Ear Candy

I use binaural beats pretty frequently in my tracks. As I understand the science is out on their effectiveness, but something about them is soothing and they provide a nice rhythmic drone.

What you may not know is that I often key my beats to specific Solfeggio tones. The basic idea behind these is that they are specific frequencies that “repair DNA,” which I’m certain is bullshit.

So why do I use them? In most sound healing practices, each tone is associated with a particular chakra (another New Age concept I’m not really sold on, but bear with me). Chakras, as they’re used in most New-Agey woo woo applications*, each come with a set of particular concepts — the root chakra is connected to all your earthly needs and your sense of groundedness, the solar plexus is connected to confidence and personal power, and so on.

I’m intrigued by archetypal psychology and find that it has its uses. It makes intuitive sense to associate the base of your spine with a feeling of rootedness, or your stomach with energy. When I listen to a particular tone, I meditate on its associated concept. So, if I’m listening to the 528 hz tone (“transformation and miracles,” tied to the solar plexus chakra), I’ve made a decision to focus my mind on the concept of my energy. Planting the thought in your brain will change how you behave and think.

I’m able to retain my skepticism while delving into some pretty out-there practices. This is because 1) I view them as frameworks for thought rather than an external force and 2) I apply my own personal ideas to these frameworks to achieve a certain goal or mental state. I don’t believe that Solfeggio tones repair your DNA, but I do believe that the concept behind them is useful when you want to achieve a particular mental state. In other words, repairing your mind will have an impact on your being as a whole, so it’s not complete bullshit.

The mechanics of this are so simple they’re almost stupid. Hear a sound, make an association, invoke different physical reactions to external input. That’s all there is to it. And if doing so has a net positive effect, then I see no harm in engaging in some nonsense to achieve that positive effect.

We all dabble in magical thinking in the form of cognitive distortions and logical fallacies. Discussions of these things often come with the implication that we should be striving for a “pure” form of rational thought, but our brains aren’t actually capable of that. And I’d venture that we develop these patterns as a survival mechanism. The placebo effect is a good example: if taking a sugar pill is enough to jolt a person out of a physical illness, we should be marveling at the capacity of our brains rather than ridiculing those who use it for being “tricked.”

I see no trick here, and I see no value in all the various skeptical hand-wringing done around sound healing. In the vast world of woo, some silly ideas about specific frequencies is probably causing very little harm.

So I made myself a Solfeggio track that transitions to each tone, from the lower end up, for the purpose of meditating. I’ve shared it here so you can use it too. Feel free to do your own digging into the concepts behind each tone.


*There’s a lot to be said about Western bastardization of ancient religious traditions, but others have done a much better job of dissecting that than I have, and I’d advise you to do your own searching in that arena. The short version is: be critical of appropriation, and proceed with respect. 

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