Entries in the 'Music' Category

The Secret of Stradivarius

239Question: Antonio Stradivari lived more than 90 years and made more than 1,100 stringed instruments. 650 Stradivarius violins made more than 250 years are still considered to be among the finest instruments.

The latest technology cannot even come close to the sound of a Stradivarius violin. The International Association of Violin Makers has tried many times to reveal the secret of the master, and they have come to nothing. There are all sorts of logical explanations: the wood was different, the times are different, all sorts of things.

Tell me, please, what is the secret of such masters like Antonio Stradivari?

Answer: We must first understand what happens in our ear, why exactly, and what can cause such a reaction from its strings.

Question: Meaning, how can these sounds enter us like that? Is there a secret in this?

Answer: There is a secret. But I think even Stradivari himself did not know about it—he just worked this way. And the secret lies in a special combination of sounds that affect the heart. Here we need to think about how the heart responds first, and then the ear hears. That is the most important thing, and no one knows it. Stradivari did not know these internal mechanics either.

Question: So he was more like the executor of some will?

Answer: His hands and he in general were moved by an inner instinct.

Question: It didn’t happen without the Creator, right?

Answer: No, of course not.

Question: So an ordinary person is chosen, and later we talk a lot about them. But in fact, the person is chosen and a secret is carried out through him. This secret is suitable for anything and not only the violin or the cello?

Answer: Yes, anything, not only musical instruments. The sound should not pass into the ear but into the heart, and only then it comes out through the ear.

Question: Does it come out of the ear?

Answer: Yes.

Question: So I don’t hear with my ears?

Answer: No, with the heart.

Question: Does a word have such a quality as the sound, as you say now?

Answer: Of course. This is exactly how a word is pronounced.

Question: Is it necessary to find a word that penetrates into the heart and only then is heard?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Are there such words at all?

Answer: Yes.

Question: How do we find such words in our science? We are studying a science that is not curiosity, not knowledge. How can we find such words that will penetrate the heart?

Answer: It is very simple. I asked my teacher, Rabash, about this. He said: “Have you heard what is said in the Shema prayer? Shema, Michael.” I was surprised: “Why “Michael” if it is a Shema, Israel prayer?

Because Israel is a common name. But in fact, you can substitute any name there.

Question: Is this an appeal to the heart: “Shema, Michael”?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is the Shema prayer considered one of the highest prayers?

Answer: Of course.

Question: Have we now reached the point where prayer is first heard by the heart?

Answer: Yes. And only then is it heard by the ear or heard at all.

Comment: You keep saying that the prayer of an ordinary person is higher than the prayers composed by sages, the Kabbalists.

My Response: Yes, because he feels it. He has an inner resonance of his heart with the upper word. Therefore, this is the highest appeal to the Creator.

Question: Meaning, when a person pronounces an appeal with feelings, he hears it first from above?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is this appeal not born in him?

Answer: No, of course not.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 12/1/22

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The Magic of Singing Together

947Question: When we are all singing together, a person seems to enter into a common wave. Is he actually included in some level of connection with others or is it just our imagination?

Answer: The fact is that our common desire draws the surrounding light, which gives a certain illumination, and people feel that they are in some kind of cloud.

In addition, serious mutual efforts can even cause the manifestation of the upper world and then people really get a clear feeling of what is happening, but only for a certain time. And then, if they do not have the opportunity to constantly remain in this state, it goes away.

It is not like in our world when I have caught something and keep holding it by force. I can retain the feeling of spirituality only through my own properties. If I have the properties of the upper world, then this feeling exists in me. Yet it seems to people that they can hold it by force: “Now I will strain myself, crouch, jump up, and fly.”

There are no such “flights” with us. One has to work very seriously to raise and hold on despite the fact that all sorts of opposite desires are constantly arising in you.

Based on this, one needs to reckon. There are people who just sit with their eyes closed and try to catch some special mood.

There are those who feel it more. There are those who already enter this state, but temporarily. And there are those who stay in it constantly.

