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Dissonance and Sound Therapy, a Good Thing

Dissonance means lack of harmony or not agreeing in sound. Most people automatically assume that dissonance is a bad thing but it is not. In fact, listening to dissonant sound can help to bring about a higher level of balance and harmony.

Feeling uneasy or stressed while listening to dissonant sounds is an indication of resistance. So a feeling of stress while listening to tuning forks is an indication of resistance. Dr. Ilya Prigogine while researching chemical systems found that for a system to change into a higher state of functioning, it must first pass through a state of disruption or chaos, dissonance.

Dr. Hans Jenny proved this visually using sound and sand (see images below). By placing sand on a metal plate and passing a frequency onto that plate, the sand creates a pattern. The first picture shows one such pattern. The second picture shows what happens to the sand as the frequency changes. Notice that the pattern is disrupted, chaotic. A new pattern is created once the next frequency is set.
Dissonance and Resonance Dissonance and Resonance Dissonance and Resonance
Original Pattern Chaos/Changing Frequency New Pattern
Images courtesy of MACROMedia

You have undoubtedly experienced the transition from dissonance to resonance, chaos to harmony such as the moment just before merging onto a busy highway. There may be a little stress before you accelerate and merge. Once you are in the lane and moving with the rest of the traffic, you feel more comfortable.

If when listening to tuning forks you feel dissonance, take a deep breath and allow the tones to pass through you, notice them without judgment. When you can hear these tones and do not feel stress, then whatever the resistance was is gone and there less dissonance in your universe. There is no trick or method to doing this, you just allow it to happen. If you are unable to feel comfortable with dissonant tones, don't worry. Stop and try again some other time. We all have some dissonance, its not a big deal. Just be aware of it and know that it is an indicator, a message for you and nothing else.