THE VIBRATIONAL POWER OF SOUND
The term ‘Cymatics’ comes from the ancient Greek kyma which means ‘wave’. Cymatics refers to the study of the periodical effects that sound and vibrations exercise on matter.
Cymatics can be described as field of research studying the observations and the measurements of the vibrational sound frequencies interacting with - all kinds of - matter.
Swiss doctor and scientist Hans Jenny is considered to be the father of Cymatics as he created the term Kimatik in 1967. Dr Jenny also invented the Tonoscope, a device able to generate a wide array of frequencies in the form of geometrical patterns.
The first records on the research on waves affecting/interacting with matter date back to Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519), the first ever to notice that the dust on the surface of a wooden tablet on which he’d have applied a vibration would create various geometrical shapes.
To date there have been many contributors to the field of research on vibrations, often coming from different fields - both in formative and applicative terms.
It is the 1630 when Galileo Galilei reports an experiment where brass dust shapes up into equidistant and parallel lines once subjected to vibrations.
Oxford University English scientist Robert Hooke (1635-1703) describes in 1680 an experiment where he used a violin bow to exercise vibrations onto a glass plate with flour on top.
Ernst Chladni (1756-1827), German musician and scientist, documents an experiment which consisted of a high-resonance copper plate, covered with lycopodyum dust, subjected to vibrations through the use of a violin bow. Different inclinations of the bow would produce different shapes, which we call today ‘Chladni shapes’.
Michael Faraday (1791-1867), english chemist and physician, writes into his diaries about the many experiments he conducted to report the effects of vibrations on water, oils and various types of powders, defined as Crispations.
Also Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919) describes in two essays called ‘Theory of sound’ the effects of vibrations onto plates of different materials. English physician, Professor of Physics at Cambridge University and 1904 Nobel Prize for the discovery of the Argon.
Margaret Watts-Hughes (?-1907) takes us through a series of vibrational experiments with sound, where she could display the sound of a voice onto a membrane in the form of geometrical figures (Voice Figures) by using a device she named the ‘Eidophone’.
Dr. Peter Guy Manners, english osteopath, is considered the pioneer of bio-cymatics. With a specialization in natural medicine and electromagnetics he studied and collaborated with Dr Hans Jenny (Switzerland) and Dr. Harold Saxon Burr of Yale University (US). His researches focussed on the use of Cymatics as a diagnostic tool, particularly referring to the effects of some sound vibrations and harmonics on the structure of the human body and the chemistry within. He built the first cymatic device able to emit frequencies ranging from 100 and 1600 Hz, called commutations.
Alexander Lauterwasser (xxx-xxx), german photographer and researcher, published in 2002 Water Sound Images and is specialised in the phenomenology and typography of the shapes produced by sound on water.
John Stuart Reid, english acoustic engineer, is the inventor of the Cymascope, a device able to display frequencies in water in the form of geometrical shapes which he refers to as Cymaglyphs, term he personally coined.
The structures and movements of matter can be repeatedly brought to a state of physical coherence as subjected to their relative resonance frequencies of the audible vibrations.
"The geometry of the shapes is solidified music"