Inspired Divine Frequency
By Jannae Jordan
Today many see the existence of music as purely for entertainment. However, if we were to take a beat and think beyond our immediate history, but rather the history of the world or better yet the universe, we find that music’s origin story is a sacred one. In the Hindu religion that a one syllable word and tone, Aum (Om), resonates at the same 432Hz frequency as the universe and all of nature. And that that sound was present at the dawn of creation. The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras also believed that creation began with sound. He referred to it as “Musica Universalis”, meaning universal music. The Bible and the Torah both speak of creation being sung into existence in some form or another. The musical scale that we are so familiar with today was essentially created by a Gregorian monk for chanting Psalms. All around the world and across many cultures and their respective mythologies and religions, sound and music are revered as a means for communing with God, Gods, Deities, our planet, spirits, elements, and celestial bodies.
As a creator of music, I have often wondered why some pieces feel divinely inspired while others feel forcibly pulled and coaxed into being. The process is either euphoric or taxing. The taxing work more often than not is upon request with formulaic requirements and deadlines. There is very little to no emotion behind the requests, just a desire to achieve a technically well composed piece of music, lyrics, and vocal performance. Again, it is very formulaic. However, when the work is inspired, it flows. Sometimes it flows like cool crystal-clear water cascading over the rocks of a calm river or a babbling brook. You just sit with it and feel the work comfortably come through. Other times it roars in like the sea during a hurricane with melodies, harmonies and words crashing into your consciousness while you sleep only calming when you surrender, get out of bed to grab a pen and something to record with, and create what the waves ask of you. Whether the pieces come through serenely or intensely, the finished work always feels like it was meant to be. In my experiences those pieces also tend to connect with more people and in much deeper ways. In other words. the projects that hit for me on a global level came to me of their own free will; no coaxing or stressing or writers block or dead ear to finding the hidden top-line and accompanying vocal arrangements. There was consciousness at play, perhaps all mine, perhaps not. But that’s another discussion involving the concept of having a
soul and a higher self. What I want to do here is open the door to the space where we ask the question: Is sound and music at its core divine?
It would take a graduate school level thesis chock full of words like Solfeggio frequencies, Hertz, resonance, cymatics, limbic and endocrine systems, mathematical, etc., plus pages of citations and references, for me to go into all of the science, history, and mythology behind why some people feel that music is divine as well as why many think it is just science. I’m not here to do that, nor am I qualified to do so as I am still seeking answers, forming new questions and learning as I go. I can only convey what I feel and believe on the matter. Based on my personal and professional experiences as a Vocalist and Songwriter, I think that inspired work is truly rooted in the divine. As a creator who has felt compelled to create certain works at times, I see it as being given a task and completing it while being led by the part of ourselves that is tethered to the universe and all around us. Over the years I have come to know that many of my peers have had similar experiences and feel as I do about it. We agree that the connection is why that work tends to cut through the noise and resonate with others in very real and personal ways. It’s more than natural talent and technical skill. As silly as it sounds, it’s your vibe! Literally and figuratively your overall vibe and energy, the frequency you were vibrating on when you created the work.
A simple and proven scientific fact is this; we are all in constant vibration, emitting our own frequencies. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/), the overall range of human resonant frequencies is 9-16 Hz. There’s a lot of fancy math that gets more into it. But that’s the average range of a human being’s natural frequency. Knowing that I ask, is it implausible that some of us would be in sync? And more than that; if those of us who are in sync are so because we are in sync with a greater vibration, perhaps the one that sang us into creation? The same vibration found in nature. The frequency of Earth itself is ever present all around us and goes right through us. Granted, we vibrate at considerably lower frequencies than the planet. But the fact that we exist speaks to our vibrational compatibility with our planet. Kind of like playing chords, the notes can be several keys apart and make a sound that works. Vocal harmony is a prime example of this sort of compatibility as well. In this instance I’m saying some of us are synched up and tuned in more acutely than others. For some by design, and others by desire, discipline, and meditation. I’d like
to believe one day we all will be. Keep in mind, I still cry when I see that old Coca-Cola advertisement with the hippies on a mountain in Switzerland singing “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony...”. I’m a cynical dreamer, but I dream big, and I do hope we can all sync up one day because the lack of harmony in the world seems unrelenting at times. Discord everywhere. See what I did there? Music is so much a part of our lives that linguistically, musical references are embedded into our language to describe the universal themes of peace and chaos.
