Ever since he discovered information about the Earth Resonance Frequency (ERF), Dean Evenson has included that sub-audio tone under the mix in his healing music albums. We’ve had lots of requests for more information so here is some background on why it is such an important frequency and why we use it.
Our physical body is affected by vibrations that are below the range of hearing. One ‘ultra low frequency’ is called the Earth Resonance Frequency (ERF). This common frequency of our beautiful planet is located primarily at 7.83 Hertz or cycles per second. One reason we are interested in this frequency is because it is very similar to the frequency our brains emit when we are in the Alpha brainwave state. There are several factors at play here and we will share our understanding of the scientific basis of resonant frequency and explain how that ties in with the state of our consciousness. We will also describe how the ERF or other ultra low frequencies can be used in music to support reaching a meditative or healing zone more easily.
It may be more than coincidence the Earth Resonance Frequency of 7.83 Hz is similar to the frequency our brains emit when we are in the state of consciousness right on the cusp between the Alpha and Theta brainwave states. As you may know, our brains emit ultra low frequency sound waves that vary depending on the state of our consciousness. When we are in our busy, rational frame of mind, our brains emit Beta frequencies in the range of 14-20 Hz. This is called our Beta brainwave state and occurs when we are active and thinking, doing computer work, driving a car, or something that requires left brain thinking. We need to access this state to function in the world on a daily basis.
When we are seeking a space to meditate or heal, we want to drop down into the next state which is deeper and more relaxed, so we enter the Alpha state. This is when we are awake and alert but very peaceful, calm and centered. The Alpha range is around 7-14 Hz. and is a very safe state to be in because one is still awake and alert to the surroundings but also open and receptive to being at peace and accessing our more intuitive faculties.
When we want to go even deeper, we drop down into the next state which is called Theta and the frequencies our brains emit at this level are around 4-8 Hz. Theta is the state of deep meditation, inner quiet and even trance. Deeper still is Delta at about .5-4 Hz. and occurs when we are in deep sleep, or even in a coma. So as you can see, the frequencies right on the cusp of Alpha and Theta coincide perfectly with the ERF of 7.83 Hz. or cycles per second.
To further understand how this works, here is a short explanation of resonant frequency. Any space, whether it is a room, a bottle or a cathedral, has an inherent resonant frequency. If you sing a variety of tones into a room, there will be one primary tone that will sound louder in the room. Or if you blow across the top of a bottle, there will be a tone created depending on the size of the space in the bottle. These are the resonant tones or frequencies inherent to the room or the bottle – the resonant frequency of the space or cavity. A flute is a perfect example of this principle since by pressing a key and changing the size of the chamber the air is blown across, the pitch or frequency of the note is changed.
Now let’s look at a much large space – the atmospheric cavity that surrounds the Earth, that spherical donut of air that is between the Earth itself and the ionosphere. This vast space also has its own resonant tone or frequency which happens to be in the range of 7.83 Hz. This exact frequency was actually predicted mathematically by a German physicist and professor named Winfried O. Schumann in the 1950s. What he calculated by using the size of the Earth, the atmosphere and other factors has since been shown via instrumentation to be the same 7.83 Hz that he postulated.
So how can tuning into the Earth Resonance Frequency help us reach a deeper state of meditation? Of course the easiest way to access the ERF is to spend time in nature away from man made frequencies such as the 60 cycle hum of electronic devices and other frequencies that are found in cell phones, computers, traffic and the many transmitters that surround us in our modern lives. It is difficult to experience the ERF in cities with all the modern sounds and noises so we sometimes need to add this frequency to recorded music. The way it works is through a process called ‘entrainment.’ Entrainment is simply the synchronization of an organism to an external rhythm, two bodies vibrating together. The ERF and other ultra low frequencies entrain at the more delicate level of our brain waves, the state of our mind, our consciousness.
Adding the Earth’s own natural frequency to our aural eco system can be one more pillar of support on our meditation or healing path. While nothing can surpass the peace that comes from simply being in nature, at least having the ERF available helps mitigate the intensity of modernity. Dean explains that in our Soundings of the Planet studio, they put the ultra low frequencies subliminally under recorded music or sounds of nature. This is done through a process called amplitude variation and is not heard with the ears but rather felt or sensed by the brain itself. Other companies use a system called Binaural Beats which transmits on different speakers two frequencies that are (for example)7 Hz. apart. The brain then hears the difference of 7 Hz. This only works if you have two speaker sources. Both systems have been shown to be helpful in moving to a deeper, more relaxed state in preparation for, or as part of, one’s meditation or healing practice.