The Cosmic Octave

The cosmic octave is based upon a principle in physics, which is the process of octavation.
In 1978 the Swiss Mathematician Hans Cousto had the idea that the harmonic law of doubling frequencies or the process to half the frequencies can be used beyond the range of audible perception. This created the possibility of appropriating octave-analogue tones and rhythms to the rotation of planets and the vibration level of molecules.

The theory of planetary tones or 'harmonical' concert pitches were developed and established under the name of 'Ur-töne' (archaic tones or sounds) by Prof. H.C. Joachim-Ernst Berendt, Journalist for Music.

The formula to calculate any cyclic occurrences in octave-analogue tones and rhythms is quite simple:

(1:a) x 2 n = f

a = periodic duration in seconds
n = octave amount
f = frequency

Based on the natural law , the equivalence of octaves, which means tones within a distance of the octave have an identical, partial row of tones, have the same overtones with the help of the 'octavation process'. It is possible to calculate an octave-analogue sound to every re-occurring vibration.

Explanation of the formula using an example:
the reciprocal value 1:a is formed (in 1: 31556925.54 seconds) of any cyclic occurrence 'a'
(example : earth year = 365.25636042 days = 31556925.54 seconds).

This results in the frequency Hz, which is the vibration per second. In the example of the earth year (rotation of the earth around the sun) a tone with 0.00000003168 Hz.

A human being is able to hear 20 Hz (20 vibrations per second) up to 16000 Hz.
20 Hz represents the deepest bass tone, which is just about audible. (Hosenbeinflattern, the sound of trousers flapping in the wind).
16000 Hz is a very high pitch. And there is no contingent tone possible for the perception of the human ear which is below 20 Hz and this is the domain of rhythm, calculated in beat per minute (bpm).

In order to achieve an octave-analogue tone of the path of the earth around the sun, the ultra-deep frequency of the earth year (0.00000003168 Hz) has to be doubled, multiplied by two, until it becomes audible as sound.

This happens in the very first instance in the 30th octave. And the best audible tone of the earth year is in the 32nd octave. This calculated tone is a c sharp with 136.10 Hz, which is slightly lower than the c sharp based on the concert pitch with 440 Hz. The appropriated concert pitch of the earth year is A and would have a frequency of 432.10 Hz. In order to play the octave analogue tone of the rotating earth around the sun one has to perform a basic tuning of the instruments from A = 440 Hz to A = 432.10 Hz and then checking the sound of C sharp. This calculated frequency is identical to the basic tone of classical Indian music and the Tibetan Om.

This tone is related to the spiritual anatomy of the heart centre. Many people around the world in the process of meditation are tuned in unison with this tone which is the year tone of the earth, the earth circling around the sun.

As mentioned above the continuous perception of vibrations (tones) in their single occurrences (rhythms) can not be manifested below 20 Hz. The basic frequency of the year doubled 25 times would produce a speed of rhythm of 63.8 bpm (beats per minute). In the 26th octave this would be 127.6 bpm.

The perceptive ability to see as well as to hear is based on vibrations, but these oscillations are faster than acoustic signals which are vibrating, and if one were to continue to multiply up to the 74th octave, it is possible to perceive an octave-analogue color. The octave analogue color to the earth year is blue-green with 500.837 nanometer wavelength.

In the case of tuning the molecules, this process is reversed. The spectral analysis which helps to identify the molecule delivers precise results in the nanometer region, i.e. the colors. These results will be divided by two again, until they reach the human perception of hearing. The so-called behaviour of frequency sequences in our brain activity response (FFR) of human brainwave activity is always synchronized when acoustic perception goes into a resonance. This implies that hearing octave analogue tones and rhythms together with exterior occurrences can resonate beyond our direct perception.


