Sunday, March 16, 2008

Book of Sound Therapy | Blog Your Blessings

The Book of Sound Therapy by Olivea Dewhurst-Maddock, is subtitled Heal Yourself with Music and Voice. That's an ambitions promise, and the book delivers pretty well.

At 124 pages, the book is more of a survey than an in-depth textbook, but it still covers a lot of ground and gives a good introduction to the field.

I can see this as the basis for a course of study, with experiential lessons in using musical instruments and in hearing and creating harmonic overtones to supplement the text.

Written by a voice teacher, the book is focused mainly on the use of the human voice. Though I tend to work more with musical instruments, especially percussion, I think The Book of Sound Therapy is well written and well worth reading and working with. Topics include

* Introduction (including a history of the use of sound for healing)

* The Nature of Sound

* The Voice

* The Languages of Music

* Self-Exploration Through Sound

* Five Sounds for Meditation

* Healing with Sound

* Resources (Useful Addresses, Bibliography, and Discography)

There are physical exercises to improve voice quality (to be expected, I guess, since the author is a voice teacher).

Surprisingly there is also a section on using crystals to enhance voice quality.

As one might expect, the book is Eurocentric (presumably without the author realizing it). There is the usual nod to South Asia (mantras and chakras), a bit on Sufism, and a single page on harmonic chanting (though nothing about the use of it by Central Asian peoples). And there is nothing on the use of sound by indigenous peoples in Africa, Australia, or the Americas.

What The Book of Sound Therapy does cover, it seems to cover well, and there are some unusual topics and ideas. For example, the section on mantras covers more cultures and religions than I expected, including Celtic and Sufi mantras as well as the expected Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Jewish ones.

The retail price of this book is $14.00, but you can buy it for much less on line. The book was published in 1993 by Gaia Books Ltd in London and by Fireside Books (Simon & Shuster) in New York. It is nicely designed and well illustrated.

I plan to work with this book, hopefully with a group. I'll let you know what happens. If you have worked with this book, please share your experiences.

As always, I feel blessed to have access to such authors through their books. And I feel blessed to have you to discuss these ideas with.

1 comment:

Keith, RN said...

I just found your blog and am very impressed. I have begun to work with a Kundalini yoga teacher in my area who also uses bells and bowls for healing. We are co-leading a workshop on sound healing next month.

Consider yourself blogrolled!

Keith