The origins of the nine tone Solfeggio scale are shrouded in mystery. It is supposed to be based on ancient Gregorian spiritual chants, apparently lost many generations ago.
Here is where the stories often get muddled.
Some people claim that when people lost touch with spirituality, they also lost their connection with this scale. Others suspect it was a purposeful plot to remove it from the social consciousness by a powerful elite.
While both theories are ultimately made up of rumours and perhaps a little legend, that doesn’t detract from the beauty of the scale itself. In fact, it seems very likely that it can be attributed to the father of modern music itself – Benedictine monk, Guido of Arezzo, who wrote the form of musical notation that is still used to this day.
The scale is said to have been rediscovered – again, under reportedly mysterious circumstances – in the 1970s by a man called Joseph Puleo.
Ever since, it has been used in a lot of spiritual practice, to accompany meditative sessions and to create a feeling of peace and tranquillity. Regardless of what you believe about where the music came from or its mystical abilities, its soothing qualities are evident for all to experience.
Listening To Smile has combined the scale with modern musical techniques to create the Sleepy Solfeggio album, which is designed to accompany meditation and to engender a feeling of spiritual calm.
It is undeniably relaxing in an almost psychedelic way. It is soft and soothing, with a steady rhythmic beat underneath that keeps listeners grounded while the music washes the mind clear.
The album is reminiscent of the religious choral music in which the scale was first used. This is combined with a modern feel created by the way the different tones are interlaced from track to track.
It is slow paced and melodic, in a way that relaxes anyone listening. It is very easy to see how this music can pace someone’s mind, whether for meditation or just to calm a feverish head.
The album creates a very specific mood that almost feels like it should have a heartfelt motivational speech laid over the top of it.
Even without anything said alongside it, it has a subtly uplifting feel to it. Without breaking from its gentle rhythm or using an obvious changes in tone, it seems to build up to something much bigger, something grander, something monumental.
But, musically, that doesn’t come. It remains calm, it remains sturdy and simple, but nonetheless it resonates.
Perhaps it’s up to each listener to take that sense of inner calm and energy and to fill that empty space with the magnificent climax it deserves.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.