SARASWATI  SOCIETY
THE ART OF DEVOTION TO SELF KNOWLEDGE

MELODY

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A person can speak a single word and cause a whole series of events to follow from it.  Such is the power of sound in the form of the spoken word.  If that word was not pronounced correctly it may be misunderstood and the events which follow may not be those which were originally intended.  We understand this aspect in the use of sound and the importance of our language being heard and understood properly, especially when it is important for the intended effect to follow on. But do we also understand this in respect of music? Music, or more properly melody, has the potential for a greater power than the spoken word.  So it may be more important for us to examine the accuracy of the music we make or that which we listen to.  (see Danileou quote 1)

Melody, which is the occurrence of natural intervals, will give delight to the soul of man. If these intervals are pure and purposeful then our mind and spirit will be uplifted. The use of altered or unnatural intervals may produce tensions and deprive us from the experience of delight.

Has anyone determined the effect which modern music produces on the mind or the psyche of the listener, in respect of the unnatural intervals which it contains? (see Danielou quote 2)

There are philosophers of the past who would point to music with unnatural intervals as being the cause of the downfall of the state (see Danieliou quote 3), let alone the affect it may have on the mind and soul of the listeners.

All the great teachings of the world point to sound preceding the visible universe in the process of its creation. Hence we can deduce that natural melody may lead us closer to the true Self than any other thing.  We all know that melody can be both played and enjoyed with the eyes closed. Hence we may also understand that melody may be more deeply experienced with senses that look inward rather than with those which point to the material world.  Looking inward and seeking deeper causes are the focus for the mystic or the philosopher.

Therefore in this section on melody we look at its more profound aspects as understood by those who have lived among us and who have sought the cause of man’s existence.  The result of their searches and the beauty of their discoveries form the essence behind this web-site.