…emotions of any kind are produced by melody and rhythm; therefore by music a man becomes accustomed to feeling the right emotions; music has thus power to form character, and the various kinds of music based on the various modes may be distinguished by their effects on character – one, for example, working in the direction of melancholy, another of effeminacy; one encouraging abandonment; another self control, another enthusiasm, and so on through the series.
If the air vibrations of sound are capable of shattering glass and causing nausea and headache, it can perhaps also “soothe the savage…” of the unconscious and allow for a more relaxed and peaceful state of being, or as the Chinese stated, music can balance the vital energies. Music is the midwife between the physical body and the spiritual self. Therefore, it is advantageous to listen to music that elevates us to a state in which we want to be. Since childbirth is miraculous and should be joyous, certainly we would not like to be influenced by the music of a mechanistic composer. Rather, it would be beneficial to listen to music throughout pregnancy that is uplifting and reaching toward the sublime.
Much of the music of the twentieth century is mechanistic and materialistic. Pregnancy and birthing have been handled in just such a manner. Perhaps by moving towards sounds that are spiritual, we can reconnect to that aspect of the self. We must place our own value on our experiences in life and not be manipulated by the mechanistic culture in which we live, just because it is expedient for the technicians who attend to us. Perhaps to arrive at a resolution within our own self we should use all the tools that we can. As our dreams tell us of our self, our center, our soul, so the music that we play can facilitate that journey.
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony raises the question of worldliness and resolves it into the selection of that which is spiritual. During the final trimester, why not fill the air with the five final string quartets of Beethoven? Certainly these quartets can lead us to the joy and serenity and alignment of mind, body and spirit that is so imperative for an easy and joyous birthing.
The study of plant growth under certain kinds of music seems to reconcile the belief that music is objectively good for us or bad for us; that is, if we believe that the growth and proliferation of plants under the influence of Bach, and the withering and ultimate death of plants subjected to rock music, are inherently good and bad effects of music. A similar study was done with rats that were placed in identical mazes with a connecting bridge to each. When Bach was piped into the right maze and rock music into the left, all the rats hovered in the Bach box. The music now reversed, and the rats scurried from the right rock box over to the new Bach box. No one knows exactly what the rats felt, but it seems that they experienced some kind of pain when they heard rock and an absence of pain or perhaps pleasure or comfort when they heard and felt Bach. It appears, then, that certain tunes are life enhancing, while certain other tonal combinations are detrimental to the life force.
A preliminary study has been executed with bacteria, finding that they die under some musical conditions and multiply under others.
If the joy of life comes with the alignment of mind, body and spirit, certainly music is the perfect vehicle for arriving at this joy.
Through the recommended music, your mind is engaged, thus concentration becomes automatic; the heart rate, regulated by the rhythm, reaches its natural state, and the sweetness of the music fills the heart with the tenderness appropriate for the miracle of birth. The composition of the music also calls forth the spirit, thus bringing into play all of the aspects necessary to connect to the joy of life. As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun. In each age we rediscover the same truths in a way in which they will be able to accommodate themselves into our society and our belief systems. The ancient cultures felt that all disease was an imbalance and that music, in proper tonal combinations, was capable of healing all ills. Through music one’s entire being can be exalted, and therein lies the fulfillment of life.
When a society lives in a certain condition for a long length of time, that condition becomes an unconscious way of life. Pain and childbirth and anguish in it have been imposed upon women of our Western culture for a long, long time. For many women, to have a pain-free childbirth is a dream, a complete unreality. Many women want to get out of that belief system, but are holding on to it in some part of their unconscious.
Disharmony can cause illness and pain, thus it is harmony that provides the cure. Perhaps the saying, “as in music, so in life,” can come to pass. It may be difficult to change our belief systems overnight, but the peace, serenity and harmony provided by “good” music is automatic.
For the past 6 years we have been recommending Gregorian Chant to be played throughout the second and third stage of labor. The more intense the rhythmic risings (formerly known as contractions) the lower the volume. Our evidence based program shows that labor is much easier and the “Gregorian Chant Babies” are the most blissful. We use it in conjunction with the Leclaire Original Hypnobirthing Method.
“Bringing Peace to the World One Baby at a Time”