Suppression

Singing and humming

Category: Actions

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

The objective of this activity is to either sing or hum, or listen to humming in such a manner that you resonate your own head – the skull and inner organs.  Thus this is not just ordinary singing and humming, it is singing and humming designed to find your ‘resonant frequency’ – the frequency that gives you a spiritual experience.

Although I have placed it in the suppression category, because it  is a relatively benign activity, it can generate some very high Emotion.

 

 

 

 

Background

The human voice can be trained and the human vocal cords are complex enough to produce sounds at any number of different frequencies from the same single pitch tone.  In this respect the human vocal cords are not dissimilar to a stringed instrument.

The pitch of the string of the human voice may be more complex because although you may hum one actual fundamental frequency, there may be any number of different additional unperceived additional frequencies called  ‘overtones’.  These overtones can also interfere with one another producing yet more, sometimes inaudible frequencies.

‘Interference’ occurs when two waves superimpose each other to form a resultant wave of greater or lower amplitude. In this case they have nearly the same frequency.

When two sinusoidal waves superimpose, the resulting waveform depends on the frequency (or wavelength) amplitude and relative phase of the two waves. If the two waves have the same amplitude A and wavelength the resultant waveform will have an amplitude between 0 and 2A depending on whether the two waves are in phase or out of phase.

BUT, if there is slight difference in the frequency and they are out of  phase, they don’t cancel each other out but generate a tiny wave equal to the difference between the two.

So, for example, if  someone sings a note  with a fundamental frequency of  300HZ, which also had an overtone frequency of  310HZ, a pulsed signal of 10HZ would result – a frequency low enough to generate resonance of a number of organs in the brain.

A pulsed signal of 10HZ is classified as infrasound – you’d feel it  but you wouldn’t hear it. Robert Monroe called this your resonant frequency and in his CDs there is an introductory part which enables you to practise with various levels of humming noises.  If you look in the sections on overtone singing and the other forms of human voice based song, you will see some very specific examples of this technique.

Method

If you do the humming, you can change the shape of the resonant cavities of your mouth, larynx and pharynx to use this technique.   This ‘resonant tuning’ allows you to create all sorts of frequencies at the same time, while in effect still generating a single fundamental frequency with your vocal folds.  You have to experiment, see what happens.

But there are ways of listening or generating a hum that don't require you to do the singing, you just have to pick the right sort of humming!  In effect, there are a number of ways in which you can get your skull and inner organs of the brain resonating, here are some suggestions:

  • Humming – this section describes both CDs you can use and ways to hum yourself, so you need to select the ways to use for yourself
  • Throat and overtone singing – which has to be learnt, but seems to be very effective because it covers such a range of frequencies and thus is guaranteed to stimulate something!
  • Singing carnatic music – I have been unable to find any specific observations for this technique, but the sacredness of the approach means it is probably very effective.  The sheer length of time that carnatic music has been in existence and used in the religious context  testifies to its efficacy. 
  • Singing Hasidic songs – again no observations, but lots of circumstantial evidence
  • Long song
  • Playing the mouth harp or trump– one might argue that one is playing a musical instrument here, but it isn’t a musical instrument it is a resonator, and serves to make the resonance more effective
  • Bhramari pranayama – humming bee breath.

Hazrat Inayat Khan ‘The Mysticism of Sound and Music”

When .. a person sings a note in… any pitch which is quite natural to him … that will be a source of that person’s own healing as well as that of others.  But the person who has found out the key note of his own voice, has the key to his whole life.  That person, through the key note of his own voice, can then wind his own being and can help others…..Every person is gifted.  God has given him a certain pitch, a natural note, and if that pitch develops and he develops that natural note, it is magic, he can perform a miracle

How it works

It may help here to refer to the Model of the Mind and the generic description of How spiritual experience works 

Functionally -  there is a high level of effect from the Emotion generated.  Singing your heart out, so to speak, and being involved also ensures that the Reasoning function is suppressed to a certain extent as is the Learning function, so we have an interesting combination of high levels of  Emotion [overload] coupled with suppression of two key preventers of spiritual experience.  There is also partial sensory deprivation in that the constant humming sound acts like no sound at all.

Physically – the activity works via Resonance.  See also Brain and its functions

The frequency of the sound is key.  It must match the resonant frequency of the organs in the brain.   As every person differs in the size of even the organs in their brain, it is possible that a certain frequency will work for one person but not another.

Thus two people singing the same notes might get different results – one may get a profound experience, another may get nothing, another might get an overwhelming prod to their emotions and feel bliss joy or despair.

You have to keep on trying, but there is every reason to believe that the songs devised by mystics will be very close to being of the right tone and pitch.

Advantages

  • To any shaman capable of singing at this level, the singing is sacred and has a religious meaning which must be accompanied by the correct forms of behaviour and attitude.  So although there is every reason to believe that this technique works well, I think you do need to take exactly the same attitude.  In which case it becomes part of your  own spiritual journey.
  • This method has the advantage that it is, relatively speaking, low intensity.
  • It works really well, the historical use of this form of singing world-wide testifies to its efficacy.
  • It is legal.
  • It is safe.
  • You have no danger of being brain washed - a hum is a hum.

Disadvantages

  • You may have to be taught the techniques and what to look for. 
  • This is a very time consuming task and may require some dedication.

Related observations