Soundscapes

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The Organ of Corti

Inside the ear, lies a spiral organ, known as the organ of Corti. This organ is located inside the cochlea of mammals and is the receptor organ for hearing. It contains a highly specialized strip of epithelial cells that allow for the transduction of auditory signals into nerve impulses. Transduction occurs as the vibrations in the inner ear displace cochlear fluid and move the hair cells on the organ of Corti which then produce electrochemical signals.

That’s right, this spiral organ is both a receiver and transmitter. It receives external messages and then transmits these signals through the cells eventually activating the production of electrochemical signals.

This means the sounds we hear create electrochemical signals when they reach the inner ear. These signals are transmitted, as we have already learned, through the spinal cord and vagus nerve to every major organ in the body. Nourishing sounds become more important when we consider these fascinating facts, do they not?

Tomatis believed that with the right posture and the right amount of practice and proper listening to the sounds beyond the silence, we can establish communication with the cosmos. We have seen our central hearing organ is both a receiver and transponder for sound, Sounds are analyzed by the brain and messages are sent to the muscles, telling the body how to respond. When we consider all of this, it makes us consider the ways we interact with sounds. Several books have been written on the subject of consciously creating soundscapes and manipulating our sonic environments to provide our ears with the proper nourishment:

Soothing sounds when we need to relax

Uplifting sounds when we feel down

Energizing sounds when we need a little pep in our step

Reflective sounds when we need to meditate or relax

When we think of our sonic environment with knowledge of the effect sound can have on our wellbeing, we should take a renewed interest in what we put into our ears.

“Man is called to become an antenna, which receives and transmits the music that gives life to the world, throughout its evolution.”

“This process is not yet achieved and, for the moment, few are thos who reach that goal.”

Alfred Tomatis

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