eight-disc series of piano recordings, called The Seven Tones of
Balance and Musical Ecology of The Mind, offers a musical-therapeutic
treatment based on the musical wisdom of Pythagoras.
DANIEL LEVY is the composer and performer of this music, recorded on
the Syntony label.
The heptachord lyre and the ancient Pythagorean instrument, the
monochord, are here substituted by the piano, which is one of the
best instruments for reproducing tonal expression and dynamic
shading, whether produced by strings, percussion, tone or voice.
I'd like to talk to you about the Seven Tones of Balance and I feel
it is appropriate to refer to my own listening experience. I found
that the highly evocative power of your music allows access to a
kind of 'memory' that goes beyond the ages. I believe this
experience is, to a certain extent, related to the archetype to
which Pythagoras referred. What is this archetype and how does it
affect the act of 'balancing' and then of healing?
Of all the experiences of the human being, sound is among the most
familiar and compatible. It is intangible, yet concrete; it is as
familiar as it is mysterious. In the case of the Seven Tones of
Balance and the CD dedicated to the Musical Ecology of the Mind, it
is the Tone that helps us to assimilate the beneficial effects of
Pythagoras' Musical-Therapeutical treatment. Tone is a specific
quality inherent in the space of the music that the human hearing
perceives as sound and which the mind, which has developed according
to a specific culture, immediately recognises as music. The Tone is
a series of sounds that conveys meaning to the listener's
consciousness; it has been loaded with information from the source
of the Sound in the musical space. While a single note has a meaning
only if it relates to another note, the tone contains bio-psychical
states, specific qualities and character. It is a living organism in
an ocean of organisms. The human being, by listening (and depending
on his or her level of attention, intention and conscious
participation) is placed in a close relationship with this organism,
which is a living entity, a sonorous being, able to lead him or her
towards increased awareness, and from there to balance. The levels
become gradually more elevated, dissolving all the anomalies that
the psyche has produced in the human organism, thanks to the stimuli
that constantly target the mind. Balance is produced because
something disappears and something else appears; by emptying and
filling; by diminishing the excess and by giving abundance to what
is lacking. The archetype, then, lies in the Tone. The listener
comes into this natural space and takes what he or she needs; the
tone then acts as a spring from which all the hearing, diffused
throughout the whole organism, drinks. Healing begins by clearing
the fog and all of the psychical dust gathered over time and allows
a meeting to take place between ourselves and the life of primeval
sound that forms us.
The sound and music consciously addressed by the music-therapist
can, without a doubt, resolve the emotional and mental blocks that
cause physical disease. How does this process happen? What is the
relationship between sound vibrations and the psycho-physical
In my experience, the musician/therapist does not try to address
sounds. In accordance with profound, modern Pythagoric wisdom, Sound
is intelligent; it knows where it has to go, what it has to fill,
which aspects to soothe, which crystals to dissolve and where to
establish its effect. This process is one of absolute sincerity of
purpose, ensuring that one's own experience does not become an
obstacle to the unequivocal intelligence of sound. Because of our
culture, we are in the habit of regarding sound as a vibration of
air that can, at most, produce something of beauty. This narrow
concept is a long way from the idea of treating an intelligent
essence with one's own intelligent energies, but without any kind of
manipulation or interference.
As far as the relationship between sound's vibration and the psycho-physical
structure is concerned, I can say that every civilisation has always
recognised a relationship between the two. Add to this the fact that
water is an excellent conductor of sound (the sound waves are longer
and run 4.5 times faster through water); that the human body is
about 66% water and the brain 80% water, then we can see how well
our organism can relate to sound vibration and respond to its
The resonances of the piano captured in the recordings of the Seven
Tones of Balance have a specific role in balancing the listener's
psycho-physical energies. By listening actively, one can perceive
the aura being ‘massaged’. What are the harmonics of sound? Why is
it that most of the therapeutical capacity lies in these?