But when a group gets together and aspires together to a certain spiritual manifestation inside itself through connection, then it results in a corresponding ascent. And then, when this ascent passes, some of them descend from that state to a lower but still spiritual level and some descend and pass through the Machsom back to the earthly level. Each one on his own at different sub-levels.

Question: But is it singing long drawn-out songs that we sing at our meals or meetings of friends, that lead a person into different states? Does it actually work in a person?

Answer: Only in the case that people unite, it works, and if they do not unite, it does not work. And you can sing whatever you want. The main thing is that it supports you and helps you unite. There is nothing supernatural or mystical in this singing.

Comment: It is not even mystical here, but precisely the feeling where private states are canceled, as it were.

My Response: It is because people believe so, because they try to connect their feelings with the music from which they came.

In the past Kabbalists used it, and so naturally as these sounds exist in the spiritual world. Like with Munchausen, they froze and then they played. In the spiritual world, all this happens all the time. If great Kabbalists used this, then we connect to them with the help of these sounds.

But this is not mysticism. We simply excite the field that they once excited. Basically, there is no “once.” Nothing disappears in spirituality.

Question: Can a person enter spirituality through Kabbalistic singing?

Answer: No. Kabbalistic singing can affect a person a little, move him, or raise him up. He will feel that there is, perhaps, something attractive in this. But nothing more.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. The Magic of Singing Together” 5/11/13

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Everything Is Measured by the Extent of Similarity

627.2The melodies of Baal HaSulam are filled with spiritual meaning. It does not matter in what style they are written because he has put spiritual content into them. If it were not Baal HaSulam, then the same notes would no longer be perceived in such a way. There is nothing in the notes themselves and in their combination but just what he has put into them.

I think it is impossible to convey this to listeners.

Question: You explained that there is music that is the ultra-left line, and there is music that is the right line, and Baal HaSulam somehow combines all this, right?

Answer: I repeat once again, it is very difficult to convey this to a person, it is almost impossible. This is about inner feelings. A person who is in spirituality feels that there are special forces in this music, which the author has specially put into it.

Question: Musicians who play the melodies of Baal HaSulam say that this is music that conveys spirituality. To what extent does their performance pass spiritual information?

Answer: I do not think their performance passes anything. I believe that this melody should be just simple, not pretentious, although any melody should change its format over the course of generations because the souls are already different. But all the same, we need to play simply, clearly, and preferably as close as possible to the way it was intended by the author.

When the music of Baal HaSulam is performed in a rap style, I do not feel it. I hear that this is Baal HaSulam, but of course, there is no depth in it.

I am glad that his melodies are changed with love. They want to make them closer to the modern public; they want to attract the public to him by this. I understand these efforts. They are nice, good efforts. But for me personally, they… Not because I am an old aksakal [white beard, elderly], but still Baal HaSulam thought at a different pace, in a different clavier.

Question: Can a melody come from your students that will carry an inner experience?

Answer: Where from? Only if these students are in spiritual attainment, i.e., connected with each other so that the Creator is revealed between them, and they sing about that.

Question: Does it mean that everything that comes from people who are not yet in spiritual attainment is purely egoistic?

Answer: Of course! People perceive everything out of egoism until they go inside, into the spiritual perception. After all, everything begins from outside the spiritual world.

I do not think the melodies of Baal HaSulam can touch strangers. They do not tell them anything. This is the law of nature in which everything is measured by the extent of similarity.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Melodies of Spiritual Comprehension” 3/4/13

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Bach, Wagner, Ford, and Anti-Semitism

629.4Comment: You once said that classical composers, even Bach, were far from spirituality, that, in any case, their music cannot be considered spiritual.

My Response: Their music is not spiritual because it does not come from a sensation of the opposite properties of giving and receiving, but flows only in the single property of receiving, and in one egoistic key. All famous composers, artists, and sculptors worked only in this direction. Apart from a few Kabbalistic works, the rest are purely egoistic.

