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Volume 8 (2008), Pages 643-657
Research Article

Human Development XIII: The Connection Between the Structure of the Overtone System and the Tone Language of Music. Some Implications for Our Understanding of the Human Brain

1Quality of Life Research Center, Classensgade 11C, 1 sal, DK-2100 Copenhagen O, Denmark
2Research Clinic for Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Nordic School of Holistic Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
4Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sandvika, Norway
5Interuniversity College, Graz, Austria
6Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Ariel, Israel
7National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
8Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel
9Kentucky Children's Hospital, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA

Received 6 February 2007; Revised 1 May 2008; Accepted 9 May 2008

Academic Editor: Hatim A. Omar

Copyright © 2008 Søren Ventegodt et al.


The functioning brain behaves like one highly-structured, coherent, informational field. It can be popularly described as a “coherent ball of energy”, making the idea of a local highly-structured quantum field that carries the consciousness very appealing. If that is so, the structure of the experience of music might be a quite unique window into a hidden quantum reality of the brain, and even of life itself. The structure of music is then a mirror of a much more complex, but similar, structure of the energetic field of the working brain. This paper discusses how the perception of music is organized in the human brain with respect to the known tone scales of major and minor. The patterns used by the brain seem to be similar to the overtones of vibrating matter, giving a positive experience of harmonies in major. However, we also like the minor scale, which can explain brain patterns as fractal-like, giving a symmetric “downward reflection” of the major scale into the minor scale. We analyze the implication of beautiful and ugly tones and harmonies for the model. We conclude that when it comes to simple perception of harmonies, the most simple is the most beautiful and the most complex is the most ugly, but in music, even the most disharmonic harmony can be beautiful, if experienced as a part of a dynamic release of musical tension. This can be taken as a general metaphor of painful, yet meaningful, and developing experiences in human life.