the whole number ratios of intervals.

Seashore goes on to describe duration (time, rhythm): “pitch and intensity are always recorded against time, expressing the duration of notes, pauses, or any specific feature of these.”¹⁶ Then he adds, “Rhythm adjusts the strain of attention. In poetry and music for instance, the rhythm enables us to anticipate the magnitude of units which are to be grasped.”¹⁷

He continues, “Genetically, the ordinary measure in poetry and music is determined by what is known as the attention wave. Our attention is periodic. All our mental life works rhythmically, that is, by periodic pulsation of effort or achievement with unnoticed intermittence of blanks.”¹⁸ As demonstrated by Bekesy, our lapse of consciousness, or periodic attention, corresponds to the interval of 0.8 – 1.2s, which is the ratio 1.5, or the musical note G, the ratio of numbers 2:3 and also the angles from 84° to 90°.

End Notes:

1 Psychology of Music, Seashore, p. 64
2 Quantum Reality, Herbert, p. 116
3 Method, Tomatis, p. 78
4 Ibid., p. 71
5 Ibid., p. 72
6 Psychology of Music, Seashore, p. 2
7 Ibid.
8 Ibid., p. 3
9 Ibid., p. 17
10 Ibid., p. 19
11 Ibid., p. 20
12 Ibid., p. 95
13 Ibid., p. 96
14 Ibid., p. 63
15 Ibid.
16 Ibid.
17 Ibid., p. 64
18 Ibid., p. 19

Author: GreatCosmicMothersUnited

I have joined with many parents affected with the surreal , yet accepted issue of child abuse via Pathogenic Parenting / Domestic abuse. As a survivor of Domestic Abuse, denial abounded that 3 sons were not affected. In my desire to be family to those who have found me lacking . As a survivor of psychiatric abuse, therapist who abused also and toxic prescribed medications took me to hell on earth with few moments of heaven. I will share my life, my experiences and my studies and research.. I will talk to small circles and I will council ; as targeted parents , grandparents , aunts , uncles etc. , are denied contact with a child for reasons that serve the abuser ...further abusing the child. I grasp the trauma and I have looked at the lost connection to a higher power.. I grasp when one is accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like discrimination.. Shame and affluence silences a lot of facts , truths that have been labeled "negative". It is about liberation of the soul from projections of a alienator , and abuser ..

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