Chakras and Musical Notes: Scales, Solfeggio & Sargam
Chakras and musical notes have been paired in a number of ways. A simple system is to assign sequential notes from the C Major scale to each of the chakras from the root to the crown: C (root), D (sacral), E (solar plexus), F (heart), G (throat chakra), A (third eye chakra) and B (crown chakra). However, the science of sound goes even deeper than this basic parallel construction.
CHAKRAS AND MUSICAL NOTES ARTICLE SUMMARY
The musical notes covered in this article include the Western solfege system, the Eastern sargam system and metaphysical aspects of the notes associated with the chakras.
Syllables and Musical Notes
Some say that the ratio of frequencies is more important than an exact pairing of chakras and musical notes. For example, the exact frequencies may be affected by the size of the individual, though the proportions or ratios from chakra to chakra may remain the same.
Other systems assign specific syllables to the chakras and musical notes, asserting that singing these sounds is the best way to clear and stimulate the chakras. We’ll take a look at the Eastern system of sargam and the Western system of solfege or solfeggio.
Chakras and Musical Notes in the East
Solemnization is the practice of using syllables to teach pitch and sight reading. This practice aids the recognition of the different steps of the scale. This approach originated in ancient India with a system known as sargam.
In the Indian system, the notes of the scale are paired with the following syllables: SA, RE, GA, MA, PA, DHA, NI, SA. Thus, the chakras and musical notes in this system would be: SA (root), RE (sacral), GA (solar plexus), MA (heart), PA (throat chakra), DHA (third eye chakra) and NI (crown chakra).
Chakras and Musical Notes in the West
A Benedictine monk named Guido d’Arezzo was familiar with the Indian sargam. He invented a similar system to use with Western music. Guido felt that most of the Gregorian chants popular at that time could easily be learned by singers if they could associate visual symbols with particular syllables and sounds. In this way, they could see the tonal progression up and down the scale.
The Birth of DO-RE-MI
Guido assigned a specific syllable to each of the note of the musical scale: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do. These syllables came from Ut Quent Laxis, a well-known hymn of the Middle Ages that was chanted for vespers or evening service.
Each succeeding line of the song started one note higher that the previous one. Guido used the first two letters of the opening words from each line to create a western form of solfege.
Latin Origin of Do RE MI
- DO or UT-quent laxis
- RE-sonare fibris
- MI-ra gestorum
- FA-muli tuorum
- SO-lve polluti
- LA-bii reatum
- TI or SI-Sancti Iohannes
Translation of Hymn
- DO let our voices
- RE-sonate most purely
- MI-racles telling
- FAr greater than many
- SO let our tongues be
- LA-vish in Your praises
- (SI or TI) Saint John the Baptist
Metaphysics of Chakras and Musical Notes
Vocal teachers have understood and taught this tonal progression in a variety of ways. A number of them have recognized that there is also an energy shift on a metaphysical level as you move through the notes of the scale. Each note can be viewed as a shift in energy from unmanifest potential to unification.
In other words, the sound and energy are more diffuse and grounded at the lower tones and concentrated like a laser beam as you move up. For example, the tones that are produced higher in the body are often referred to as head tones. These tones affect the brain and glands within the brain. From this standpoint, the scale can be viewed as a general progression and shift of energy.
DO: Unmanifest Potential
RE: Felt Potential
MI: Gathering Energy
FA: Devotional Energy
DO (next octave): Unification
Meet the Author
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 and her husband Andrew live in Bozeman, Montana. They have five children and a small urban homestead. More about Kathleen Karlsen.
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Vocal Medicine Book
Learn more about using mantras and singing to invigorate your life! Explore concepts from East and West related to the power of singing. Explore the chakras and the impact of sound in every area of your life. Vocal Medicine reveals Kathleen Karlsen’s personal journey and years of research into mantras, chanting and kirtan.
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CHAKRAS AND MUSICAL NOTES SUMMARY
This article covers three of the ways in which chakras and musical notes have been paired. This includes the standard musical scale, the Eastern sargam system and the Western solfege system. In addition, the metaphysical energy shifts that happen with the chakras and musical notes are also discussed.
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