Periodic, rhythmic movement with a steady frequency is fundamental to our universe, from the quantum level to the cosmic. Subatomic particles vibrate (and are of course often seen as waves rather than particles); as a result, atoms vibrate at varying frequencies depending on their composition.
The rotation of our planet on its axis and around the Sun are two familiar repeating cycles that combine to create both the predictability and the chaos of our existence - including the weather, day and night, the seasons, the measured passing of the years and our whole sense of time and of nature's dependability.
On a still grander scale, stars, energetic objects like pulsars and black holes, and galaxies all have their own cycles with frequencies, sometimes in our audible range; and in the background all the time is the high-frequency hum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the echo of the Big Bang.
The leading current theory about the structure of the universe is that everything is ultimately composed of ultra-small, one-dimensional strings, all of which are vibrating at various frequencies in a space-time of 10 dimensions. In the early time of the universe these strings spawned superstrings, vast strings that still exist, spanning thousands of light years - and always vibrating.
As we are all composed of atoms (and they are composed of strings), you and I are also vibrating continually. Each person is in effect a unique chord made up of many frequencies. Maybe we can perceive something of this at the unconscious level, which could explain how we can instantly form a liking or disliking for someone, or how we can fall in love at first sight. Much of our language reflects this kind of sensed harmony or disharmony: we talk about good vibes, being in sync, living in harmony, being in tune.
Organisations like the International Society for Music in Medicine have generated a huge volume of research that shows that sound, and in particular music, can be effective in controlling pain, reducing blood pressure and tension, causing desirable changes in the endocrine system. Music has proved useful in many clinical situations such as surgery, dentistry and obstetrics. There are disease models that postulate that all illness results from systemic vibrational disharmony of some kind, and that health and vibrational harmony are one and the same.
Perhaps we need to pay more attention to the sounds around us, and their effects on our bodies, our minds and our emotions.
Author of the book "Sound Business"; Chairman of The Sound Agency; BrandSoundTM strategist;