How music affects our brain waves

“Several studies have shown that alpha waves increase to the extent that listeners report having “enjoyed” the music”. (Gaynor 2002)

Calm and overtone rich music can slow brain waves and support alpha waves (8-13hz). Alpha waves help in relaxation. The brain produces alpha waves just before sleep at the border between wakefulness and sleep. “Neuroscientists recently made a correlation between an increase of alpha brain waves—either through electrical stimulation or mindfulness and meditation—and the ability to reduce depressive symptoms and increase creative thinking”. (“Alpha Brain Waves Boost Creativity and Reduce Depression”, 2017)

Studies made on eastern traditions of sound have also revealed how they can support certain brain waves production:

“an analysis of Shamanic drumming that showed that the rhythmic beats encompass a frequency range of .8 to 5.0 cycles per second, which she notes as having “theta driving capacity.” Achterberg is referring to theta brain waves, a frequency we attain when in profound states of relaxation, states most notably achieved in waking consciousness by masters of Buddhist meditation. This research suggests that sound, here in the context of a Shamanic ritual, can entrain brain waves in a manner that is clinically significant, both for altered states of consciousness and for healing. Theta states are considered a bridge between conscious and unconscious processes, rarely traveled routes to profound self-understanding and physical regeneration. Tibetan Buddhist meditators use two small bells shaped like tiny cymbals called Ting-Sha’s. In meditation rituals, the Ting Sha’s are rung together, and each produces a slightly different tone. Careful studies have shown that this tonal difference causes the bells to emit Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) sounds between 4 and 8 cycles per second. This is range of brain waves during meditation”. (Gaynor 2002)

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