Goethe created the famous quote: architecture is ”frozen music.” But exactly how is architecture correlated to sound?
The size of the sound wave varies depending on the pitch. Sound waves bounce off the walls and can combine so that the high points or crests of the waves hit each other, combining their sizes. Other waves combine so that the high and low points cancel each other out. Sounds waves create different patterns after they bounce off different sized rooms. Due to the shape of rooms some musical notes combine so that they increase a pitch and decrease another pitch. All this “sciency” talk, what does it mean in plain English? Different rooms amplify certain frequencies. The amplification is a subtle, small difference in the sound, but subtle sounds influence more than we are conscious of. In a soft way, spaces around us speak.
Yet there are more ways that architecture connects to sounds. Any interval (two notes played at the same time) creates a pleasant or dissonant sound. Way back before Christ, Pythagoras discovered that special ratios of musical strings create pleasant sounds. Simple ratios create easy-to- listen-to sounds and complex ratios form negative feeling sounds. Likewise in architecture, the ratio of width and height of a room forms ratios. Once again we find the same building blocks in music and architecture. Simple rations that produce pleasing sounds also create a structure that we find beautiful. Further, Cymatics studies show that the Platonic solids emerge from the perfect sound frequencies of the diatonic musical scale. Again spaces and music are linked and relinked! Given the connections between sound/music and architecture, including designs of spaces, there has been surprisingly little emphasis on “sound spaces.” This was not true in ancient times; they were more conscious of subtle influences on people’s consciousness and perceptions.
Ancient monuments and famous buildings were built as if the designers were “musically playing the building.” In Egypt, the King’s chamber‘s dimensions correspond to musical notes! The coffer inside the King’s chamber resonates or amplifies the frequency of A (440 Hz), which the Western world tunes to.
Four other resonant frequencies in the King’s chamber correspond with the musical notes F#, A, C# and D#, which happen to be the “F sharp melodic minor scale.” Indian shamans tuned their ceremonial flutes to F sharp to attune to Earth. The ancient Chinese also believed F# was the sound of Mother Earth.
The resonance frequencies of the King’s chamber correspond with the resonance frequencies found in the 4 nucleotides of the DNA molecule. DNA has four basic building blocks: adenine , cytosine , guanine and thymine. A pair of them is sequenced to a DNA string. The complete DNA is a spiraling helix of three billion such pairs. But what does DNA sound like? According to Dr. Horowitz, “three Nobel Laureates in medicine advanced research revealed that the primary function of DNA is in the realm of bioacoustic and bioelectric signaling.” Is DNA like a musical keyboard? It does vibrates as all energy does? Vibrations create sounds.
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry David W. Deamer of the University of California used infrared light to measure the resonance frequencies of the four bases of DNA. Each base resonated to an average of 15 frequencies, 60 frequencies in total. The pitches were not perfect musical notes, but were centered around four musical notes – which are the same resonance frequencies of the King’s chamber in the Great Pyramid!
Now this discovery lends credibility to Edgar Cayce’s claims that the Great Pyramid was used for healing, given that the resonance frequencies that were used in the King’s chamber correspond with the resonance frequencies of the DNA bases.
With further exploration and understanding of the power of subtle vibrations, we will again reclaim the usage of special buildings and spaces to uplift our populations!