Healing with Music and Color


Mary Bassano’s book entitled, “Healing with Music and Color” combines music with the use of color: 

This book is a beginner’s guide to understanding the profound effect that sound and color has on the body. Rudolf Steiner states that, “…the spiritual reveals itself through color and tone…”

Mary Bassano states that, “We are all instruments, we are symphonies by bringing emotional, spiritual awareness, and physical energies into play, we are part of the music of the spheres.”

The premise is that every form has its own sound and color, that sound is audible color and color is visible sound. It is believed that meditation, music and color help to fine-tune the spirit. The author develops a chart matching the chakra, color, musical note or tone, glands, subtle bodies, characteristics, and healing for specific areas. This author believes that music may influence the psychic centers, sympathetic nervous system, para-sympathetic nervous system and autonomic nervous system, either directly or indirectly.

Physical ailments have a rate of vibration and once this rate is measured, sympathetic vibrations could be applied with beneficial results because they set up a comparable frequency, which may dissolve or break up the imbalance. The book discusses how rhythm affects the physical body, melody the emotions and harmonics the spirit. Bassano notes how minor keys develop subjectivity and inner self, while major keys are more outgoing and creative. The author also believes that every person has their own key note, that certain sounds and tones can change the very chemistry of our bodies and that the degree to which we hear the soul of music, the sound within the sound, is the measure of our God-Awareness.

— book review by Deborah Kiggans, IHTP Student, New Matamoras, OH

How can we as harp practitioners use the knowledge we might gain about colors though such reflections as Mary Bassano’s book? Just like the vibrations from the chakras and their corresponding musical notes are more complex than they appear to be at first glances, so are the colorings of auras around people. As Bassano states, “Your responses to color may differ according to your mood, physical health, and emotional state. Your emotions and thoughts are as varied as are the shades and hues of color”.

We are not color therapists nor do we need to see auras around people to play effective therapeutic music. And although we may see auras naturally or we may take training in order to see them, for our own knowledge, we should never judge people by the color of their auras, knowing that the complexity of each person’s aura is caused by a myriad of reasons, most of which we will never know and most of which we should not be privileged to know, as harp practitioners.

However, as Bassano outlines in her book, there seem to be certain general qualities attributed to each color, and this information can be helpful in our own self-analysis. We can ask ourselves, why am I attracted to blue or orange today? What is my favorite color this month or year? Has it changed over the course of my life? What does that signify for me in my own life? Colors can also be an indication of our own mood or the mood of our patients at any given time. Consequently, asking a patient what their favorite color is, can be helpful in choosing the proper music to play for them on any given day.

At times, I have asked a patient the question—“If you could paint your whole room right now and wrap yourself up in a color, what would it be right now?” Perhaps having the person close their eyes and meditate on their favorite color may have a very calming and soothing effect on them, in conjunction with our music.

In the International Harp Therapy Program, we have a session where we explore color with painting exercises. The fun part comes when we interpret our paintings into song. Here are a few pictures showing an exercise with light and dark (modulating between Ionian and Aeolian) and then a fun exercise creating animals out of squiggles and then creating a story line on the spot with the interaction of two animals talking musically to one-another. Improvisational skills are being taught in a colorful way! And just like our knowledge of aromatherapy can enhance our interaction with patients on a subtle level if used appropriately, so our knowledge of colors can positively influence our choice of appropriate music at times.

Always keep in mind that such supplemental information is just that – supplemental and it should never be the basis for superficial and erroneous judgments, character-analyses or pre-suppositions. Every-time we play therapeutic harp for patients, we embark on a mutually unpredictable journey of discovery, which is free-flowing, agenda-less and above all, supportive.

Mary Bassano’s book entitled, “Healing with Music and Color” combines music with the use of color: 

Click on the image below to explore the Color Spectrum.