Music in Our Genes
Larry Dossey, M.D. in his excellent article, “The Body as Music.”, eloquently addresses an even deeper level of music when he states: “Why are we moved by music? One reason may be that the body itself is intrinsically musical, right down to the DNA that makes up our genes.”
The idea that DNA and music might be connected originates with the work of Dr. Susumu Ohno, a geneticist at the Beckman Institute of the City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, California. Dr. Ohno has notated more than fifteen songs based on the DNA of a variety of living organisms.
He finds that the more evolved an organism, the more complicated the music. The DNA of a single-cell protozoan, for example, translates into a simple four-note repetition. But music transcribed from human DNA––such as the body’s receptor site for insulin––is much more complex.
“Listeners knowledgeable about classical music hear similarities between these DNA-based compositions and the music of Bach, Brahms, Chopin, and other great composers,” writes Dr. Ohno. “DNA melodies are majestic and inspiring. Many persons hearing them for the first time are moved to tears. They cannot believe that their bodies, which they believed to be mere collections of chemicals, contain such uplifting, inspiring harmonies––that they are musical.”
Not only can one make music starting with DNA, it is also possible to reverse the process. In other words, you take a piece of music and assign nucleotides to the notes. The end result resembles a strand of DNA. Ohno tried this with a Chopin piece and the final result resembled a cancer gene!11
Now if music affects us down to the level of DNA, I believe each of our organs is singing its own song. We are healthy when our organs are singing in harmony. We feel sick when they are singing out of tune. From my own experiences it is clear that listening to music helps the body stay in tune.
A Melody a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
For optimal health, Steven Halpern, Ph.D. a foremost creator of healing music, suggests listening to music with an alpha/theta brainwave rhythm (alpha is 7-13 Hertz and theta is 3-7 Hertz) for a minimum of thirty minutes per day. Halpern bases this statement, in part, on an understanding of the correlation between vibrations in the Earth’s electromagnetic field and those of the human body. The Earth vibrates at an inaudible frequency of approximately 8 cycles per second. When the human body is deeply relaxed it too vibrates at approximately 8 cycles per second. This sympathetic resonance is known as Schumann’s Resonance, and it implies that being in harmony with oneself and the universe may be more than a mere poetic concept. 12
Listening to alpha and theta frequencies as Halpern describes helps to induce a trophotropic state, a powerful healing condition in the body. The opposite of this state is the ergotropic state, which triggers a fight or flight response that causes stress and fatigue. Busy schedules and over stimulation naturally force us into ergotropic states that eventually lead to exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and illness. Relaxing and listening to music in the alpha/theta range brings on a trophotropic state and helps restore balance.13
Knowing this, the question then becomes, what kind of music supports synchronized alpha/theta brainwave states? Since each of us is unique and has differing needs, what feels restful and healing for some may not be appealing to others. However, there are certain desirable qualities in music to be used for inner work. The most appropriate music tends to be the opposite of the kind that we play in our cars and homes as we hustle and bustle through our busy days. More often than not, inner space music contains no vocals since lyrics stimulate the logic-dominant left hemisphere of the brain, as opposed to our more creative right hemispheres. Inner music also tends to feature slower rhythms that help our heart rates and brainwaves to slow down. Furthermore, the musical formats are generally harmonic with instrumentation that facilitates an introspective or contemplative mode. The most effective musical selections are those that permit your mind to wander gently and enter a peaceful state of being. The soundtrack may center on the ambience of nature, which can help you get in tune with the natural environment, or it may feature more ethereal sounds and long moments of silence where some say we can experience Oneness or God.
