As a teen, a favorite monomania of mine was the drone. The continual sounding of a single musical tone can, when used properly, elicit a hypnotic response in the listener. Ostinato figures and vamps like dance grooves and guitar riffs can provoke a similar response. With this hypnotic potential, drone music can take on a decidedly spiritual or mystical quality.
Pythagoras showed that an instrument's string produces various pitches and intervals when divided into simple ratios. For example, 2:1 divides the string evenly, and the resulting tone lies one octave above the pitch of the open string.
While fashions in consonance and dissonance ebb and flow with the times, the intervals of the unison and the octave are generally considered the most consonant, the most harmonious or most pleasing. A classical musical tradition such as that of India is not based in the same methodology as that of the west, as Indian music favors melody accompanied by drones rather than a series of changing chords.
In the 1960s, La Monte Young and his followers popularized drone music in the West, and through him John Cale brought it into rock 'n' roll with the Velvet Underground, whose throbbing, amplified sound has inseminated the minds of generations.
Through simple extrapolation, principles of western harmony may be applied to human life, in that resonance (the sustained sound of a medium) is easily compared to behavioral functions. Further, how bodies resonate or interact with one another could be paralleled, with the intent of providing a clear interpretation of phenomena.
On our scale, we might ask ourselves, how does one get in tune with oneself and with the community, the world, the cosmos? We are surrounded by drones: electrical appliances, box fans, communications devices, computers, televisions, music players, traffic, wildlife, and so forth. Do these things lead us to greater harmony with one another or do they lead us further astray? How might the concept of the drone be applied to our choices, behavior, and relationships?
If we consider behavioral patterns as tonal we may see that any repeated behavior may be thought of as a drone, so one must make careful decisions in regard to habit. The quality of the drones matters little at first. What matters is the the act of choosing. To choose, one must first analyze all available options for benefits and drawbacks. To skip this step is is to allow chance to have a larger role than one might wish.
Nature quiets the mind. Time spent away from most or all signs of humanity is mandatory for physical, mental, and spiritual health. The innumerable drones of a city, town or suburban area fade away as nature's harmony supplants it. Living closer to nature brings one more in harmony with it. For those who cannot move to the country, regular visitation of natural environments may reduce stress while improving concentration in children with ADHD. The benefits are many and well-documented.
Spending time out of doors, away from the noise and the rat race of everyday life has a peaceful, calming effect. Few things are more effective for healing the soul than woods, mountains, rivers, lakes, seas and streams and wildlife. To truly be in tune with oneself and the world around, one need look no further that to what's outside the door.