Some students of A Course in Miracles may recall that Helen Schucman scribed a message from Jesus in the early seventies called “Notes on sound”. We won’t go into detail here on that message, but one of the key points made in those notes was about the importance of the vibrations / frequencies we experience as sound. Apparently, sound can be a useful aid in inviting the mind to enter a state of alert but peaceful rest. This in turn stimulates the mind to choose right-minded thinking, a prerequisite for our learning process in accepting the Atonement.
The sound may be simple, as in straightforward tones containing alpha, theta or delta brain wave frequencies; but it obviously also includes music. from the simplest meditative mantra music to the most complex classical composition; music can be truly nourishing for the mind. For example, many are familiar with the ‘Mozart effect’, wherein scientists have verified that primary school pupils listening to his Sonata for two pianos (K.448) actually improve on their own cognitive results.
This increased clarity of mind is obviously beneficial to all of us. However, an even more rewarding function of music, especially classical music, is that it invites a deep inner peace in. This is particularly the case with compositions that the composer feels were ‘given to him (or her)’. Perhaps you’ve experienced some heavenly music that is obviously ‘not of this world’. It’s been said (with tongue-in-cheek) that “While Beethoven’s music reaches to Heaven, Mozart’s music comes straight from Heaven”. Brahms himself said more than once that his best compositions felt as having been given to him while in a meditative state. Many composers felt they acted as a channel through which spiritual messages manifested through them into their best works.
As for myself, I can list dozens of works, many (though not all) of them of classical genres, that quite clearly had a healing effect on the state of my mind, that is, the experience of a sense of deep inner peace that cannot be disturbed by anything. This in turn stabilizes the brain wave frequencies, which then allow the brain to do better what it should do: take care of the normal functioning of the body. That’s when we call it a cure. In this sense, (classical) music can certainly be curative, that is, if you are willing to open your mind to a heavenly inspired composition.
For those who are interested in further exploring the truly mesmerizing landscape of healing classical music, I’ve published a website called Heralds of Peace. In addition to two basic lists ranking the top 250 classical composers and their works, there’s a list of 250 pieces that I personally feel are healing to the mind. Of course, such a list can never be truly objective. The list will be a bit different for everyone, but it might serve as an inspirational starting point to ignite the desire to find and experience your own list of healing classical music. Here’s the website:
Many if not most entries contain hyperlinks to the Prestomusic web store, where you can listen to the first minute of each work at no charge. You can even buy individual tracks according to your liking. And no, I’m not a shareholder of Prestomusic. Why not give it a try and see which ‘heralds of peace’ resonate with your mind’s desire to find that truly lasting inner sense of peace. Happy listening!
— Jan-Willem van Aalst, July 2021