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Made of Music

Article by Jillian Mitchell // August 02 2008
Made of Music

Did you know that a black hole about 2.5 billion years old is humming the deepest musical note ever created: a B-flat that’s a million billion times deeper than your ear can hear? As I was perusing the web, I came across this integral statement about our musical universe, in particular the Perseus cluster—vibrating gasses in an alternate galaxy 250 million light-years away. Now, that’s intense. To say the least, our universe (and beyond) is musical indeed.

Whether it’s the chirping of birds, the humming of bees, the whistling of the wind, the chattering people in the streets, or the newest tuneage raging on your iPOD, music surrounds our entire being at every minute of every day. Even silence, in essence, is not completely silent. As modern technology advances, scientists continue to discover more and more elements of our natural earth that contain these innate vibrations. As Jill Neimark states, in her article Sound Healing: The Restorative Powers of Chant, Rhythm and Music, “It’s been 30,000 years since primitive man first picked up a bone and carved a flute. It’s now possible to map music’s traces in the brain, study its impact on the immune system, and listen to the songs of black holes and living cells.”

Music is everywhere, including in our genetic cellular makeup. Therefore since we are, as human beings, composed of music (It’s in our living cells…I’m not just making a bad pun here), isn’t it only natural that we respond favorably to music and emulate its harmony in our natural world? Across the globe, every person in every culture is fascinated by music. Music moves us, it entices us, it enthralls us, and it relaxes us. As Bob Proctor, one of the great, prolific teachers of the cult-hit, selfhelp DVD, The Secret, suggests,“When you’re feeling down, did you know that you can change it in an instant? Put on a beautiful piece of music, or start singing—that’ll change your emotion. I guarantee you’ll feel good.”

There is a universal connectedness that human beings have with music,—that being, even a little taste of music can affect our mood (think of how songs in major keys create feelings of happiness, while songs in minor keys create feelings of melancholy). As a result, I began to wonder what else hides behind rhythm and melody. Besides mood alteration, could there be other health benefits found in this infinite source? According to scientific research, music, specifically drumming, has physical, mental and spiritual benefits. I have fashioned a list of these benefits for you to utilize to your advantage. The next time that annoying neighbor, or nagging parent bangs on your door, telling you to “be quiet,” tell them you’re drumming for your health. As Michael Drake, a ceremonial drummer and author of The Shamanic Drum raves, “Today’s drummers are rediscovering the ecstatic side of drumming.” Here’s hoping you can too.

Physical, Mental & Spiritual Benefits

  • Boosts immune system
  • Alleviates pain
  • Promotes physical rehabilitation
  • Helps fight cancer, AIDS
  • Builds muscle and endurance
  • Regulates breath
  • Promotes the production of endorphins and endogenous opiates, the bodies own morphine-like painkillers
  • Acts as a valuable treatment for stress, fatigue, anxiety, hypertension, asthma, chronic pain, arthritis, mental illness, migraines, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, paralysis, emotional disorders, and a wide range of physical disabilities. ~ About.com
  • Produces feelings of well-being
  • Releases emotional trauma
  • Encourages tranquility
  • Enables better focus & enhances memory
  • Reduces stress & decreases depression
  • Aids visualization
  • Improves communication
  • Accesses the entire brain: “The reason rhythm is such a powerful tool is that it permeates the entire brain…The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).” (About.com)
  • Reintegrates the self
  • Induces meditative states
  • Encourages a deeper self-awareness
  • Synchronizes the frontal and lower areas of the brain, integrating nonverbal information from lower brain structures into the frontal cortex which produces “feelings of insight, understanding, integration, certainty, conviction, and truth, which surpass ordinary understandings and tend to persist long after the experience, often providing foundational insights for religious and cultural traditions.” (About.com)




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About the Author
Jillian Mitchell

As a professional vocalist (and self-professed grammar nerd), Jill brings a fresh perspective to The Black Page. In addition to earning a B.A. in music, creative writing and English, Jill has also studied vocals with Philadelphia-based vocal coach Owen Brown, known for his work with Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, and Wyclef Jean. Jill makes up the other half of world soul group The Mitchells, alongside Black Page creator, Sean Mitchell.



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