Shamanism and spiritual practice the world over for thousands of years have utilized sound as a freeway. The beating of drums, sound of a rattle, rhythmic clapping, steps in dance, droning sounds of the bullwhirl and didgeridoo, whistles, hums and more have all taken us places mentally, spiritually, and of course emotionally.
Humankind craves connection and as music has developed over the centuries we find it more common than ever, and at times, without even realizing it's impact on our being. At our core we want connection, and sound and song make for an amazing conduit for that. When we are sad, it's likely we'll listen to a sad song rather than something upbeat, we don't want to change our emotion but be understood in it. We connect in feeling understood by the particular melodies, instruments and lyrics of a song. When we are angry we listen to something heavy and quick paced, when we're happy we listen to upbeat music, something to dance to. We are using sound not to change or correct a state, but to be connected in a special way of feeling understood by it, especially when it feels like nothing else in the world might do so. So when we are sad and listen to a sad song, it isn't driving the state or emotion further, but healing in it by that connection and feeling of understanding.
Modern science is lending proof to practice that has been in use for thousands of years in a concept study called brain entrainment. A marriage of science and spirituality.. the study documents the effects of rhythmic drumming, or, shamanic drumming, at 5hz on the brain. Findings show that the human brain responds to the audible and mimics it, the result is that a fully awake and conscious persons brain exhibiting brain waves reflecting such, then change to the brain waves we see in a deep sleep state. Shamanic drumming literally changes our state of consciousness. This isn't news to many in the spiritual and shamanic communities but a validation of sorts lending a little credibility to practice outsiders see as hoodoo or hocus pocus.
Drums are the heartbeat and the beat of the earth, the rattle is its vibration, we've subconsciously mimicked the sounds of the universe we've become deaf to in all the modern noise, and in these sounds, beats, vibrations, melodies and rhythms, our songs, reconnect to something deep and near forgotten inside us all. In music we are understood.