But all the same, their music showed humanity’s desire for spiritual ascent. It is felt in their direction. This is a huge difference between music aiming for the soul and the upper, or for instance, music by Tchaikovsky or Italian composers. Their music is delicate, nice, and gentle, but it doesn’t tear you apart and let your soul soar. This is not Bach.

Question: Who else besides Bach aspired to this?

Answer: There are several other such composers who lived in the Middle Ages. But there were very few of them, and none of them can compare to Bach. Everything else is music written out of purely selfish drives. It can be beautiful, and at the same time awaken strong feelings of a completely different kind.

Take Wagner, for example: a wonderful, talented composer, but it seems as if he was constantly strangled by a toad and had to somehow pour this bile out. Poor man.

He was a conduit of a hefty left line. He did not see much else in this life apart from it. As it is written in the Megillat Esther (Scroll of Esther), “But all this is worth nothing to me, every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King’s gate.” This is a characteristic feeling of anti-Semites who can’t do anything about it. It burns inside them from morning until night, but they can’t get rid of it.

Seriously speaking, I understand them and deeply sympathize with them. This is a force that reigns in nature on purpose, and people in whom it burns are very unhappy. They are constantly consumed by this hatred, they eat themselves, and devote their lives to it.

Question: Is that why Hitler loved Wagner?

Answer: Yes. The problem is that when you get to the root of anti-Semitism, you are very close to real Judaism, to Kabbalah. Therefore they all had an idea of its origins and understood that it was the upper realm.

The book about anti-Semitism The Jewish Choice: Unity or Anti-Semitism, we published, contains the quotes of many famous figures. The smartest, most educated, and cultured people with broad views are mainly focused on this idea.

As a result, they come to a correct understanding of the mission of the Jews. Look at what Henry Ford essentially writes: “I hate them all only because they can’t fulfill their purpose. I will calm down only when I see they are fulfilling their mission.”

Therefore we need to fulfill it; nothing else will do.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. Bach, Wagner, Ford… Anti-Semitism” 3/3/13

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The Orchestra Needs a Conductor


In the News (A renowned orchestra proves that companies can thrive without a boss”): “A curious game of musical chairs happens every time the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra gets together. After every piece, the musicians shuffle positions, where a violinist in the front might move to the back so another violinist can take center stage. Unlike other classical music ensembles, the maverick New York City-based orchestra doesn’t believe in hierarchies, set seating positions, or roles. And it never performs with a conductor.

Switching seats several times during a single concert reveals Orpheus’s unique perspective on leadership. Instead of relying on a solitary leader wielding a baton or shining a spotlight on a handful of standout performers, Orpheus’s musicians seamlessly go from leadership to supporting roles at every turn.

Per its founding philosophy, Orpheus’s 34 core members resist the usual “corporate path” of symphony orchestras and consider each other equals. Except for the musician who does some advanced work to adapt a composition for the orchestra, each player—no matter their age, tenure or résumé—earns the same pay for every concert and has a voice in all creative decisions. The fellow musicians debate and fine-tune each piece as a collective. …

“Indeed, with many world tours, over 70 albums, and dozens of accolades throughout its 50 year history, Orpheus flourishes because authority and decision-making are shared among all members.”

Question: What do you think about this?

Answer: This is really unique, and goes against nature. In principle, the conductor is the upper force, the upper thought, the head of the orchestra. He connects them and unites them; he implements his will into them.

How they do it all without him, I don’t know, not even at rehearsals, not anywhere. They do not just want to show that they are playing the notes without a conductor. Probably they sit and sort out everything that is happening between them, and dig into the orchestral score.

Comment: But a person, by nature, has his “I,” has his leadership, has his suppression of others. Human egoism is the basis.

My Response: Yes, this is also egoism, but it is still unclear how they can do it without a conductor.

After all, they look at him all the time. He encapsulates them all, unites them, and coordinates them. How can they work without this?

Question: Tell me, please, are you saying that ideally, the performance of music is possible only with this force, so to speak, with a conductor who organizes all this business? What if he is nevertheless removed?

