Yogi bhanu

Sound as medicine in different cultures

Cultural medicine of sound

We have seen music as a part of our lives not just recently since beginning of civilizations sound has been important aspect to transcend the conscious into supreme conscious to find the answers of existence of reality. every culture of various civilizations had their importance with sound weather it's to dance, to heal to let go, to cure, to remove the evilness.
In the modern era of the world, we have forgotten how to relate with sounds.
The music in today generation has started to control our minds and body to make us more controlled by the authorities who are governing this space. Which allows being lost and wondering how really sound can help us to grow into inner self. Destroying of the older way of lifestyle, culture, ethics and transforming into modern has made human less appreciable or acknowledged to know the beautiful effects of the music.

Instead of it using at as medicine we have become dependent on it. Slowly people have started valuing ethnic, folk, ancient, spiritual, world music because they see the sense of creation of the music.
Well the point to mention all this is to reflect on how sound can trigger our responses to certain emotions, feelings, sensations, intellect.

This allow in to search of various sounds which the ancient civilizations were looking for the truth. Entering into various states of conscious, or being in the ecstasy state, to get into transcendence state, or to treated illness or evilness.

We will see how the various ancient art of music had generated the effects into human conscious and their reason behind for using the various sound. Which will also reflect on the people and their cultural importance

Apollo was the god of music and medicine. Who predicted to cured mental disorders with songs. The philosophers Plato and Aristotle claimed that music affected the soul and the emotions. Hippocrates played music for the patients

Even in Indian culture and in and ancient Egypt music therapy was staple in temples. They also use to enter in trance or to remove some evil spirits from human souls. people also often chanted and danced on music or sound to heal the illness or sickness.

Several modern scientists and doctors are using musical frequencies to break through the medical obstacles to find a solution in both neurology and psychology.

Vedic studies of sound

Ancient indian healing system of sound
Chanting, singing and even the language of pronouncing the words or the lifestyle of people had strong importance of sounds in their life.

Several brahmins chanted specific sounds for several days in repeated way to transcend the mind abilities and increase the higher intellect to seek the truth and become one with that truth.

Every aspect of their practice was done in ritual way to give the significance of sound and how it is connecter with all the elements of sound.

Several various understandings were taken from this vast practice which was done to raise the spirit of the conscious. This brought newer techniques and principles of sound in Vedic evaluation of sound.
Mantras were chanted to raise the immunity of the self, remove the past karmic imbalance, to cure the illness, to praise for the higher elements.
The language of Vedic period was itself form of healing the conscious. The way the mantra has to recited and the only way to transfer knowledge was through oral communications and its pure sound which has a stronger impact on the meaning of the word.

They believe that even if one doesn't know the meaning of these sounds or mantras the effect will be observed because of the design of these sound has a direct connection with cosmos and other form of elements.

They compromise rather of tonally accented verses and hypnotic, abstruse melodies whose proper realizations demand oral instead or visual transmission, if you transfer them into paper they have been robbed from their true essence.
Rig Veda mentions in its verse:

Four are its horns, three its feet, two its head and seven its hands, roars loudly the three-fold bound bull. Four horns are the hour kind of words i.e. nouns, verbs, prepositions, and particles. Three feet means three tenses past, present, future and the two heads imply the eternal and temporary, its seven hands are the seven cases of affixes.

Mantras or sacred sounds are used to pierce through sensual, mental and intellectual levels of existence for the purpose of purification and spiritual enlightenment.
Through sound vibration one become liberated.
Inca studies of sound
The Incas and their predecessors used music to communicate with the ancestors, heal the sick, and bury the dead. Music followed them in war and pilgrimages, perhaps providing them with supernatural power.

Andean area, groups of musicians used wind instruments made of bone at the ceremonial centre of Caral on the central coast of Peru. Caral was the seat of various ritual activities, as evidenced by the discovery of sunken circular plazas suitable for mass public assemblies, shrines with ceremonial fire pits, and caches of offerings. Thirty-two tubular horizontal flutes were discovered in Caral. These instruments, made with pelican and condor bones, could produce seven different sounds. Most flutes were decorated with engravings representing stylized monkeys, snakes, birds, and anthropomorphic figures. The discoveries at Caral proved that music was an integral part of the ritual life of Andean people 5,000 years ago.
The mouth of the drum, which was once covered by a stretched skin, is located under the figure that had to be placed upside down or sideways in order to play. A few centuries earlier, Paracas people used similar instruments.

