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Home » Music Medicine: Sound At A Cellular Level: Dr. Lee Bartel (Transcript)

Music Medicine: Sound At A Cellular Level: Dr. Lee Bartel (Transcript)

Dr Lee Bartel at TEDxCollingwood

Full text of Dr. Lee Bartel’s talk titled “Music Medicine: Sound At A Cellular Level” at TEDxCollingwood conference.


Dr. Lee Bartel – Sound expert and researcher

Many years ago, I grew up on a honey farm in western Canada. And so every summer and fall, I’d be in the honey house extracting honey from the honeycomb. A very sweet job.

And without fail, a couple of drops of honey would land on one of the belts. So one of the machines and start to go squeak, squeak, squeak to drive me nuts.

And just as inevitably a cricket would walk into the honey house and would go chirp, chirp, and chirp.

What always amazed me was that it didn’t take very long before what started as a sort of a random chirp would synchronize with the squeak on the belt.

Why this was happening was a question that lingered in my head for very many years, until I discovered the principle of entrainment in physics; how one rhythmic vibrating object will synchronize with another.

And so I used that idea and started creating music to affect your brainwaves. Music like this pleasant music. But it had a very specific rhythmic structure that would allow me to help you go to sleep, help you relax, even help you focus.

Many years after I started doing this, I discovered that I could just use a single pitch like this… 40 Hertz, remember this sound very low, it’s like low E in the piano.

But with this, I found I could help people reduce their pain. Even reduce Alzheimer’s symptoms.

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