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RichG

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Reply with quote  #1 

~ The Magical Harmony of Dissonance ~

Do you think your Himalayan bronze bowls are "in tune"? Have you ever analyzed their frequencies? With what are they in tune to? Are they even in tune with themselves - and what does that even mean? I choose my antique Himalayan bowls meticulously. At this point, if I'm going to add one to the collection I need to hear how it relates favorably to at least my best four or five bowls - the core of my collection. Not only does a new bowl need to fit into the family, it needs to bring something unique and special to the palette of sonic possibilities.

This week I added another antique bowl to the family. I chose it for its wonderfully colorful dissonant harmony with one particular bowl in my collection, as well as its generally good fit with my other primary bowls. My choices are made entirely by ear and are entirely a matter of personal taste and the effect of the sound to my mind/spirit/consciousness. However, the point of this post is the after the fact frequency analysis, as well as the suggestion of the title.

Both bowls have nearly the exact same fundamental note of 126Hz. (Also both bowls are the exact same diameter and nearly the same height and shape.) In naturally occurring "Perfect" or "Just" Intonation, which is the system used for all of this analysis, this note is a 'B' in reference to A=448Hz, or a 'C' in reference to an A=420Hz. For the sake of analysis let's call it the 'C'.

Then it gets interesting....
The first overtone of bowl #1 is 363Hz. This is a 5Hz sharp Diminished 5th, roughly an F#.
The first overtone of bowl #2 is 373Hz. This is a 5Hz flat Perfect 5th, close to a G.

The second overtone of bowl #1 is 690Hz, a note somewhere in between F and F#.
The second overtone of bowl #2 is 720Hz. This is a 3Hz sharp Diminished 5th, approximately an F#.

As we can see, these bowls (as with most metal bowls) are not even "in tune" in a traditional tuning or harmonic sense with themselves, and they surely aren't "in tune" with each other, even as they share the same fundamental and nearly identical physical characteristics. (The same sort of imperfect tuning occurs in further overtones.) And yet, it is this odd complexity of frequencies inherent in these bowls that specifically give them their multidimensional sonic magic!!

Remember this when someone tries to tell you a bowl is "in 432" or some other sales pitch foolishness. Even if an ancient bowl by chance happens to have its fundamental in "perfect" relation to A=432, (or a new bowl has been specifically tuned to such a note, which is mostly unlikely), the full and holistic nature of any given bowl will virtually never be "in 432".... or 528.... or 111....etc.

Trust your ears, learn to listen deeply, give awakened attention to the feeling senses.
(And forget about the numbers...)
That is where the sonic 'truth' resides
                   ~    ~    ~  
(Copyright 2019, Rich Goodhart)

 

~ Here's a recording of the bowls in question. Listen with your headphones. Each of the four pairs of hits brings out different tonal interactions:
http://www.richgoodhart.com/audio/GOODHART_Bowls_10-26-2019_03.mp3

(Copyright 2019, Rich Goodhart)


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VibrationalVoyager

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Reply with quote  #2 
I’m still fairly new in this field of sound healing and in the beginning, I was trying to acquire certain notes in different bowls. But because of the overtones, it was really hard to distinguish the various notes it was putting out. So I quickly gave up on that and now I just feel into the bowls that I’m considering purchasing and that feels so much better to have them to speak to me.
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rudibach

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Really appreciate this post Richard. Thanks for taking the time to write things up the way you did.
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RichG

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudibach
Really appreciate this post Richard. Thanks for taking the time to write things up the way you did.

Rudi, thank you! [thumb]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Vibrational Voyager,

I often get asked about a bowl: "What note is that bowl?"

Umm.... which note are you talking about?! [confused] [wink]


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Sacred Metal

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Reply with quote  #5 

When you "pick" a bowl do you just listen to it 1st and then use a tuner of some sort during the process or do you wait till you get home/studio?

 

I always "pick" my bowls by listen 1st and then i whip out my phone/tuner app to measure the fundamental or loudest harmonic. Then when I get back to studio, I see if it fits with a particular set i have. 

 

I avoid classic tuning references like 440, 432, or whatever... not worth the bother in my opinion. what matters most to me is how do I like its sound, do I find it useful more so as pleasing. Dissonance is not always "annoying or irritating.. sometimes I find it to be a wonderful accent or alteration to what I am doing.


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RichG

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacred Metal

When you "pick" a bowl do you just listen to it 1st and then use a tuner of some sort during the process or do you wait till you get home/studio?



Hi Frank,

I choose bowls entirely by listening, it's all by ear. Determining the frequencies is all after its been purchased, and even then I have bowls that I haven't yet bothered to accurately measure beyond finding the nearest notes on my piano!

I should note that all of my antique bowls have been bought online, listening to sound samples through headphones and playing my best bowls along with it to see how their tones interact. This auditioning process can take quite a lot of time! [rolleyes]

This means I'll only buy from a dealer who provides good quality recordings of the bowls they are selling. This last one I got from Guy Beider's Bells of Bliss site. He provides good recordings and approximately accurate frequency measurements.


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at the Omega Institute - Coming again September 25 -27, 2020!!
Please consider joining us!!! 
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Johnetone

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for mentioning Guy's shop! What a wonderful resource! 
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RichG

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Reply with quote  #8 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnetone
Thanks for mentioning Guy's shop! What a wonderful resource! 

Yes, he currently has a lot of excellent bowls there.


__________________

Sound Medicine Expansive Weekend Retreat!!
at the Omega Institute - Coming again September 25 -27, 2020!!
Please consider joining us!!! 
http://www.richgoodhart.com/omega2020.php

Rich Goodhart
http://www.richgoodhart.com
http://www.facebook.com/Rich-Goodhart-Music-118609091489499/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3EDI7L60GcsDD7Ab1fdDMw

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