Last Updated: 11 October 2013Solfeggio is 'a pedagogical solmization technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a solfge syllable (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables normally used for this practice in English-speaking countries are: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti (with a chromatic scale of ascending di, ri, fi, si, li and descending te, le, se, me, ra).'
In this particular context however we are referring to a specific Solfeggio sequence. This was determined to have been lost in the past, but 'discovered' by the Harvard University trained naturopath Dr Joseph Puleo and dental and public health researcher Dr Leonard G. Horowitz in 1999, and were documented in a co-authored new age book Healing codes for the Biological Apocalypse (1999). Horowitz claims that the frequencies are detailed in the Bible and that it is the real Bible Code, unlike the Da Vinci Code (which everyone knows is fictitious rubbish).
Professor Willi Apel, the German-American musicologist, claimed (according to the above book) that the sequence arose in a Mediaeval hymn to John the Baptist. Apel by this time was deceased. Others claim they were part of ancient Gregorian chants.
Dr Rife, the creator of the controversial 'new age' Rife machine in the 1930s (an electromagnetic measurement device - see the links page in the Health Section, under Alternative Approaches for more information), used by many holistic medical practitioners today, was one of the first modern scientists to acknowledge the medical usefulness of 528Hz, one of the Solfeggio frequencies.
Various articles about the Solfeggio frequencies can be found at the links below.
The 6 Solfeggio frequencies are said to have distinct biological and emotional properties, and are used for physical and emotional healing. The descriptions are quoted and offer a 'new age' interpretation rather than a brainwave description. They are monotone frequencies and do not require the use of headphones. The 6 frequencies are:
1) 396 Hz - UT - 'Liberating Guilt and Fear'
2) 417 Hz - RE - 'Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change'
3) 528 Hz - MI - 'Transformation and Miracles (DNA Repair)'
4) 639 Hz - FA - 'Connecting/Relationships'
5) 741 Hz - SOL - 'Awakening Intuition'
6) 852 Hz - LA - 'Returning to Spiritual Order'
A Tibetan Bowl, for example, comes in a variety of sizes, and can produce various incremental frequencies, but a 140mm size can produce the MI frequency of 528 Hz (amongst other frequencies).
Some commentators have extended the scale to include 3 other 'Phantom Solfeggio' frequencies, through mathematical progression, 174 and 285 Hz at the bottom end, and at the top end, 963 Hz.
Some have described the Solfeggio frequencies as a Chakra scale. The 6 frequencies corresponding to the first 6 of the 7 Chakras, the seventh being the musical note 'B' (494 Hz) which does not coincide with the above Solfeggio sequence. However, the comparison with the standard 'Do Re Mi' scale is incorrect.
The company Binaural-Beats.com created a 'Chakra Balancing' binaural beats-based CD which is reputed to utilise the following frequencies for the 7 Chakras, which do not correspond with the Solfeggio frequencies. These Whether these 7 sets of frequencies or pairs of frequencies are produced binaurally or as monotones, I am uncertain. I have tried out the Chakra Balancing CD, and experienced some success with it. It is 1 hour in duration. These 'Chakra frequencies' are also used by other manufacturers in CD format or indeed tuning fork sets. These 'Chakra' frequencies (i.e. not Solfeggio frequencies) are listed below for comparison purposes. Clearly the higher frequency cannot be achieved with binaural beats, as the difference in frequency would be too great, but they could be produced with flat tones or notes, whereas the lower frequencies quoted for each 'chakra' could be produced with binaural beats or similar.
1) 194.18 Hz and 8 Hz - Root (Muladhara)
2) 210.42 Hz and 9 Hz - Sacral (Swasthisthana)
3) 126.22 Hz and 10 Hz - Solar Plexus (Manipura)
4) 136.10 Hz and 10.5 Hz - Heart (Anahata)
5) 141.27 Hz and 12 Hz - Throat (Vishuddha)
6) 221.23 Hz and 13 Hz - Third Eye (Ajna)
7) 172.06 Hz and 15 Hz - Crown (Sahasrara)
When it comes to listening to the Solfeggio frequencies, one can either choose to listen to one particular frequency, according to requirements, or a musical composition including all 6 frequencies together. I have no idea what types of brainwaves that each frequency entrains or encourages. I am therefore unable to comment on whether all the frequencies are suitable or optimal for everyone, or indeed what frequencies a person should focus on or listen to more than others. Presumably some EEG-based research must exist on the subject. One could guess that they fall into the Alpha to Delta range. However, brainwaves are rarely this simple and a variety of brainwaves coexist in different parts of the brain at any one moment.