Archaeological investigations suggest that Nazca musical instruments were important ritual objects used during group performances at the ceremonial centre of Cahuachi. They were also likely played during processions along the great Nazca geoglyphs, which were suitable to be used as ritual pathways.
Moche ceramic imagery shows human priests and warriors as well as skeletal individuals walking in line or dancing while playing panpipes, flutes, rattle poles, trumpets, drums, and pututos. There is a strong connection between music and death in Moche iconography. Diverse instruments appear in a great variety of scenes related to death and the afterlife such as macabre dances, funerary processions, and erotic scenes involving skeletons.

Music was an essential part of life in ancient Andean cultures. People played music in their homes, for entertainment or as part of domestic rituals. Music was also at the center of political and religious activities such as processions, burials, feasts, festivals, and staged ceremonies involving large groups of people.

Aboriginals studies of sound

The Aboriginal Indigenous communities believe that our earth and everything on and in it was created by their ancestral spirits. This is known as the Dreamtime or Dreaming. During this significant period the ancestral spirits evolved from the earth and descended from the sky to walk on the land where they created and sculptured its land formations. It was a time when the mountains, rivers, rocks, deserts, people and all flora and fauna were made. It was the spirit ancestors who provided Aboriginal people the lore's, (laws) customs and codes of conduct and religious expression.

Australian Aborigines have the longest continuous cultural history of any group of people on Earth. Educated estimates date this history around 50 to 60,000 years ago.
Naturally this is incredibly important to the Aboriginal people to be kept alive and handed down through the generations. It is the basis of their culture, history, heritage, traditions and everything they believe in. These ancestors were spirits who appeared in a variety of ways such as animals, snakes, goannas, kangaroos or land forms such as rivers etc. When their work was finished the ancestral spirits returned to the earth, the sky and into the animals, land formation, and rivers. The ancestors-beings are 'alive' in the spirit of Australian Aboriginals.
The Dreamtime stories are an essential part of the Aboriginal culture. Indigenous art is centred on story telling. It is used as a chronicle to communicate knowledge of the land, events and beliefs of the Aboriginal people.
Traditionally, dreaming stories were told through various ways such as the evocative sound of the didgeridoo with song and dances and symbolic drawings. These designs were used as body paint for corroborees and sand paintings for ceremonies.

Tibetan studies of sound

There is a long-standing association between sound and the Buddha's teachings, and prominent Tibetan religious authorities such as Je Tsongkhapa and Drakpa Gyeltsen have written treatises on the theological significance of the Tibetan tantric bell (dril bu), whose shape and sound alike signify the Emptiness that rests at the heart of all phenomena. And yet – a shang, a dril bu or a rkang gling are not a singing bowl. So how did this specific shape and sound become so associated with Tibet and powerful, secret knowledge?
They are tools for transformation, to transform our ordinary being into a higher realm of the Buddha nature. The sounds of these instruments are unlike any other instrument in the world. Quite an incredible quality. "not only affects the person who's using it, but also it affects all of the surrounding area.

Actually, the sound carries very far even when we can't physically hear it. When we play the tingshaw all spirits, hungry ghosts are coming thousands of kilometres away, they can hear this sound, coming saying 'Oh, something's there!'. So, the sound is incredible. who has seeds they are, immediately they get teaching. So same way if you are ringing the singing bowl, if you didn't get teaching, but someone get teaching. So, why we made those singing bowls, why we make a bell, and cymbals, drums, conch, why you know? Each thing giving different teachings. Also, conch gives you lot of big voice giving. Conch sound is only for Dharma using, you know. For calling monks, or making pujas. So, we call that Dharma chakra, sound of conch.

In the tradition of Buddhism even from the very beginning, from the first teaching of Buddha, there is that tradition of using sound in connection with teaching.

Mongolian studies of sound

Tuvan singing, Khoomei, Holien Chord or Mongolian throat singing is one particular variant of overtone singing practiced by people in Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Tuva and Siberia.

In Mongolian throat singing, the performer produces a fundamental pitch and—simultaneously—one or more pitches over that. The history of Mongolian throat singing reaches far back. Many male herders can throat sing, but women are beginning to practice the technique as well. The popularity of throat singing among Mongolians seems to have arisen as a result of geographic location and culture. The open landscape of Mongolia allows for the sounds to carry a great distance.

Studying throat singing in these areas mark khoomei as an integral part in the ancient pastoral animism still practiced today. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective is so widely held and inherent to most indigenous peoples that they often do not even have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism"
Let us all go back to our roots to find who we really are truly and will find the answer that we all are nothing but sound and vibrations.
Let's acknowledge this ancient art of sound and incorporate in our daily life to be as better human. Well the answer to the question why we all take as human form is to reflect on the surrounding and be in harmony and equanimity. sound is the only medium which makes it resonate towards it. Through this various practices of different culture and their importance to sound has clearly tells the truth about the sound and its strong significance in their lifestyle.


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