Answer: I cannot imagine. It is impossible to imagine any collective assembled from individual little egoists who would not have a conductor, a boss, or a leader, that is, an upper will that would guide them.

How do they feel this? Of course, they feel each other and themselves more and make some internal corrections and movements, but of course this is very difficult. It would be interesting to talk to them.

Comment: If so, what unites them? Could you please say what it would be, ideally?

My Response: It is the fact that each of them should be a conductor in some way. Through their inner desires, their inner heartbeats, they want to connect and thus manage themselves together. This is a very big job, very difficult. There must be a contact of hearts!

I cannot even figure it out. Musicians? They are each, in general, within themselves.

Even if they want to combine themselves, how do they do it? How do they work in unison? What kind of metronome?

Question: Are you saying they have to look at some single point all the time?

Answer: The conductor is everything.

Question: Suppose this is the way they are; where are they looking?

Answer: Only at their inner feelings of each other. This is what I think.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 7/18/22

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Different Structure of the Soul

932Question: Why does each nation have its own musical instrument, and each one works with notes in its own way? Where does it all come from?

Answer: All nations have a different structure of the soul.

There are twelve main types of souls; these are the twelve sons of Jacob or twelve parallel ways of attaining the Creator. There is no single truth.

Truth is your personal phenomenon that comes from your inner structure and the way you attain the source. You attain it in one form, another person attains it in another form, and a third person in a third form. There are only twelve main types, and then they divide more and more and more.

Everyone is special; there is nothing repetitive. But there are these groups, like the perception of colors, the perception of sounds, the perception of forms.

In European civilization, everything is built on coordination and symmetry. The Japanese have the opposite: they always prefer some kind of asymmetry. That is, for them this is the vision of the world that comes from the inner structure of their soul.

Now the world is becoming completely round and mutually inclusive. This will be revealed very strongly in Kabbalah and will become a powerful mutual complementation.
From KabTV’s “I Got a Call. How does Music Work?” 2/23/13

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There Is Only One Problem with Music

932In the News (The Telegraph): “Cambridge music students are being instructed to ‘decolonise the ear’ and consider the classical canon as ‘an imperial phenomenon’.

“The works of composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giuseppe Verdi are being taught in relation to topics including European imperialism and Orientalism, as the music faculty pursues work on ‘curricular decolonisation’.

Undergraduates studying for the course, titled Decolonising the Ear, are taught to consider listening to sound in a ‘postcolonial’ way, while a ‘music, power, empire’ module explores how the classical repertoire is a middle-class and imperial phenomenon. …

“According to a course guide for Decolonising the Ear, undergraduates will examine topics including how musical repertoires could be ‘complicit… in projects of Empire and neoliberal systems of power’.

“Students also learn how ‘Empire… affected our understanding of what constitutes “music”’ and how ‘genres like opera seem particularly susceptible to racialised representations’.”

Question: To be honest, I thought that music was above all this. Tell me—you like classical music, rap, you also like jazz—how do you connect all this?

Answer: What is the difference? This is an expression of human feelings, and therefore I welcome it all. I can listen to Odessan folk songs and criminal ones too. And Vysotsky songs [a famous Soviet bard]. In every expression there is a piece of some soul. This is the main thing.

Question: How can we avoid reaching these prohibitions?

Answer: This is the limitation of people.

Question: How can you reach such a height while listening to music?

Answer: You can raise any criminal song, whatever you want, to a high level, because this is the work of a person, no matter how low or insignificant; you can say about him whatever you want, but this is a work emanating from the forces of his soul. This is why you cannot just strike it out.

Question: What can connect me with this person, who, frankly speaking, is low?

Answer: I would say that the ability of a composer, an artist, a poet, a writer, is to highlight or to express some feature in our character, which was created, in principle, by the Creator. Therefore we must understand that there are no bad qualities; there is only a problem of how we treat them correctly in order to see the Creator’s thought in them. Then the most terrible works of hatred will get their rightful place in the common human pantheon.

Comment: Now you are destroying all the stereotypes by saying that there are no low and high genres.