Listening to the Seven Tones increases the potency of the listener’s
psycho-physical energies in the same amount as the listener's 'string'
is able to be vibrated. I'd better explain that. It is not a matter
of effort or concentration but more a disposition towards avoiding
interference with the flow or current. However, even if the Seven
Tones is used as background music, it produces, by the same
principles, a change in atmosphere wherever it is played. This
change penetrates ever-increasing spaces. The four Tones related to
lack of vitality, depression, fear and anxiety/irritability can
neutralise and balance these states, thanks to the action of the
harmonics. Additionally, mathematical aspects aside, it is a fact
that when a string vibrates at 256 Hz, we refer to it as C and we
hear what we think of as a single sound. But while we are listening
to this sound, many other notes are sounding at the same time. These
are the harmonics and they contribute to the global colour of the
sound and to the specific timbre of the musical instrument.
What is interesting is that most of the energy of the sound is
concentrated in this part of the spectrum. For this reason, the
therapeutical properties of the music are in the harmonic space.
The music you have composed is based on Pythagorean aesthetic rules
that are within our comprehension. I feel many people would like to
know which musical scales your compositions are based on. For that
matter, what is a musical scale? When we talk about the essence of a
musical scale, are we coming back to the archetypes?
The musical scales are the holders or containers of emotions,
non-verbal thought and intuition. Without the musician, the scale is
an empty container. The musician/therapist tries to penetrate the
content of musical intervals. The scales are like the genetic codes
of Music. There is a 'biomusic' that creates worlds, a reality that
is scientific, artistic and therapeutic at the same time. If
something were not true, beautiful and good at the same time, it
would not be valid.
Can you tell us something about the effects of the music most
commonly listened to today, especially by young people in night-clubs
and so on? That deafening volume...
This is a vast subject. It isn't volume alone that has the greatest
effect, but the content of the music, which touches only low,
instinctive areas. If we only had this type of music, it would be as
if we were living on the lowest planes of human existence. But there
is something other than this ‘basement’, especially in young people.
It would be interesting to take them to the higher levels of their
own 'home', through the Music and its wisdom.
One of the Syntony CDs is called Musical Ecology of the Mind. This
title allows one to consider the power of the ecology of the music
and the need to diffuse a music that is largely beneficial, music
with an ability to counterbalance the huge amount of musical
information present in the ether. What is happening in this
environment, the air which surrounds us? Although we are not aware
of it, how is it affecting us?
This is addressed to the mind. The mind is a place of transit for
impulses moving from the inside to the outside, and vice versa. The
channels are often not filtered, confusion dominates and the ability
to discriminate diminishes when millions of stimuli are intruding on
the only space where the action originates. The Sound is infectious.
Noise pollution is the result, just as thoughts and feelings vibrate
at various speeds in the air. We can absorb many germs by hearing
and accepting what we hear. The music of Musical Ecology of the Mind
is addressed to those who want to be suitable receivers of positive
energy and the affirmation of human values, starting from their own
psychic base. The Music creates antibodies and an immunity to that
which deforms and devitalises.
How can we increase, or better still, refine our own level of
listening? In other words, how can we achieve more profound levels
By encouraging ourselves to gain more and more meaning from silence.
All forms of ‘deafness’ caused by high volume and noise pollution
have made noise synonymous with life and silence synonymous with
There is a cacophony and a euphony inside all of us. We need to
regain possession of the latter. Silence and listening are the
systole and diastole of the heart.
Is it true to say that, in the Seven Tones of Balance, there are
various keys of listening depending on the listener's need and
Yes. The most important thing is to let the Tone act with confidence.
One should not 'believe' or 'think' but we should be confident about
the reality of the state of Balance that the music can offer,
without asking for anything.
According to Pythagorean Life by lamblichus, Pythagoras used to
create musical treatments and adaptations for his disciples; using
these treatments, he was usually able to change or reverse
irrational and unwanted emotions such as grief, fear, obsession,
over-excitability and depression. What qualities does a musician
need in order to produce real, profoundly therapeutic music? Is it
possible to learn this healing art?
Syntony is based on the principle of resonance. The musician/therapist
has to learn to resonate sympathetically in order to sense what is
needed. This method of healing has been created not from the
therapist's knowledge, but from understanding and true compassion
without superiority. MUSIC IS a gift. Its source is from time
immemorial and it is irrevocably interwoven with global health.
Musical therapy is not a modern invention - it is truly ancient. Yet
it is of our time. It is inevitable today that we should be
rediscovering and diffusing the values and the extensive research
and experience that Pythagoras showed us the path to. In a unique
and unexpected way, Music can assist with the search for a global
state of health that is so intense today.
Positive Health Magazine, UK.