Cymatics is the study of the shape of sound.

The pioneering work of Ernst Chladni (1756 – 1829), showed that sound affects physical matter. Chladni drew a violin bow across the edge of metal plates which were sprinkled with fine sand. Different rates (frequencies) produced certain geometrical patterns.

In the 1960s Dr. Hans Jenny investigated sound vibration, inventing a machine he called the tonoscope. This allowed him to view the physical image, or “dimension” of various sounds, including human vowels and tones. He named this research cymatics. His work has been republished in one English volume with many beautiful photographs – see resources.


My sound teachers told me that when AUM is sounded the shape produced is that of the ancient symbol for AUM (the Sri Yantra), however there seems to be no evidence for this, and certainly not in the works of Dr Jenny who was meticulous in his research.

Hebrew, Sanskrit, Egyptian and Tibetan are generally considered to be “sacred” languages, that have the power of shaping reality.

This suggests that by sounding sacred texts, by singing sacred vowels, our cells resonate into a more “coherent” shape, in which our energies are synchronised with those of God / Universe / Source.

Jenny observed that the shapes and moving 3D formations produced on the cymatic instrument had great similarities to natural forms, such as various cells from animals, plants and minerals. Perhaps there is an “underlying vibration” in nature, acting as a template to structure the physical world – but the vibration is the reality, not the physical form. This finding is very much in tune with the ideas expressed over centuries by Eastern philosphy – all we see is illusion.

Jenny also found that water could be shaped and exhibited an antigravity effect when vibrated by sound. Since our bodies are mostly water, sounding could effectively shape the cells of our bodies.

Next: Harmonics »

3 thoughts on “Cymatics

  1. Thanks Simon, I’ve become aware of this for a while now, I’ve rewritten that part of the cymatics page. Thank you for the feedback on the CD.

  2. Dear Neil,
    if you read Hans Jenny’s books there is no mention of AUM creating the Sri Yantra.

    It appears in ‘The Healing Forces of Music’ by Randall McClellan and has spread all over the internet.

    I am afraid it is another urban myth.

    I hear good reports of your CD.

    Best Wishes,


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