One can find/generate Solfeggio tones from a variety of sources. Some of these are listed below:
- Solfeggio Tones Tuning Forks - will create a more natural sound compared with tone generator software or CDs and likely less unpleasant to listen to and more effective, although they will require repeated striking.
- Audio CD - usually containing 7 tracks, the first six dedicated to each individual frequency, followed by a combined frequency track at the end. These are usually computer generated and distinctly electronic sounding. . Some examples are listed below.
- 'Brainwave Mind Voyages BMV Series 24: Sacred Healing Frequencies - Solfeggio Healing Tones CD' which is also available on a famous auction web site. Other similar (and possibly more expensive) CDs can be found using an internet search engine. The single frequency tracks usually consist of ambient style music with a flat tone in the background, the music/sounds there is simply distract you from the continuous tone sound. The BMV CD also incorporates thunder sounds and heart beat sounds. The combined track with all 6 frequencies using a rapid alternating frequency to impart the Solfeggio tones and sounds lower in pitch and more listenable.
- Some CDs sound more like ambient, new age or choral type music, which usually use the 528 Hz frequency.
- mp3s - freeware or paid for, from various web sites. Some examples are listed below.
- SolfeggioTones.com offer a free .wav file download for Ravi's Solfeggio Frequencies (choose use Mirror Link 2 or 3 for the normal file or Mirror Link 1 or the file named Reduced Ambiance for an alternative version with less ambient noise (i.e. without the bird chirping) - there is an error on their download links listings). Either file includes all 6 tones, pulsed, individually, each one for about 90 seconds. The total duration is 9 minutes.
- Xtrememind.com offer a variety of free meditation and mind tool mp3 downloads, including DNA Activator Max which also uses 528 Hz, the frequency reputed to have DNA repairing qualities, in addition to 360 Hz (Balance Frequency) and 441 Hz (King's Chamber Frequency) which are reputed to be also beneficial for healing and mental calm also. It contains various voice affirmations (through the right speaker - which are barely audible) and the sound of rain and thunder (through the left speaker). I have found this track to be most effective of all the tracks I have so far listened to.
- Youtube 'videos'. There are a variety of Solfeggio frequency videos on youtube. Some focus on a single Solfeggio frequency. Others incorporate the 6 frequency or 9 frequency range into one recording. Others may do either of these in conjunction with additional non-Solfeggio frequencies. You can do a search on the frequency or on 'Solfeggio' and examine some of the results or related videos.
- Tone Generator software. There is no reason why you cannot produce the exact desired frequency using tone generator software for your computer. Tone Generator software is available in a variety of forms, and freeware or trial programs are available for virtually all operating systems. Some binaural beat generator software may also include a tone generator program or subroutine. Simply enter the desired frequency and run the sound profile. You can play any frequency you wish, and you need not stick to the Solfeggio tone scale, but you may wish to experiment with other tones, such as the Chakra scale or indeed any others. Bear in mind that sounds produced by tone generator software is simply a tone, with no fancy background sounds, and so it can be harder to listen to for extended periods than a custom made mp3 or CD or indeed tuning forks. Certain software packages, in particular music editing programs, may allow you to mix two 'tracks' together, and you could record the tone as a wave file, and mix it with an ambient track from your CD or music collection, or indeed create your own tracks if you so wish (and sell them or post them on the internet for free like some of the above tracks).
I have been experimenting with Solfeggio frequencies for some months at the time of writing. I was initially sceptical, not expecting much, but thought I would give it a fair try, having had a personal recommendation to try it, and the results were quite significant in terms of increased wellbeing and a serotonin/GABA type sensation.
The first Solfeggio tones I listened to was the mp3 DNA Activator Max, described above, with is a pulsing tone track containing the 528 Hz Solfeggio frequency plus two additional frequencies, and also some very faint voice affirmations in the background. This just felt slightly strange when I first listened to it, but it felt like it was doing something (akin to a very mild headache - which could be due to the irritable sound of the mp3!), but nothing I could put my finger on. After the track had finished, a few minutes later, all of a sudden I was hit with a wave of wellbeing and euphoria, and pleasant bodily and mental sensation which lasted for many hours! However, as I had played the track late at night, this wave of sensation meant that I was unable to get to sleep until the early hours, perhaps as a more awake Alpha state had been stimulated. To me, this effect was more than one would expect from merely listening to a relaxing CD (the actual sound of the mp3 was not relaxing at all nor was it musical).