My Response: There is nothing bad, low, or terrible. All this is necessary for us only so that we treat it as a direct communication with the Creator. Everything comes from Him, and all of us must bring it all and bow before Him. That’s all.
From KabTV’s “News with Dr. Michael Laitman” 6/6/22

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In What Way Does Kabbalistic Music Differ From The Music Of The Nations Of The World?

932Question: In what way does Kabbalistic music differ from western music, from Indian music, and from other types of music?

Answer: It doesn’t differ in any way. You can take any type of music, Chinese or Indian music for example, and express your emotions through it. Although various types of music greatly differ in their structure and in their tendencies, it makes no difference since you express your emotions.

You want to compare the emotions and feelings in the upper world and in our world. This is impossible. But in our world you can express your emotions and your feelings in different languages and in different forms and it has nothing to do with their spiritual root.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 10/6/19

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Notes, Colors, And Seven Sefirot

234Question: Is it possible to say that the seven musical notes correspond to the seven Sefirot?

Answer: Certainly, because otherwise nothing would have existed. There are ten Sefirot, and beginning from Bina and on, corresponding to them there are seven sounds that are constructed according to the same tendency, according to the same system.

They are all one and the same system of reconstruction, a new creation, a new perception. It is the same with the colors of the rainbow. It makes no difference whether they are notes or colors, everything is built according to the same structure of mutual cooperation between Zeir Anpin and Malchut.
From KabTV’s “Fundamentals of Kabbalah” 3/10/19

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Life Is A Song To The Whole World

944Scientists are trying to understand how singing affects the state of our body and soul. It has been noticed that when a person sings or listens to singing, his blood pressure and level of hormones in the blood can change. What is the secret of singing that can heal a person?

The point is that singing does not put any violent pressure on us. We do not feel it as someone else’s will wanting to subjugate us, but we connect with it and want to swim along with the pleasant melody. The song finds a response in our soul, in our inner experiences, in aspirations of the heart.

Therefore, we all love songs. Singing existed even before people started talking. Animals and birds also sing. Songs can express many more thoughts, desires, hopes, and aspirations for which there are no words and they evoke a much more correct and kind response in the hearts of people who will understand me and agree. The song is a special soft and kind language of communication.

A song is capable of generating a whole world of sensations in us because it comes from the very depths of the heart, from the innermost aspirations. I cannot sing what I totally disagree with, I cannot do it. You can say false words, but you will not be able to sing them.

People love to sing together because it leads to connection of hearts, to a common experience about which the song sings, to common hopes for the present and the future, to memories of the past, and a common history. The song can include an ocean of feelings and hopes of the entire nation or even the whole world.

Singing gives a person additional strength that was not in him before he began to sing. Singing may even be without words and it will still resonate in other people’s hearts. Everyone will present their words behind this melody.

In the tradition of many nations, there is choral singing, polyphony, which evokes the feeling of a special connection between people, a special power that is higher than us. This strength arises from the joining of hearts in song, common desires, disappointments, and hopes, that is, a common life.

Therefore, there is such a lofty piece as the “Song of Songs.” Singing is the most powerful appeal that is possible from person to person and from a person to the Creator.

In fact, a person sings all the time addressing the Creator. Any experience of a person at every moment of his existence is a song addressed to the higher force.

If all the people of Israel sang together, it would improve our relations with each other and improve the state of the country. Let’s all sit together and sing: “How nice and pleasant it is for brothers to sit together.” After all, only when we sit together as brothers can we feel good and pleasant. This singing itself will already be such a change beside which nothing would be needed.

If we want to change our country, our people, and the whole world for the better, then let’s sit down and sing about how good and pleasant it is for us to be together. This can change our destiny.

How else can we influence it? We did so much in order to correct, but the only way is to unite. If we are talking about how to achieve unity and turn to the higher force, how to exist together and spread the power of bestowal and love born of this unity to all of humanity, then this in itself is a blessing from above. The whole world would accept this power and unite in one heart.
From KabTV’s “Look from the Inside” 3/8/21

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