Constance Demby, a well-respected symphonic space musician, whose classic Novus Magnificat was voted by New Age Voice as one of the 25 most influential ambient albums of all time, explains that for the music to take you to soul levels you must be a willing participant. She encourages listeners to participate in “frontal listening,” as opposed to background listening. Ask to be taken to the same realms that the music came from, she says. Open your heart, surrender, and let the music in all the way. People can go much further when they consciously focus on the music and surrender to it. By allowing their minds to follow the music they are led to the Source of the music—and its transformational power. In a sense, it means meditating with the music.  14
Therefore, when listening to music for healing or voyages to inner and outer space, it’s best to begin with the proper attitude. Next, sit or lie down in a noise-free environment where you know that you will not be disturbed for at least 45 minutes. Make sure that you’ve rid yourself of all distractions. The best approach is to create a sacred space where you can relax, reduce worrisome thoughts, and minimize external stimuli. Doing so helps to open yourself to inner visions created by the auditory nerve’s response to the music.
It’s clear to me that I wouldn’t have had such profound experiences with music if I had not also been in a conducive state of acceptance. At the Monroe Institute, renowned for facilitating states of expanded consciousness and out-of-body experiences, we were freed from all our daily distractions—no watches, cell phones, newspapers, or TVs—for an entire week. My colleagues and I each came with the intention to explore the consciousness of inner and outer space. I am certain that being in the right frame of mind helped facilitate my transformational musical encounters.
More than Music—Metamusic
Metamusic is music that is specifically designed to promote healing and encourage voyages to inner and outer space. The audible musical compositions are then significantly enhanced by the synergistic addition of Hemi-Sync brainwave signals. These subaudible electrical sound wave patterns are blended and sequenced to support different states of consciousness.
Hemi-Sync works by playing slightly different tones in each ear, which then harmonize inside your brain. To better understand, imagine playing two notes on the piano. If played one after the other you hear the difference between them. But when played at the same time, you hear them in harmony. Hemi-Sync works the same way, except that since the tones are subaudible the synchronization process occurs inside your brain instead of outside your ear. When precisely controlled Hemi-Sync tones are combined in the brain, the entire brain begins to resonate. It becomes ‘entrained’ to the frequency, producing a unique whole-brain state known as hemispheric synchronization, or Hemi-Sync. When Hemi-Sync is added to relaxing music the result is Metamusic.
The magic of Hemi-Sync and Metamusic lies in its capacity to deliberately and directly induce the trophotropic state. By recording subaudible alpha and theta frequencies beneath the already engaging music the Monroe Institute creates musical tools with a powerful healing potential.
Many people first seek Metamusic for meditation, inner exploration, or for guided imagery work. Favorite selections among Monroe Institute enthusiasts include:Ascension and Higher, both by J.S. Epperson, Deep Journes y by Steven Halpern, Inner Journey and The Journey Home, both by Micah Sadigh, Mystic Realms, and Into the Deep by Matthew Sigmon and Julie Anderson.
Because the Hemi-Sync tones can be adjusted to any frequency, including the sleep inducing delta range, Metamusic can also be used to help people with insomnia and sleep disruptions. More than 30 million Americans suffer from insomnia and sleep disorders. Metamusic helps a growing number of them to drift off to sleep more readily and enjoy rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is essential for good health.
Because these musical selections are specifically designed to take listeners into deep states of relaxation and consciousness, they should NEVER be used while driving a car or moving vehicle.
Metamusic is not just for inner work and healing though. By combining music with Hemi-sync frequencies in the stimulating beta harmonic range, it can be used to induce periods of sustained creative energy and mental concentration.
Music is truly a bridge to good health, and Metamusic is a marriage between the innate power of music and the wonder of Hemi-Sync. I agree with Deepak Chopra, M.D.’s belief that it is our duty to humanity to be as healthy as we can possibly be. We are all ripples in a vast cosmic sea, and the vibrations of our mental, physical, and spiritual beings affect everything else. As Chopra says, each of us is, in effect, a wave of sound that hums a tune throughout our lives. 16
By making conscious choices about the types of music that we listen to we can improve our health, explore inner realms, and enhance our creative and mental performance. As we become healthier and happier through the use of uplifting music, so too do our relationships with others and with the world around us. How could it possibly be otherwise when the entire universe is singing a single song?