Origin of Sound Technology in Agriculture

Electromagnetic technology is based upon the fundamental physics concept that tiny particles, such as electrons and atoms, may also behave like waves. This has been known for almost a century, but early work in agriculture was largely neglected by agriculture research, possibly because of the quick success of technologies focusing on mineral fertilizers and chemical crop protection. However, promising experiments over the last decades have sparked a renewed interest in electromagnetics in plants and animals.

Music for life

For centuries so many cultures, all over the world, use singing, drumming and even dancing as a part of their agricultural practice.

However, the modern scientific world perceives this as outdated, superstitious rituals. But the western, scientific approach to food that relies almost solely on chemicals appears not to be able to solve the multiple challenges of production and environment and health. Interestingly, an increasing number of people and institutions are exploring if and/or how vibrational techniques like sound could contribute to more growing food in a more sustainable manner.

The use of sound in modern farms and gardens is on the increase. Since 1990, a variety of modern electronic instruments is entering the market of farm services. Modernity seems to meet tradition again, and below is one example of a sophisticated use of music in agriculture.

Vedic music from India in Rice

From 1960 to 1963 Dr Singh played the Gandharva Veda Charukesi Raga via a loudspeaker on a gramophone to six varieties of early, medium and late ‘paddy rice’ [cultivars?], growing in the fields of seven villages. They yielded harvests ranging consistently from 25% to 60%, higher than the regional average.

Studies indicate the ability of Vedic Music to create a harmonizing, life-supporting influence on the health of rice.
SINGH, T. C. N., Gnanam A: Studies on the effect of sound waves of Nadeshwaram [a traditional Gandharva Veda wind instrument] on the growth and yield of paddy, Annamalai University, 1965; 16:78–99; and SINGH, T. C. N., On the Effect of Music and Dance on Plants, Bihar Agricultural College Magazine, Volume 13, no. 1, 1962–1963:
In the early 1950’s, Dr T. C. N. Singh of the Department of Botany at Annamalai University, Madras, India, discovered under microscope that plant protoplasm was moving faster in the cell as a result of the sound produced by an electric tuning fork. This discovery led to his conclusion that sound must have some effect on the metabolic activities of the plant cell.

For several weeks, just before sunrise, he played to each of these species [cultivars?] more than six Gandharva Veda Ragas, one per experiment. The music lasted for half an hour daily, scaled at a high pitch, with frequencies between 100 and 600 cycles per second. It was played on several traditional Gandharva Veda instruments—the flute, violin, harmonium and veena.

Find some more interesting background information on the origin and on The Effect of Music on Plant Growth and Pests (by Sanjay Sharma) on www.owlcation.com in its section Botany.

Over the last four decades, the eco-spiritual community called the Damanhur Federation of Communities in Northern Italy has developed a device that translates electrical signals in plants into music tones. This ‘Music of the Plants’ device is being used in research around the world to explore and demonstrate the intelligence of plants. See www.musicoftheplants.com

More recently, a Japanese company created a gadget, called ‘Plantone’, that gauges the electrical activity in plants and can register a plant’s response when exposed to music. The device has two sensor clips that are attached to the leaves of the plant, in a similar way to Music of the Plants.

And a Swiss company is currently developing a new device specifically for agricultural use and gardeners. It is in its testing phase and is called PhytlSigns. See www.phytlsigns.com

Here is a short video explaining some technical details of the device. Two programmers from Microsoft borrowed the device and produced this video as part of a company supported hackathon.

Henk Kieft

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