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'Relating sound to color and the Cosmic Octave' by Hans Cousto -- bookcover of the first edition

Excerpt of the first edition of the Cosmic Octave by Hans Cousto


Relating sound to color and the Cosmic Octave

Dedicated to the Players of the Glass Bead Game

'The action of a single man brought the Bead Game almost instantaneously to a realization of its potentialities, and therewith to the threshold of an universal capacity for development. And once again it was the conjunction with music that caused this progress. A Swiss music teacher, who was at the same time a fanatical lover of mathematics, gave a new twist to the game, thus opening the way towards its highest expansion. The bourgeois name of this man cannot be releaved, for in his age the cult of the individual no longer existed in intellectual circles. (...)

He had invented for the Bead Game the basis of a new speech, namely a mixture of symbols and formulas in wich music and mathematicsnplayed an equal part, and in wich it was possible to combine astronomical and musical formulas under a common denominator.

Even if development remained unrestricted, the Basis of all the later history of our worthy game was postulated by this unknown man.'

From 'The Glass Bead Game' by Hermann Hesse


An Astronomical, Mathematical, Musical account of a blissful vision

of an unknown Swiss music scholar and passionate mathematician, beheld through the 108 perls of the chain of harmony wich cause our solar-system to resonate. A few of these pearls are introduced and explained on the following pages.


Time, Frequency and the Octave

The concept of time gives rise to various associations in various people. Many people in the Western culture often have too little of it, and sometimes say: 'I don't have time' or ' I don't have enough time'. This shows clearly that time does not only refer to the dimension of experience but - in terms of algebra - to a certain amount of it. Most people mean a length of time when they say 'time'. The way time is experienced, is conditioned by our consciousness.

For or the physicist, it is a basic dimension with a certain direction which is not reversable. For some sages of the East (Gurus, Yogis) time does not exist as such, but only as an antipole to that which cannot be experienced in terms of time. In many cultures this is called 'eternity'.

The concept of time will not be used here in a strictly analytical, logical, physical sense, but as the duration of a period of time as it is experienced by most people.



is not really an independant concept of its own, but a duration. Throughout history time has been defined as the period between two certain astronomical constellations (mostly of the same kind). The period of time from one sun's passage of the upper culmination (at midday) till the next is called a 'day'. The period from one commencement of spring till the next is called a year.

Days and years are periodical phenomena, following one another in regular succession. Time is the period of oscillation of periodic phenomena.



(Latin: frequentia) expresses the number of repetitions of a periodic phenomenon during a certain lenght of time (Vibrations/unit of time). Periodic phenomena (for example days, years, lunar cycles) are vibrations. The measuring unit of vibrations is stated in terms of time units. (This newspaper once had three editions a day, it appeared three times a day. A tuning fork vibrates at a rate of 272,2 vibrations per second, vibrating 272,2 times back and forth in one second.) One vibration per second is called 1 Hertz (1 Hz), (...) The number of a frequency, given in 'Hertz', is the number of oscillations during the period of one second. One second is the equivalent of the 86400th part of an average day.



(Latin: octava, the eighth) is the eighth step in a diatonic sequence, which is given by the same letter as the initial note. According to the oldest Greek musical theory of Philolaos, the octave was first called 'Harmonia' and later 'Diapason'. The division of a string reveals the octave as the simplest proportion (1 : 2). In terms of physics the first rising octave is the first overtone of a tonic and has double the frequency. The first descending octave of a tonic has half the frequency of the tonic. To form an octave is to double a frequency or to halve it.




'The octave teaches the saints bliss',
reads one of the mysterious inscriptions on the capitels at the abbey church of Cliny.


'Every figure, every row of numbers and every assemblage of harmonious sounds and the accordance of the cycles of the celestial bodies - and the One - as an analogy for all which is manifesting itself - must become exceedingly clear to him who is searching in the right manner. That of which we speak will however come to light if one strives to recognize all, while not loosing sight of the One. It is then that the connecting link of the Ones named will come to light.'



From : 'Relating sound to color and the cosmic octave' by Hans Cousto