Sound Therapy Instruments
Presenting the sound therapy instruments that are available from Gandharva Loka: the world music store in Christchurch, New Zealand.
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Sound Therapy Instruments
It is true that music is sound therapy in itself – especially the gentle, soulful and meditative forms of music that are in tune with our inner needs. The human body is primarily made up of water and is therefore very receptive to the harmonising vibrations created by certain instuments. As with prayer and meditation, gentle, harmonising sound waves will eleviate stress, negativity and even illness while serving to alleviate our consciousness.
Many types of instruments can be used for sound therapy – gongs and singing bowls for instance – but the instruments we have listed on this page are specifically designed for the practice of sound therapy and healing.
A sound cradle is a combination musical and relaxation or sound therapy instrument. Either in a horizontal or vertical position, one can enjoy a remarkable sound experience. The solid half-round cradle arc has eighteen strings on each side and the instrument sounds very similar to a monochord – but in stereo. The sound cradle is a very flexible instrument as it is constructed in such a way that it can either be used as a cradle, a tunnel, a chair or in a standing position.
Lying, seated or standing in the sound cradle, you find yourself in a resonating chamber where you feel the sounds and vibrations of the strings very intensely. As you are in direct contact with the instrument, you experience a harmonising sound massage that has a very therapeutic effect. The sound cradle is tuned like a monochord – on one side all tones are tuned to A and on the other side the tones sound a fifth higher.
Additional bass strings on each side offer a more sonorous sound spectrum that is rich in overtones. They are mostly tuned in intervals that most people find harmonising and relaxing: fifths and octaves. Of course the strings can be tuned differently, for example, to two notes higher or lower. The sound cradle holds its tuning over a long period of time when the room is kept in constant climate. But with the help of a tuning device and the included tuning key, it can easily be retuned. Sound cradles are available in the following lengths: 130cm and 150cm (tuned to A and E') or 180cm and 200cm tuned deeper to D and A.
The soundwave is an ingenious combination of two instruments built into a comfortable platform which the recipient of the sound therapy experience lies upon. On one side is a large and sonorous tongue drum (grounding, rhythmic, integration, structure). The notes of the with four wooden tongues are A, B, D and E.
On the other side is a monochord (the feeling of being beyond time and space, weightless, floating) with eighteen plain and eighteen spun strings with four extra thick spun strings. All strings are tuned to the same note but one octave apart covering three octaves.
The general dimensions of the soundwave are: length; 190 cm, width; 76 cm, height; 40 cm. The soundwave comes with a flat or curved platform and have simply added accessories that allow vibrating instruments such as singing bowls and kalimbas to be played as well (click on the image above to see demonstrations of these accessories). There is also a wheeled attachment that allows the soundwave to be moved easily.
The tongue drum (also known as a 'slit drum') is one of the world's oldest known instruments and has been a part of African, Asian and South American cultures for many thousands of years. Tongue drums were first made from hollowed out trees and it is thought the earliest of the tongue drums were made to produce very low tones which traveled great distances when played. In some African cultures, a tongue drum language developed which was based on different pitches, intensities, and variations in sound.
Over time tongue drums have developed into the modern versions found today and now include fine tuning with intervals and specific pitches. Well crafted tongue drums feature a primal melodic sound found in no other instrument and are a perfect instrument for use in sound therapy. Modern tongue drums come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. The versions used in sound therapy usually have an additional pair of feet on the side enabling them to be flipped over 90 degrees.This allows a person to sit or lay down on top, allowing the therapist to play the slitdrum on the side.