The Harmonic Palatte: Explorations in Musical Style

1.1: The Fundamental Vibration of Nature

1In 1994, Dr. Masaru Emoto began taking photos of ice crystals. What he found was that environmental surroundings had different effects on the nature of the crystals. The crystals formed at Mt. Fuji, for example, had a different structure to those found at the Rocky Mountains. He then extended this study to include a study of language and music. He discovered that good-natured words (such as "Thank you"), in all languages, formed elegant, structured crystals, while harsh words (such as "You fool!") formed irregular crystals.

The fundamental vibration of matter, as described by Emoto, is Hado:

Hado reates words
Words are the vibrations of nature
Therefore beautiful words create beautiful nature
Ugly words create ugly nature
This is the root of the universe.1328

What is interesting for us in Emoto's study, is that when music was factored in as an environmental factor, music which was highly structured, and had an overriding aesthetic of elegance and beauty, formed structured, almost symmetrically proportioned crystals. In general, the more passionate and subjective the music, the less symmetrical the ice crystal is.

A selection of crystals can be viewed at Dr Emoto's website: Masaru Emoto's Hado World329.

The crystal created by Mozart's Symphony No. 402330 has elements of symmetry, with a more fluid structure towards the centre of the crystal. The crystal is essentially different shades of the one colour, as is every other crystal in Emoto's book, Hidden Messages in Water, with the exception of one. This is Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake3331, a work that explores a broad spectrum of emotional states. In this case, there is a rainbow effect, and there are no defined symmetrical crystals. Emoto suggests that this is perhaps a reflection of the underlying theme of transformation found in the ballet.

By contrast, crystals formed in an environment of heavy metal music4332 are extremely fragmented. The crystal pattern looks like a spiral of whirling chaotic elements. This is very logical because heavy metal contains a lot of distortion, in contrast to, for example, Mozart or Bach, which is based on purer harmonic principles.

1.2 – The Fundemental Vibration of Music


(1) Emoto, Masaru. Masaru Emoto's Hado World,, accessed 9 May 2016.
(2) "Symphony No. 40. Mozart", Office Masuru Emoto,, accessed 9 May 2016.
(3) Emoto, Masuro. The Hidden Messages in Water, tr. David A. Tayne (New York, Atria Books, 2004) p.21.
(4) "A Heavy Metal Song", Office Masuru Emoto,, accessed 9 May 2016.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist