Friday, April 24, 2015

21st Century Musical Healers Series--Dr. Haris Gershom

Photo courtesy of Haris Gershom
Musical Saws & Mind Machines as Music Therapy

Since I began hosting the Linked In group Musical Healers, I have met an array of sound healers, musicians, and music therapists from around the globe. They have collectively introduced me to modalities and instruments beyond my imagination, which gives me hope for healing us and the planet.

Dr. Haris Gershom who combines science with the arts brings a novel approach to music therapy involving a musical saw with elongated notes (Harishophone), and the H.R. Mind Machine which induces desired brain waves, mainly Alpha Waves for people who engage the machine.  A retired professor from a science college (Vallabh Vidya Nagar), in Gujarat, India, Dr. Gershom plays his musical saw with a violin bow and by doing so, has played three octaves and performed music from western and India classical traditions.

Dr. Gershom takes college students to retirement and leprosy homes once a year to give music therapy to patients. He cites that the Alpha Waves emitted by the musical saw and the mind machine elicit peaceful responses in patients and relieves pain too.  You can view the research and therapies on Dr. Gershom's website.

(This is a heavily edited version of the original interview which unfortunately suffered from syntax problems. I highly recommend visiting the professor's website for additional information).



Whole Music Experience:  When did first you get involved with music therapy or Sound Healing?


Haris Gershom: My background is in organic chemistry. I wasn’t aware about the different level of consciousness.  In 2003, I was invited to participate in International musical saw festival and competition in California by the International Musical Saw Association. I was told that saw players had to play one solo with music and one without. Therefore I was practicing for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening at my home.  I observed tremendous change in the growing of the brinjal plant. The plants that were near my music room grew to 8 feet and those on the other side grew to normal size.  I thought this was because of sound of my musical instrument, Harishophone. 


I went to post graduate department of physics and I told to the department head that I wanted to measure sound frequency, sound energy, and sound impact (pressure).  He made all the arrangements and when we measured the parameter of sound on computerize oscilloscope, we got unique results. Sound energy was 25 times more than other musical instrument. Its sound pressure 70 DB, and sound frequency was the in audible region and not only that, when I played on saw blade it emitted Alpha Waves which we discovered with the oscilloscope.  This result surprised me. 


After others referred me to books on Internet, I found that such sound penetrate through living cells whether it may be of plant kingdom or animal kingdom. I went to our chairman and I told him about this research and I requested him to allow me to do research work on effect of music on the living based on my earlier research.


I began this work in 2003 and I retired in 2005 at the age of 62.  Now I’m busy with my music therapy and I am using this therapy for poor people in slums and tribal area.


WME: What situation or event led you to create the Harishophone?


HG: In 1960, I pass my secondary school examination and took admission in a science college. During that time at my home, a carpenter was doing some repair work and his saw blade accidentally fell on the ground and I heard a terrible sound. When I picked up and held the saw blade between my legs and knocked on the blade, I heard a musical note. Then when I bent it and I knocked on the blade again, I heard another musical note. I was surprised when I found that musical notes are hidden in this saw blade. Since then, my practice started whenever I found free time. I practiced to create all seven musical notes. Then I started creating vibration with the help of violin bow and in 2000, I gave the instrumentation form.  


Today I can create musical notes up to three octaves which is my world record. I can play western classical, Indian classical and Indian songs. I can create resonating sound also that has tremendous effect on an autistic child.  I was invited in 2003, 2006, 2011 and 2014 to participate in an international musical festival in the United States that honored me with an international award. (www.sawplayers.org)


WME: By slowing down brain waves, such as an Alpha state, patients receive many health benefits.  Please describe how the Harishophone works and how it slows down brainwaves to a more relaxed state?


HG: As I have mentioned earlier, because of the Harisphone’s unique sound parameter which induces Alpha Waves during playing and experimenting on more than 500 students, all the students have experience the Alpha state and they said they felt at ease. 


Learn more about Haris Gershom at http://www.harishophonealpha.org