Understanding The Sound Of Music
“Music has three basic components namely harmonic, melodic and rhythmic”
The Ancient Connection Music is considered a prestigious ancient art which has been existing since the age of ‘satyuga.’ In all the sacred Indian epics it has been clearly stated that people used to have an explicit interest in music and that is why they could manoeuvre their attitude towards satisfaction, tranquillity and other positive vibes.
Also, in almost all countries, music has been the source of worship, as it expresses and connects one to religion or God. In India, music has always been a sacred means of worship and relaxation or meditation. Worship, meditation, yoga – all these nomenclatures share a similar concept, as all of these imply soulful, calm mind, optimism, knowledge and enlightenment.
What Is Meant By Nada
The most important element in music is nada, meaning sound. Nada is basically a musical sound which involves a melodic or aesthetical sound. It is the basic element of the entire universe, as it denotes the emergence of expressive utterance. When there is mention of music and yoga, it involves nada. In other words, yoga through music can be known as Naad Yoga, which implies “union through sound.” Meditating sound or nada develops focus, concentration and a calm-composed attitude. Naad Yoga also comprises of the most important component, which is the rendering of the word ‘Om’.
The ‘Om’ Concept
The sun makes a sound that never reaches the earth. NASA laboratory in space recorded the sound and were astonished that the sound resembles the word ‘Om.’Thus, scientists are still trying to correlate why ancient Hindu mantra and the sun’s sound is the same. ‘Om’ plays a vital role in Nada Yoga and in Indian tradition, this word is a cosmic sound considered to be the supreme power or supernatural power. Also, in Indian music, the reciting of ‘Om’ is a great source of yoga meditation, music as well as worship.
The Reciting Of ‘Om’
Reciting ‘Om’ in a proper way helps in focus, breath-control, voice sustainability, improving the quality of sound, nullifying aggressiveness, and stabilizing a peaceful and soothing attitude within us. It not only strengthens our body but improves our tonal quality (voice-texture). In the context of music, the most effective way of vocalizing ‘Om’ is through the stomach or middle abdomen.
There are three ways through which a voice is produced, through the head, throat and stomach. The voice produced through the stomach is considered to be the most accurate for the improvement of one’s tonal quality, as the voice automatically becomes full throated and non-exhaustible.
Gradually, ‘Om’ through the stomach develops a resonance and reverberation in the voice and the whole body as well. After certain levels of meditation, you can easily realize a sensitivity proceeding throughout your body. Also, for music lovers, meditation through ‘Om’ is a great path for attaining focus, especially while meditating. Throughout the whole rendition, you keep checking the production of your voice regarding its texture, volume, inner vibration, sustenance, resonance. This feeling is quite blissful and motivating.
Shrutis And Swaras
Our ears are made with the intent of carrying the precise frequency and pattern of the sound vibration that is funnelled via the outer ear and hits the ear drum in a perfect imitation of the frequency and vibratory rate. A human ear can bear sound up to 20 to 20,000 hertz. From this sound limit, ancient musicians selected 22 fine sounds which were considered calm and melodious to listen to.
These 22 sounds are called shrutis which are the microtones or very minute sound frequencies which were considered to be selected for creating any music. Among these 22 shrutis, musicians further selected seven most melodic sounds which are known as notes or swaras or saat shuddha swaras. Thus, these seven swaras are basically the most important component of music, which denotes the expressions of sound in music.
The Three Basic Components Of Music
Probing further into the dimensions of music, it can be understood that music has three basic components namely, harmonic, melodic and rhythmic. The harmonic component consists of several notes that can be played simultaneously and has a strong influence on the emotional crux of the body. Usage of instruments like tanpura and didgeridoo is made to create harmonious sounds that promote effective healing.
The melodic component consists of notes which are a sequence of ragas and scales. These have a unique influence on the listener’s mind. These ragas and scales are designed in Indian music for a specific season or particular mood like celebration, devotion, romance, contemplation etc. Lastly, the component of rhythm is concerned with the speed or tempo of music and relates with the body’s pulse or breathing pattern.