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The World Is Sound: Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness Paperback – May 1, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

From the Back Cover


Music / Philosophy

The World Is Sound - Nada Brahma

“ Berendt’s groundbreaking work is a fascinating exploration of the importance of music, sound, and vibration for spiritual development . . . a valuable sourcebook for every serious student of consciousness.”
--Stanisav Grot, M.D., author of Beyond Death: The Gates of Consciousness

“ In a majestic sweep (Berendt) takes the reader through the macro- and microcosm, from the “harmony of the spheres” to the songs of dolphins and whales . . . ”
--From the foreword by Fritjof Capra, author of The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point

Scientists have only recently learned that the particles of an oxygen atom vibrate in a major key and that blades of grass ‘sing.” Europe’s foremost jazz producer takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, exploring the musical traditions of diverse cultures and reaffirming what the ancients have always known--the world is sound, rhythm, and vibration. Berendt’s book is alive with his experiences--living in Bali, studying at a Zen monastery in Kyoto, and encountering budding jazz stars in Indonesia, Japan, Europe, and the United States. Drawing from his friendships with composers and performers as well as his knowledge of new physics and Tantra, cybernetics, Sufism, and the works of Hermann Hesse, he reveals the importance of sound in shaping cultural and spiritual life worldwide.

A tribute to the work of many of the greatest figures of our age--including Hans Kayser, Jean Gebser, Sufi Hazrat lnayat Khan, musicians John Coltrane and Ravi Shankar--Berendt’s book suggests that hearing, rather than seeing, is the key to a more spiritual experience of consciousness. His discussion of sound in relation to mathematics, logic, sacred geometry, myth, and sexuality is practical as well as theoretical, offering readers a variety of techniques for developing the ear as an organ of spiritual perception.

Born in Berlin in 1922, Joachim-Ernst Berendt is author of more than twenty books, among them the highly acclaimed and widely translated reference work, The Jazz Book. He helped found the Sudwestfunk, one of Germany’s most popular radio stations, and has produced numerous concerts, radio programs, and records. He has also directed many international festivals and received various awards, including the Cultural Award of Poland, In The World is Sound, Berendt guides us through the uncharted regions of the unconscious to a vision of harmony.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books; New Edition of Nada Brahma: The World Is Sound: Music and the Landscape of Consciousness edition (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892813180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892813186
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By James Pearson on December 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book a little while ago and it completely transformed the way I perceive the world around me. This book showed me the power that sound has. While the book is primarily concerned with the mysticism of sound, he also relates the world around us to sound, and shows us how reliable and accurate our ears are when compared to our eyes.

Joachim-Ernst Berendt also gives listening tests in some of the chapters to give the reader an opportunity to develop their sense of hearing, which he says is being underused in our predominantly visual western culture.

I am a private detective and ever since reading this book, I have always tried to use sound equipment and techniques on my investigations. Since reading this book I have completely re-evaluated and structured the approach and conduct of my work for the better. Can't recommend it enough.

James Pearson.

