Monday, September 3, 2012

How Musical Instruments Affect Your Body

Music is a stress reducer for me, and many people I know. Years ago when I worked in Correctional Facilities as a Correctional Officer, music was used in the therapeutic programs. Now as an international speaker and trainer in the corporate world, I build music into some of my presentations, as it impacts the energy in a room. I also find it ignites creativity, and, it helps reduce stress. Music can be a great way to Bounce Forward during change, challenge, conflict and adversity in life, or just to help you keep your feet on the ground in hectic times.

I am delighted to have a guest blog today  from my friend and expert, Sharon Carne.

How Musical Instruments Affect Your Body

By Sharon Carne, BMus, MFA

When I attend concerts performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, I love to listen with my whole body. I can feel the tuba and bassoon deep in my belly. The huge drums vibrate up through the floor into my feet. The cello and the harp warm my heart and ribcage. The high notes of the flute buzz around in my head.

Generally, every instrument is a combination of many sounds called the fundamental and the overtones. The fundamental is the loudest sound the instrument makes. The overtones are higher sounds related mathematically to the fundamental. It is the overtones that make a violin sound differently from a flute. Or a trumpet sound differently from a piano.

Without the overtones, all instruments would sound exactly the same. In fact, without the overtones, your voice will sound exactly the same as my voice.

The fundamental sound of an instrument will affect your body. The instrument’s specific set of overtones affect the auric layers of the field around the body.

Kay Gardner, in one of my favorite books, Sounding the Inner Landscape: Music as Medicine, includes a long list of instruments and where they are likely to affect the listener’s body and particularly the chakras. As a composer, musician and sound healing pioneer, she used this information in her own music.

1. Root, sacral and abdominal chakra centres:

- this area includes the belly, diaphragm, emotional and psychic (gut feeling) centre.

- instruments that directly affect this lower part of the body are drums, cello, trombone, tuba, bassoon and other low instruments.

2. Heart centre involves our experience of compassion and love.

- instruments that affect the heart area are: string orchestra (think heartstrings), English horn, viola, French horn, the high range of the cello.

3. Throat centre involves communication and creative expression.

- instruments that affect the throat area are clarinet, oboe and violin.

4. Brow centre or third eye is the home of insight and perception.

- instruments that affect this area include flute, oboe and trumpet.

5. Crown centre is where we experience bliss and spiritual connection.

- instruments that affect the crown centre are tinkling bells, crystal bowls and high pitched sounds.

6. Instruments that affect the entire body have the widest range of sounds.

- instruments that affect the whole body are concert harp, guitar, piano, carefully voiced synthesizers and the symphony orchestra. - the harp has the purest tone because of way strings are set with one note per string. This instrument vibrates whole human organism. It also creates perfect overtones.

- the classical guitar resonates the body from the belly to the crown, especially the belly, solar plexus and heart.

- the piano affects the entire body because of its range. - Because of thickness and tautness of its strings, the piano does not create perfect harmonics like the harp.

I tell all my students that music is language of the heart and the guitar sits in front of the heart. Other instruments that are held in front of the heart are the cello and the harp.

Music is also a language of the body. The next time you are listening to your favorite CD or at a concert, I invite you to become more aware of how your body listens.

Sharon Carne has been a musician and teacher all her life and a student on the path of evolving consciousness for over 40 years. These two paths have merged into the visionary work of Sound Wellness – bringing the ancient power of sound and music to a deeper awareness and practical everyday use for these challenging times we live in.

Her workshops help people with tangible experience in how sound and music reduce stress, deepen meditation, assist emotional release, enhance focus and concentration and ease the symptoms of illness and disease. Sharon is the author of Listen from the Inside Out, has produced and recorded several CDs, solo and with others. She is invited to speak about sound therapy to a wide variety of corporate and private audiences, many within the medical community.

Join the free online community at to download audio, video and explore more than 100 articles. Join Sharon on Facebook at


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  7. The timing from one note to another should be done effectively and the transition smoothly. Practicing with a metronome will be a good idea because it gets your timing right. viola lessons


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