Updated: Aug 6, 2021
With sound therapy you are bathed in waves of frequencies from crystal bowls and tuning forks to bongo drums and rattles. From the voice to the flute or reed pipe.
Acoustics is the scientific name for the study of the many effects of sound. The term derives from the Greek word akoustos, meaning heard. The history of sound therapy is a long and fascinating one. We are going to highlight a couple of aspects of it here: Starting with Chaladni. The German Hungarian musician and physicist was born in 1756, the same year as Mozart, and died the same year as Beethoven. He laid the foundation for the discipline of acoustics within physics. In fact, he is sometimes referred to as the “father of acoustics.”
Chaladni followed up the work of English scientist Robert Hooke, who over a century earlier had observed the impact of sound on everyday matter. Hooke had covered a glass plate with flour and run a violin bow along the edge of that plate. He noted that the vibration of the bow was creating strange patterns on the glass. The patterns were resulting from something called ‘nodal lines’, which formed in those areas of the plate which, in contrast to other parts weren’t vibrating. Chladni continued the experiments of Hooke and perfected them. Substituting sand for flour on most occasions. The patterns he created from these experiments are commonly known as “Chladni figures”. His work resulted in an increased understanding of the direct impact of sound waves on physical structures.