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jane Pahr on September 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Joachim-Ernst Berendt has a great gift for synthesizing informaion. This book is a must read for anyone interested in harmony and understanding our place in the universe as part of the great expression of spirit. It will also appeal to those who prefer more practical information as to how sound and music has transcended and unified while informing those who play as well as the listener. I just love this book! I'm a yoga teacher and a singer and this book really touched me on all levels.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Rosatto on February 21, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm rating this book with just one star because the other reviews are too good, otherwise I may give it "two stars" but no more.
I bought this book because of the positive reviews and I was sorely disappointed. I was expecting a book about the metaphysics of sound. What I got was the superficial text of a rambling enthusiast. The variety of topics covered is interesting and the style is engaging... during the first couple of chapters. After that, Berendt needs a good editor. For example, several times we find quotations of the type (not verbatim): "Some author says that the molecules of hydrogen resonate with a major third interval: <<The molecules of hydrogen resonate with a major third interval>>" This kind of quotation adds nothing and explains less. I am still wondering what kind of analogy is it they were talking about. Besides, the second part of the book consists of a few miscellaneous articles on Zen, jazz, etc., unrelated to what should be the main topic of the book.
On the good side, it showed me some threads to follow... but nothing that can't be found elsewhere, I'm afraid.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tajalli Moonstar on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Professor Joachim-Ernst Berendt was one of the few enlightened European Scholars, who studied Pythagorean Harmonik, Eastern philosphy and the nature of consciousness. He was able to not only create one of the most important monochord album sets Primordial Tones 1: The Tones of the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, and the Shiva-Shakti Soundin the new age music field, but also wrote one of the best books on music ever written!
If you are interested in the deeper meaning and purpose of music and if you are interested in spirituality, transformation and consciousness - this is a MUST HAVE.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FDR on January 7, 2015
Format: Paperback
I'll start with the weaknesses: Berendt provides a lot of unique thoughts and models on the relationship between sound and reality. However, his logic is segmented and his use of evidence selective. He has a tendency of throwing a bunch quotes, followed by studies which suite the point he's trying to make at the moment, and call it a chapter. In addition, he frequently makes sweeping generalisations without explaining why the generalisation is authentic. Combined with his use of abstract ambiguous prose, his thoughts often come off as very "New Agey". This is most visible in his chapters trying to demonstrate the harmonic nature of the physical world. Here's an example: "With its atomic number 8, oxygen is the element of the octave. The eight electron of the oxygen atom shell and the eight protons of the oxygen atom nuclei for a major scale, the spins of the particles precisely marking the half tones and whole tones" (page 68). Here, he chooses the oxygen atom because it suits his point, but he leaves us wondering how applicable this is to other atoms. It's simply unconvincing. Not wrong, but unconvincing.

Ironically, what was to me Berendt's most important point was hidden in a parentheses on page 61: "We shall see that in the proportions of the macrocosm, microcosm, and our terrestrial world, consonant sounds ("that is, proportions made up of low whole numbers) are highly prevalent". Nowhere else does Berendt define what harmony/consonant sound is. Sloppy writing. And his tirade on science at the end of the book was, if factually correct, caustic and unnecessary. Why end the book with such bad energy.

On the positive side, Berendt is simply full of great, original ideas, it's just that they're badly written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Uriel Dana on August 9, 2014
Format: Paperback
Years ago I read a book called The World Is Sound by Joachim-Ernst Berend. In his book, Berendt speaks of music on the microcosmic level, the music of atoms. He demonstrated the harmonics mathematically. Quoting Lama Govinda, “Each atom is constantly singing a song, and each moment this song creates dense or fine forms of greater or lesser materiality.” On the very same day I read this, I heard an interview on NPR news with a scientist who had just announced the recording of the sound of an atom. He and his associates had used a microphone so sensitive, that it picked up the music (yes, music,) made by an atom.

Music and sound is an integral part of each of our lives, even when people are not paying attention. In addition to the Macrocosmic Music (the sound made by the etheric energy grid around our planet), there is also Microcosmic Music. (Macrocosmic music is sometimes referred to the Music of the Spheres).

According to the research of Dr. Susumu Ohn0, (with the Beckman Research Institute), when musical notes are assigned to cellular chemistry, the cells from different parts of the body create different “melodies”. Some of these are quite complex and beautiful. When the body is in harmony, the music it creates on a cellular level is also in harmony. However, when the body is out of harmony, the cellular music is dissonant. When Dr. Ohno converted the musical notes of a Chopin funeral march into cellular chemistry, he found portions astonishingly similar to a human cancer gene.

One interesting thing you may not be aware of is that whale song is sung in rhyme, and the whale’s songs, along with the dolphins, regulate the earth’s biosphere”. This creates a “window” for the energy patterns needed for the procreation of all species on earth.
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