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Chakras and Musical Instruments for Balance and Healing

Chakras and musical instruments can be paired for healing and activating each chakra. Certain groups of musical instruments produce sounds useful for balancing each of the seven major chakras. These musical instruments are also typical for certain kinds of music and rhythms. 

Sound healing with musical instruments goes back to ancient history. The Greeks are believed to have used music to cure mental disorders. The Egyptians had acoustic chambers that are still being explored for the power of their sonic resonances.

Other ways to use sound for the chakras include bija seed syllables, chakra vowel sounds, musical notes, mantras and sound frequencies. See Chakra Sounds and Chakra Vowel Sounds for detailed coverage of these topics.

CHAKRAS AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ARTICLE CONTENTS

For musical instruments and the chakras, recommendations differ in various systems. However, there are general categories of instruments that correspond to each chakra. These are listed below from the root chakra to the crown chakra. Instruments covered below are drums (root chakra), woodwinds (sacral chakra), organ/harmonium (solar plexus), string instruments (heart chakra), horns (throat chakra), piano (third eye) and conch shell (crown chakra).

Root Chakra Musical Instruments

Root Chakra Musical Instruments: Drums

The musical instrument associated with the root chakra is the drum. The drum establishes the foundation and rhythm for a musical creation just as the root chakra creates the base for all of the other chakras. The Hindu deity associated with the root chakra is Ganesha.

Percussion instruments are believed to be the oldest instruments on earth. Archeologists have found drums that are 9,000 years old. However, people are thought to have created simple wooden blocks to hit together in much earlier times. The beating of a drum is a universal practice to bring a group literally into the same rhythm. 

The four petals of the root chakra correspond to the 4/4 rhythm (four beats per measure of music). This is the rhythm of marches and military fanfare. It is also the meter for much of Western rock and other popular musical styles. More about the Root Chakra.

Bagpipes Sacral Chakra Musical Instruments

Sacral Chakra Musical Instruments: Woodwinds

The sacral chakra is connected to wind instruments (flutes, clarinets, bassoon, bagpipes). Woodwind instruments have been in use since before modern farming began 12,000 years ago. Bagpipes were originally made from animal skin but now are usually made of a synthetic like Goretex.

Orchestral woodwinds including the flute, oboe, bassoon and saxophone were developed in Europe during the 17th through 19th centuries. The flute is the oldest instrument capable of producing more than one tone.

Woodwind instruments were originally made of wood, though many are now made of plastic, metal or a combination of both. Many woodwind instruments use a mouthpiece with a reed. This is a thin piece of wood that vibrates. The sound is then amplified by the instrument.

A Hindu deity associated with the sacral chakra is the goddess Parvati. Learn more about Hindu Deities & Mantras. More about the Sacral Chakra.

Solar Plexus Chakra Musical Instruments

Solar Plexus Musical Instruments: Organ, Harmonium

The solar plexus is most affected by organ music and similar instruments such as the harmonium (also known as a hand organ). Learn more about the Solar Plexus Chakra. The harmonium is believed to have been invented in the late 1700s in Copenhagen.

The instrument was originally used by Christian missionaries in Europe and the Americas who either could not afford or could not transport larger organs. Harmoniums were brought to India about a century later in the late 1800s.

The harmonium was temporarily banned from music broadcasts in India in the 1940s. This was because the subtleties of Indian music could not be reproduced with the fixed reed tones and the western scale of twelve semitones.

However, the fixed nature of the tones was also a great benefit: the instrument did not lose tuning in hot or humid weather. The harmonium is now the most commonly used instrument in northern India and the most popular kirtan instrument around the world.

The solar plexus chakra is associated with wealth and abundance. In the Hindu tradition, the goddess Lakshmi bestows gold coins, rice and other necessities and luxuries on her devotees. Learn more about Hindu Deities & Mantras.

Heart Chakra Musical Instruments

Heart Chakra Musical Instruments: Violin, Cello

The heart chakra is often associated with the string instruments (violin, cello). The string instruments are capable of imitating the human voice or even extending the human voice. As the seat of love, the heart chakra is highly expressive, as are these instruments. The importance of this connection is indicated is the idiom “playing on the heart strings.” 

The earliest known string instrument is the lyre, dating back to 4,500 years ago. This was a folk instrument in central Asia. Many string instruments consist of a body or gourd shape with a long neck, multiple strings and a bow. The body or sound box can be round, square or pear-shaped. The strings have often been made of animal gut. The strings are now made of steel, nylon or synthetic polymers.

The Hindu deity associated with the heart chakra is the monkey god Hanuman. Hanuman is an Eastern superhero with multiple powers. Learn more about the Hanuman Yantra, a sacred symbol similar to a mandala.

Throat Chakra Sounds Horns Musical Instruments

Throat Chakra Sounds: Horns

The throat chakra is strengthened by horn instruments. These instruments can be loud and piercing, often used for announcing messages: time to get up, we have arrived, the event is beginning and so forth.

Horn instruments began as hunting horns, originally made from animal horns. The word “horn” in German is “cor” in French and “corno” in Italian. These are all references to animal horns.

Horns are connected symbolically to speech and communication through the throat. Horns send a clear tone that is usually adjusted by the breath and mouth position. Some horns such as the French horn have a limited number of keys to change the pitch of the tone. Listening to horn music can strengthen the throat chakra.

Learn more about the meaning of the Throat Chakra and watch a video on healing the throat chakra and thyroid: My Healing Journey – Mantras, Money and the Thyroid.

Piano Third Eye Chakra Musical Instrument

Third Eye Chakra Sounds: Piano

The third eye is connected to piano music. The complexity and expressiveness of the piano relates well to the qualities of the third eye. The piano is a fairly recent invention, evolving from the plucked harpsichord around 1700AD. This invention was largely the work of Bartolomeo Cristofori in Padua, Italy.

Played with both hands and feet, the piano gives a wide range of tones. The pedals create sustained sound and soften the tone. The original name for the piano was the “pianoforte.” This simply means the “soft-loud” instrument. 

The sound of a piano is made by small hammers striking multiple stings. This combines the energy of percussion with the subtlety of strings. Most pianos have 88 keys with over 200 strings. Learn more about the Third Eye Chakra

Conch Shell Crown Chakra Musical Instrument

Crown Chakra Sounds: Conch Shell

The crown is associated with the sound of the conch shell. A conch shell was found in a cave containing prehistoric drawings in France. The shell is believed to be 17,000 years old. Other conch instruments have been found in the Mediterranean region, across Europe, in India, the Americas, Japan and Tibet. 

The conch shell shape is a spiral closely connected to the Golden Ratio. Shells have been used as religious object since ancient times. The positive psychological connections to the sound of a conch shell include hope, courage, and optimism.

The conch is sometimes called a “seashell trumpet” or “shell trumpet.” The conch shell is an effective signaling device, sometimes used as a war trumpet. On a spiritual level, the sound can signify liberation and freedom.

Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

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Chakra Art & Gifts

Chakra symbol artwork, coffee mugs and prints featuring meditative symbols based on the ancient Hindu tradition. Unique inspirational artwork. Produced in the United States. Flat rate shipping $4.95 per order (US only), unlimited items. See all Yoga Symbol Art.

CHAKRAS AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS SUMMARY

This article covers the musical instruments associated with each chakra. Chakras and musical instruments can be paired for healing and activating each chakra: root chakra (drums), sacral chakra (wind instruments), solar plexus chakra (harmonium, organ), heart chakra (string instruments), throat chakra (horns), third eye chakra (piano), crown chakra (conch shell).

Other resources on the web: Vibrational Frequencies of Life.

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