What I love about being a musician is the opportunity to learn more about the history of music. Now, had you asked me that while I was a student, I’d probably have growled at you. Way back in the recesses of my brain, I dig up the memory of music history classes – it was all before the days of the Internet. We had these little “drop the needle” quizzes where the professor would choose one of the tunes on our listening list and drop the needle of the record player somewhere in that tune and we’d have to know which tune it was. Oh yeah, and we were required to identify the specific section of larger symphonic works. Here’s the problem, we generally had 20 hours of listening for each exam. Can you say “brain fry?” Sure… I knew you could. I spent countless hours in the music library. If we got lucky, the librarian would make us cassette tapes so we could listen at home.
Now that my little music history reminiscent moment is over, I’ll move onto the meat of this blog post. As mentioned in previous articles, as well as in the video (below), I started out desiring to record with the ancient solfeggio frequencies. After researching them, I changed my mind because the information on how they came about didn’t line up with what I know about music theory or history. I let them sit on a shelf for quite some time until I could gather more information. Now, 3.5 years later, I haven’t changed my mind but I’ve researched enough to understand a little more about the history of the ancient solfeggio frequencies as proposed by Leonard Horowitz and Joseph Puleo.
With that two-paragraphed introduction, I’ll introduce the video I made for your viewing pleasure.
In this video PowerPoint presentation, I…
- Compare and contrast ancient solfeggio frequencies with musical historical facts
- Demonstrate how the ancient solfeggio frequency scale differs from Pythagorean, just intonation, and the equal tempered scale
- I sing part of the “Hymn to Saint John the Baptist” for you (Ooh… that’s really scary)
- Provide an overview of musical temperament, concert pitch, and harmonics
- Present a timeline of musical temperament from 74,000 BC until now
- Give Cliff Notes biographical information on Joseph Puleo and Leonard Horowitz
- Compare/contrast just intonation, Pythagorean tuning, and equal temperament
- Give tips on how to tune to the ancient solfeggio frequencies for your instrument should you choose to use them
Let me reiterate this before you watch the video. Although the historical facts don’t line up with what Puleo and Horowitz present, if you like using these tones, go for it! I propose they are new and not old because history doesn’t confirm their age as being a possibility before the 20th century.
When music is being used for the purposes of emotional healing, intent becomes the ruling factor. As discussed in the Musical Intent blog post, the intent of the performer is very important. In addition, I believe that healing is more stable when we deal with our emotions first. I can say that based on personal experience. That then trickles down into the physical body which is why people tend to have a physical reaction to healing music. When our emotions become stable, our bodies don’t have to “think” about the emotional state so more energy can be put into physical healing.
Both Puleo and Horowitz were in the medical profession. (Puleo has now passed away.) They know a lot about medicine but very little about music. That’s easy to pick up on in Horowitz’s YouTube videos. In order to understand how the ancient solfeggio frequencies compare to what we know about music, you need to understand music theory at a fairly advanced level. In addition, sight reading skills are a must. And, one must have the ability to read sheet music. Music history? Anyone can find that information. How are we going to know if the information watched in a video or read in an article or blog post is accurate concerning the ancient solfeggio frequencies? You won’t unless you’re a musician, can read music, and understand music theory and history. I guess that’s why you have people like me who can help shed light on technical musical matters. Don’t be shy… use the “contact us” button in the right side bar to shoot me your questions or send me links.
I’ve spent close to 4 years researching these frequencies and although I’ve found a lot of stuff, I’m sure there’s still more to discover. The information Horowitz and Puleo presented hasn’t changed much. What they say is repeated over and over in videos, articles, and sermons (yes, even in sermons). There are entire websites devoted to the solfeggio frequencies. What I find most entertaining is the arguing back and forth concerning A=440 vs A=444 and/or the A=432 concert pitches. I’ll say it again… I believe intent is at least as important as the actual frequency. And, people can argue all they want but that won’t change the historical or theoretical facts.
For the people who don’t enjoy watching videos, I do have a PowerPoint presentation that goes along with the video. I’ve turned it into PDF format and you can download it (below the video).
With that, enjoy the video!
Download the PDF of the PowerPoint presentation below:
A Tour of the Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies