All that the ear perceives in the beautiful and wonderful music of a symphony orchestra is simply motion of one dimension, or motion in a straight line.
Noise and tone are then simply terms of contrast. Noise is due to a non-periodic vibration. Tones are sounds having continuity and containing such characteristics as pitch, frequency, intensity, and quality. The vibrations produce various effects in the atmosphere, such as displacements, velocities, and accelerations, as well as changes of density, pressure, and temperature.
Because of the elasticity of the atmosphere, these displacements occur periodically and are transmitted from their source in radial directions. These disturbances as they exist in the air constitute sound waves.
Nearly all methods for recording sound waves make use of a diaphragm as the receiver.
The ear drum, the telephone receiver, the phonograph, and the radio illustrate the method by which the diaphragm is set in vibration by the direct action of sound waves.
A diaphragm responds with remarkable facility to a great variety of tone combinations; the telephone and radio are convincing evidence of the degree of perfection attained by these instruments.
But what is still more wonder till is the fact that a diaphragm in reverse action may set up vibrations and thus reproduce sound waves of any description, as is done by the diaphragm of the phonograph, which is mechanically pushed along by the record.
The intensity of a simple vibratory motion varies as the square of the amplitude. For this reason, vibrations in their original form are usually inaudible because they do not cause waves in the atmosphere, as illustrated by the string of a violin without the instrument, or the reed of the clarinet without the tube.
A sound producing instrument has two functions—the generator and the resonator— which may be illustrated by the strings of a piano and the sound board; the vocal cords of the human body and the mouth; the diaphragm of a drum and the body; the mouth of an organ and the tubes.
It will readily be seen that the resonator can give no tones except those received from the generator. The quality of the tone will then depend upon the degree of sympathy which exists between the generator and the resonator.
To tune, a sounding body is then to adjust the resonator to its natural period of specified frequency. When they are in tune, the response will be of the maximum efficiency; but when they are out of tune, there will be little or no resonance, and consequently no efficiency.
Hearing is the sensation produced by the auditory nerve: Sound vibrations are communicated to the brain and thence within the consciousness. The auditory nerve communicates the vibrations of the sonoriferous ether in such a manner as to duplicate the sound vibrations within. Hence, it is the action of this energy energizing the nerve that produces the sensation of hearing, which is in reality the reproduction within us of that which is heard.
To make this clear, there may be a beautiful love song, a military march, or a funeral dirge in the air, but you are conscious of neither without the use of an amplifier; but with the use of this instrument, you may listen to either of these by a simple selective process, and your emotion of love, or of triumph, or of sorrow is aroused by the different vibrations that have been projected into the ether from a broadcasting station thousands of miles away.
The energy coming from the Sun during the day interferes with sound. For this reason, radio is always more efficient after sundown, and in winter rather than summer. In other words, audibility is increased as light decreases.
During the total eclipse of the Sun that took place September 10, 1923, the efficiency of the radio increased more than fifteen times while the eclipse was taking place. To be exact, the audibility of the radio at nine o'clock in the morning of the day of the eclipse was 32, while at the maximum or totality it was 490.
The ether is the universal connecting medium that binds the universe together and makes it a coherent whole instead of a chaotic collection of independent isolated fragments. It is the vehicle for the transmission of all manner of force.
It is therefore the storehouse of potential energy. It is the one all-permeating substance that binds the whole of the particles of matter together. It is the uniting and binding medium without which, if matter could exist at all, it could exist only as chaotic and isolated fragments.
It is the universal medium of communication.
The activities of nature are reduced to a series of laws through the discovery of underlying causes, and these causes are found through the observation and classifications of correspondences.
There are no new laws. All laws are eternal—they never change. They have always been in existence and will always continue to be in existence. All manifestations of physical life depend upon these laws.
The laws governing chemical combinations, the conservation of energy, electric radiation, chemistry, and physics are all applicable in the organic domain, and the conditions and experience with which we meet depend upon our understanding and application of these laws.
The great advantage that the violin has over all other orchestral instruments is due to the control the performer has over the instrument. This tone quality, as well as the wave form, remains constant so long as the bowing is constant in pressure, speed, and direction.
These wave forms arouse emotion of gaiety, passion, force, gloom, or anger by causing vibrations in the nerves of the sympathetic system.
The emotions are the gateways of the soul, the most holy place. All sciences lead to the threshold of this unseen vestibule and point within.
Music is the science of sound, tones, rhymes, mathematical ratios, and even silences, all conveyed by mere vibrations in the ether which are the only means of action; and yet with these, the deepest and most profound emotions are aroused. One whose heart is hopelessly callous to the spoken message and impervious to the written word can be reached by the invisible, impalpable, incomprehensible, unspeakable pathos aroused by the ethereal vibrations of the trained musical artist.
But, however great the artist, his place in the scheme of things will depend upon his ability to act in harmony with his environment. For if each member of an orchestra were to play regardless of his fellow players, the combined result would be a painful discord, although separately each might produce an agreeable harmony.
We are each an integral part of an organic whole, and must therefore act in concert. Each must be consciously attuned to the others and perform his particular part as related to the whole. He must not interfere with the parts of others, nor play a solo when a symphony is the program.
The golden tone of the cornet, the bird-like warble of the flute, the stately sonority of the trombone, the reedy richness of the clarinet, the ringing clarity of the bell, the brassy note of the bugle, the dulcet blending of the violin, the enchanting sweetness of the harp, the enticing notes of the piccolo, and the martial roll of the drum are all necessary and essential in the grand ensemble of the orchestra.
The instant a piece of music is broadcasted, by putting the proper mechanism to your ear, you can get it as clearly and distinctly as though you were in the same room. This indicates that these vibrations proceed in even direction. Wherever there is an ear to hear, it may hear.
If, then, there is a substance so refined that it will send the sound of a musical instrument in every direction so that every human being who is equipped with the proper mechanism may receive the message, is it not possible that the same substance will carry a thought just as readily and just as certainly?
If it is possible to arouse the emotion of love or power or fear by sending vibrations through the ether for thousands of miles in such a manner that anyone may contact them, is it not also possible that any emotion, any thought, may be sent in the same manner, provided only that the sending station be sufficiently powerful?
It is, but these thoughts, emotions, and feelings are not received consciously, for the very excellent and simple reason that we are conscious of nothing except that which reaches us through one of the five senses.
The five senses are the only method by which we may contact the objective world, and as we cannot see a thought, nor can we hear it, taste it, smell it, or feel it, there is no way by which we can become conscious of it.
But that does not mean that we do not get it, in fact by far the largest proportion of our thought reaches us subconsciously or intuitively.
The subconscious is provided with an entire system of nerves reaching every part of the body, and this system is entirely separate and distinct from the objective, it is called the sympathetic. Every pore of your skin is provided with a tiny hair which is an antennae reaching out into space and is infinitely more sensitive than the antennae that receives the messages on you radio. This is why and how the wild animals of the jungle receive messages of danger long before the hunter ever sees them. They sense the danger and are off.
Thought is the vibratory force caused by the action of the brain upon the mental ether. When we think, the mind must first be energized by a particular energy. This energizing of the mind causes it to act upon the stimulus of that energy, and a thought is made in the mind as a result of such energizing.
There is then the energizing of the brain, the mental action of thinking, and the making of the thought as a result of such thinking. Begin to think. The thoughts will follow each other in rapid succession. One thought will suggest another. You will soon be surprised at some of the thoughts which have made you a channel of their expression. You did not know that you knew so much about the subject.
You did not know that you could put them into such beautiful language. You marvel at the ease and rapidity with which the thoughts arrive. Whence do they come? From the One Source of all wisdom, all power, and all understanding. You have been to the source of all knowledge. Every thought that has ever been thought is still in existence, ready and waiting for someone to attach the mechanism by which it can find expression. That mechanism is the brain. You can therefore think the thoughts of every sage, every artist, every financier, every captain of industry who has ever existed, for thoughts never die.
Back of the beating hammer,
By which the steel is wrought,
Back of the work-shops clamor,
The seeker may find the thought;
The thought that is ever master
Of Iron and Steam and Steel,
That rises above disaster,
And tramples it under heel!