I repeated the experiment the next day with DNA Activator Max and experienced a similar although not as pronounced an effect afterwards. However, listening to it did initiate a rather nasty headache for an hour or so, which disappeared after that. On my third listen, I did not experience a significant headache. Further listens on subsequent days resulted in less headaches or no headaches. The producers of the track state that this is on account of increased DNA activation and also bodily detoxification. I could not comment on this specifically. Over a period of a week or so, Ifelt less of a dramatic effect from listening to the mp3. I began to play the mp3 a number of times per day, as it is quite short. Since then I have been playing it a few times every day for several months, and still finds it beneficial, however the effect is much less than the above rather 'struck by lightning' style effect from my first few listens. Some listens do not seem to produce a significant noticeable effect. I do however find it works better at certain times of the day, typically the afternoon or evening, although not necessarily, and also works best when one is feeling a little anxious or tired. After 50 listens, the effect was somewhat less, and after 100 listens to this track, the effect was very subtle, and not noticeable if listened to an sub-optimal times. However, I am convinced that this combination of frequencies is highly useful and will continue to use this track for the foreseeable future, perhaps not with the same frequency as with initial listening, as the body is more used to it, or 'does not require those frequencies as much' possibly. I have not found this effect with Binaural Beats CD, which are still effective after 50-100 listens or so, and they continue to work on brainwave entrainment over time.
Having listened to all the different Solfeggio tone frequencies individually, and together, I have personally felt that 528 Hz was by far the most pleasant and relaxing to listen to. This frequency some attribute to 'unconditional love' and also to optimal 'DNA repair'. The other frequencies seemed to have a different quality, and seemed to produce a sense of wellbeing (much less so than 528 Hz) accompanied by a slight headache on occasion. Listening to a track with a combination of all frequencies together seemed to produce both effects, positive and negative. It depends how used to the frequencies you are. The slight headaches experienced from some of the frequencies (or for first time listeners) could perhaps be attributed to the brain needing to get used to these frequencies (i.e. brain synchronisation (neurological-mapping) and new blood circulation patterns being formed), in the same way that listening to too advanced or too long a duration of one frequency of binaural beats (for what one is used to) may result in a headache (this is argued by Solfeggiotones.com); or it could be attributed to the frequencies stimulating a variety of brainwave activity, including frequencies that the body does not really want at that given time (e.g. too many beta frequencies in certain Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients or patients with adrenal burnout). However, the body would not get used to the latter so much, and it would be identifiable by an 'adrenaline' type headache. After further listening, I have found I adjusted to the tones more and was able to listen to longer durations, with less headaches and a sense of wellbeing (although not as strong as the first time). Clearly if you listen to too many in one session or in one day, a headache will ensure, a little like listening to too many binaural beats of a certain frequency in one day. One's brain has a optimum window of entrainment beyond which headaches will ensue. So it is more likely to be the former (i.e. brainwave entrainment and brain synchronisation and/or different patterns of blood flow in the brain). However, with any type of brainwave entrainment or aural stimulation, one should not exceed one's comfortable limits, and more may be better up to a certain point, after which it starts to become counterproductive. You can either be conservative about your use of such audio tools, or you can experiment and find what your comfortable limits are and stick within these limits.
Of all the Solfeggio Tones products or freebies that I have listened to, that include all 7 frequencies, he found the Sedonia 11:11 free download to be the most listenable in my opinion.
To conclude, I have found Solfeggio Tones very useful for wellbeing, mood enhancement and relaxation and believes that more people should try this for themselves. One should be aware however that a period of adjustment may be required, as described above. Feel free to experiment, but you do so at your own risk!
Certain related tracks that do not use the Solfeggio scale but that incorporate other (much higher) frequencies have not agreed with me and have resulted in aggitation, feelings of anxiety of headaches. This is probably on account of excessive Beta-wave stimulation, which stimulates the adrenaline pathway to some degree, which may be totally inappropriate for some individuals. One example of such a track is Deep Mind Ultra by Xtrememind.com. This is not something I would recommend for CFS sufferers, although some people may perhaps find it useful and beneficial.
I am aware of other sound therapies, which may use the 'Chakra' scale as described above, or a 'Fibonacci' scale, or even a 'Pythagorean' scale. These latter two may have some beneficial effects, I am not able to comment at this time. It is clear that music, when in tune (using the harmonics of sympathetic musical notes and keys), and harmonic, can create emotional state changes. Classical music, in particular, Mozart, is believed to have the greatest effect on productivity, creativity and brain functioning. This is known as the Mozart effect. Being a slave to a more abrasive (intense, 'stressful' or 'yang') musical style may be playing havoc with your brainwave balance and your brain chemistry.