Although we as humans are, and have always been, in a constant dance with music and sound almost as if it’s a part of us, something is off these days. I may want to sync up with others, you may want to do so as well. But it would seem that we can’t reach one another in quite the same way we used to. Today we live in a world where we are constantly being bombarded by more frequencies than ever before in human history! We are literally unconsciously, subconsciously slogging through a thick soup of transmissions of everything from news... social media...air traffic control...smart house devices ... audio and video surveillance...traffic signals...cellular phones... miscellaneous streaming TV and movies, and music transmitting in the air 24/7. And what’s more than that, we are now co-dependently tethered by way of the Wi-Fi umbilicus to our many electronic devices as we need them to decipher and consume and engage with all of it at any given time. How do we still find, hear, and feel that one right frequency in the midst of it all? For many of us we just do. Which is why now more than ever before, I believe that when you hear something that lifts your spirit or feels healing in some way, in the purest sense it’s because it was created on the right frequency.
I believe that creators of works that heal, comfort, inspire, express the truest forms of love, passion, and compassion, are divinely assigned to create that music to get through the cluttered broadcast soup for people to connect with it. I also believe that is why there is a movement of those who feel driven to create music that vibes on a higher level to take more control over what we cast out sonically via sound waves into the atmosphere. We know and respect that music’s genesis was sacred. Today it’s easy to forget that as it has become overwhelmingly commercial and monetized to entertain, or even numb people to the harsh bits of reality that we are also bombarded with in that aforementioned soup of transmissions and daily life. However, there are still many of us creators of music who know that somewhere in the mix we must keep some lines open for that which connects us all to “the all” around us so that we don’t lose ourselves. It’s
inherent for us to desire synchronicity and connection, it’s a part of our make-up. Much like how the solar system moves as it always has, like a perfectly calibrated and choreographed example of how things should be. Which is why I really appreciate Pythagoras’ Musica Universalis, also referenced as, Harmony of the Spheres. The spheres being all of the bits in our solar system. There is balance, order, and calm in that. There is also sound, and music ascribed to that.
This piece clearly isn’t about solving the mysteries of music and sound. This isn’t supposed to make anyone feel poorly or intellectually superior about their listening choices or how they create music. I just want you to think on this for a moment. Whether you find this to be mere fodder, or heavy food for thought, I just want people to think. As a creator of music and devotee of words, music, and sound, I rather like the idea of starting a conversation for others that may take them on a journey of thought exploration that they hadn’t considered going on before. If nothing else, I hope you take a moment to ponder a question about the universe in general. As for this moment, no matter if you are a pure science person or a spiritual or religious one, we all know what sound is.
Think of a bell, such a simple instrument and simple sound capable of many tones and decibels. A loud strong bell breaking a still quiet space can startle. A soft gentle bell can awaken or signal something pleasant. It’s so basic, and we all understand it. We also know what music is. The assemblage of sound, musical notes in an order that some compose with no idea of its mathematical relevance just that the collection of notes in a particular order is pleasing to the ear. Yet, that same collection of sound, that music, can alter one’s mood negatively or positively. It can be evocative of memories, sensations, and emotions so deep that one can experience feelings of ecstasy, catharsis or pure bliss! We know that even when people can’t understand the language of a song lyric that they can understand the feeling imbued into the composition or vocal performance of that same song. And we know that sound was here before we were. Knowing those things is more than enough for me to continue to listen deeply while asking more questions. So, I guess I’m posing a challenge here. I challenge you to take a moment, think of a song that has always moved you in a good way. Sit with it and ask yourself what is it about that song that does it for you? See what you come up with! If you create music, ask yourself the same thing. Except for you, it’s why did you feel that song needed to be brought forth into existence?
I leave you with this; many moons ago back in college for my Philosophy class term paper, I theorized that God was an author and wrote the story of us in many languages with variations on certain themes so that one day we would all realize we were one. That all our stories were the same, just different languages. Clearly I’m oversimplifying what I wrote back then. I will say this, it was good, and I got an “A” for it! I was very young, and that was many years ago. Today I think I rather prefer the notion that all of creation was composed and sung into existence with mighty intention, and it all flowed into being. Now, our job is to all get on the same note and harmoniously continue to the composition and sing it together. And yes, I really would like to buy the world a Coke!
This piece was originally published in Synchronized Chaos, in the Sound Medicine: Electronica issue. October 2023.
Thank you again to Co-Editors, Cristina Deptula and Kahlil Crawford, for inviting me to contribute to this issue!
Soundtrack for this essay: