Traditionally, the monochord was a single stringed instrument (zither) famously used by Pythagoras to demonstrate the mathematical ratios between intervals. Instruments like this are still used in classrooms to provide young students hands-on, experiential knowlege of musical intervals.
The monochord that has been adapted and used by modern music therapists and sound healers is an expanded version of the ancient monochord. The modern monochord is simple rectangluar sound box made of wood with anwhere from 10 to 60 strings stretching across the entire length of the instrument. The strings are anchored on one end with hitch pins and anchorded on the other end with tuning pins. All of the strings are typically tuned in unison although some instruments will also include the 5th note of the scale. Repetative struming of all the strings provides a "bed" of sound that soothes and calms.
The Musicmakers Monochord
The Musicmakers Monochord is endlessly captivating. Just start strumming and immediately create a hypnotic atmosphere. It's hard to stop!
The monochord delivers a sound that can fill a room without being overpowering. Music therpists, sound healers, and mediation leaders love the Monochord. The repetive nature of the instrument and the enveloping soundscape it creates are perfect for establishing a calm, relaxing, stress free envirmonment.
Our Monochords are hand-built using quality, solid wood. The frame is a rich cherry and you have your choice of soundboard material:
Solid Mahogany which is know for it's stability and warmth or
Reclaimed Redwood which has a power and richness you can feel.
There are a variety of ways that you can play the monochord. The simplest thing to do is simply pull your pointer finger toward you across the strings. Do this with the pointer fingers on both hands and alternate hands. With practice you can be quite smooth and create a sound that seems to have no beginning or end.
You can get different tones by engaging your fingernails on the strings or just using the pads of your fingers. Try playing soft or hard. Move your fingers closer and closer to the bridge and notice how the tone changes. Try using guitar picks or try tapping the stirngs with pencils. Use your imagination and the possibilities are endless.
Our monochords are available in three different tunings
Low C tuning
This tuning is an octave lower than the Middle C tuning. So it has 23 strings tuned to the C below Middle C and then two strings tuned one octave lower than that.
We allow returns of finished products still in mint condition for refund or credit within 30 days of purchase. Such refunds will be for merchandise returned only, not shipping, handling, or insurance fees.
Limited Repair Plan
We will repair or replace, without charge, within five years from date of purchase, any instrument that we built if the materials or workmanship are defective. You must present proof of purchase from MUSICMAKERS to verify the date of purchase.
This is an awesome instrument. I'm seeing more youtube videos popping up where people are using it, so clearly seems to be catching on. Versitile and it seems it can be used in a lot of different ways....not only for music healers, but those who are interested in unusual and wonderful sounding instruments. I fall somewhere in between. I already have a reverie harp and the 2 instruments go beautifully together. So I am going to have so much fun putting this to use.....hard to not just sit and strum it forever !!!
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Great tool for Sound Healing!
I have a private massage/sound healing practice here in LA. So I use different instruments to re-align brain waves, calm the central nervous system, and balance the energy centers (Chakras) before I do a full body massage (healing).
I currently use my Reverie and Angel harps by placing them directly on the body and the various sounds help to calm and re-align the energies. I also use it for hospice or hospital work.
The Monochord is a specific sound instrument that would be most beneficial for meditation and breath work. So when I place it on the body, the constant key of C, especially the lower notes, vibrate strongly in the body (even stronger than the harps) and help the individual reach
a more deeply meditative state. As your video highlights, they can also be used with other instruments like the Hapi Tank Drum.
As an individual, I can sit in the lotus meditative position on the floor, and place the monochord on my knees and strum it as I do breath work to myself.
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I was waiting to write this letter until we completed our intensives for our Master of Music Therapy program. Our graduate students came to campus from around the country from February 4-13. We had nine full days of teaching and music making to foster their learning, development, and advancing their clinical practice skills. I was eager to see our students' responses to the monochord. I was delighted to introduce the monochord to them and to tell them about Musicmakers.
The monochord easily became a favorite instrument during these intensives. The students explored the various ways to play it, through strumming and using mallets. They fully appreciate the quality of sound and the vibration as they held it and played it. They also explored the different ways they could integrate it into their own clinical environment and how it would be helpful to their clients. Students even took the opportunity during breaks in class to just sit and play the monochord for their own enjoyment and relaxation.
Annie Heiderscheit, Ph.D., MT-BC, LMFT Fellow,
Association of Music & Imagery Director of Music Therapy
Associate Professor of Music