Music is a medium that helps soothe the mind and improve focus during meditation. Every individual, community, and even tradition has a certain type of music they connect to. Check out the various types of music that can help you get into the mood or retain the mood during your meditation practice.
Meditation music is all about mood and experience. Choosing the right type of music would help you change the mood you are in or sustain the current mood. Most people choose meditation music to create a mood different from the current one.
Music/sound has been used throughout the ages to influence consciousness in a particular way. When coupled with meditation, it creates a deeper sense of spirituality and connection. Focused meditation allows music to penetrate more deeply into the consciousness, thus deepening the experience. There are different types of music that might help in this endeavor.
Although this might sound a bit paradoxical, there is a tradition that considers silence as the basis for all sound and therefore considering it as music. Many are of the opinion that there is no such thing as silence, only our limited ability to perceive sound with our ears. But even in silence, there is vibration (and therefore sound), and we are affected by these energy vibrations although rarely aware of them.
There has long been a concept called “Music of the Spheres.” The Music of the Spheres incorporates the metaphysical principle that mathematical relationships express qualities or “tones” of energy that manifest in numbers, visual angles, shapes, and sounds—all connected in a pattern of proportion. Pythagoras first identified that the pitch of a musical note is in proportion to the length of the string that produces it and that intervals between harmonious sound frequencies form simple numerical ratios.
In a theory known as the Harmony of the Spheres, Pythagoras proposed that the Sun, Moon, and all planets emit their own unique hum (orbital resonance) based on their orbital revolution and that the quality of life on Earth reflects the tenor of celestial sounds that are physically imperceptible to the human ear.
So embracing this concept, we must include silence in the category of sound/music. All meditation finds it’s deepest roots in silence, so I recommend silent meditation as a staple form of your meditation practice.
2. Traditional Sounds
Many spiritual practices have sound/music that resonates with their beliefs and allows a person to meditate more deeply into that tradition. Some examples of this type of music would be the Gregorian Chants of Christianity, gongs, bells, dungchen (long trumpets), and the singing bowls of Tibetan Buddhism. Hinduism uses primordial sounds such as “Om” along with musical instruments like the sitar. Each tradition has its own music that amplifies and strengthens the meditation practice for that tradition.
Not part of any specific spiritual traditions, nature sounds such as the ocean, wind, rain, etc., are very effective mediums for meditation. Nature sounds/music have a way of connecting us more deeply to ourselves and to the larger world around us—a description that many would call spiritual.
4. Western Classical Music
Another excellent choice would be Western classical music. Composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Hayden, and Bach have created music that fares well as a meditation medium. It crosses over all spiritual traditions and has profound effects on every level of our being.
Based on whichever tradition or type of music you relate to, find the type of music that calms you down and helps you to slip into the peaceful mood of meditation.