Theosophy and music

La musica [fr] by Luigi Russolo (1912)

According to some musicology and religious studies scholars, after the foundation of the Theosophical Society (1875), some professional musicians became interested in Theosophy,[1][2] and many Theosophists often engaged in music.[1][3][4][5] Several composers like Alexander ScriabinCyril ScottLuigi Russolo chose Theosophy as the main ideological and philosophical basis of their work.[1][6][7][note 1] Prof. Julia Shabanova[10] stated that music, having both “existential and metaphysical” traits, extends comprehension of the world to its “universal constants”. The European thought of the 19th century, which was in the period of the emergence of modern Theosophy in the process of “changing the philosophical and worldview paradigms“, needed this.[11]

The Theosophical theory of sound

The Theosophical “music-form” by Charles Gounod[12]

Prof. Iqbal Taimni wrote that the term Logos of a “manifested system”, used in the Theosophical literature, is equivalent to the Hinduist concept Shabda Brahma, where Shabda means “sound” in its most broad meaning.[13][note 2] Hinduists claim that the first act of creation was the emergence of a “subtle sound vibration” that gave birth to all “forms of the material world”. Each sound created a form, and “combinations of sound created complicated shapes”.[15][note 3] The Secret Doctrine states, “Sound may be produced of such a nature that the pyramid of Cheops would be raised in the air”.[17] The Instructions for the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society contain tables and diagrams of correspondence between the musical scale and other septenary principles of Theosophy.[1][18]

The Theosophists Annie Besant and Charles W. Leadbeater wrote that sounds and noises create in “matter” of the thin plane the “forms” visible to some people.[19] They argued also that whenever a “composer writes music”, his emotions are reflected in the shape of “luminous projections” in his aura. They called these projections “thought-forms”.[note 4] In the process of performing a composition, the musician also “expresses” his own emotions, which “produce other thought-forms”. Moreover, the music itself produces “sound-forms”, that may be called music-forms, which, although similar to thought-forms, are not them technically and, therefore, are not reflected in the aura, but they are projected, as musicologist Luciano Chessa noted, “onto the sky above the performance venue”.[20][note 5][note 6]

Thought-forms are created also by hearers who react to “both the music and the [music] forms”. In addition, the thought-forms of the performer and the hearers, as well as the sound-forms created by the music, arise simultaneously, although the thought-forms are not capable of influencing “more voluminous sound-forms”. Besant and Leadbeater argued that, just as thought-forms correspond to thoughts and emotions, the characteristics of each music-form “correspond” to the elements of the music that gave rise to this form. For each “musical characteristic (harmonymelodyrhythmical articulationformtimbre, etc.) there exist a corresponding form and color that render that characteristic with extraordinary precision.” The size of music-form and the time it takes to stay in space varies depending on the “dynamics, timbre, quality of musical execution, and other parameters”. The more the “spiritual” significance of music, the clearer, brighter and more voluminous its music-form. In addition, these forms emit vibrations in all directions throughout the “entire duration of their existence” (sometimes more than 2 hours). Thus, a musician, due to the vibrations of the music-form created by him, can influence, according to the Theosophists, many people, without meeting them on the physical plane.[24]

According to composer Kurt Leland, musical art can be called the “most Theosophical” of arts,[note 7] and “even without knowing” the three objectives of the Theosophical Society,[26] “composers and performers often promote them, and listeners experience their effects.”[27] He wrote that one of the forms of world music, of particular interest to Theosophists, is kirtan, Indian religious singing of excerpts in Sanskrit which is considered to possess “great spiritual power”. A leader sings a mantra, and the choir then repeats it. This enhances its spiritual significance, thus the music raises consciousness to “higher states”.[28]

Theosophists as musicians


Hindu scale in Blavatsky’s book From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan[29]

In professor of musicology Joscelyn Godwin‘s opinion, music was among “many accomplishments” of Helena Blavatsky, the key ideologist of the Theosophical Society.[1][note 8] In 1844, on her first visit to London, “she took piano lessons from Ignaz Moscheles“, and later she performed “at a charity concert” with Clara Schumann and Arabella Goddard playing Robert Schumann‘s piece for three pianos.[1][31] Henry Olcott stated that he learned from Blavatsky’s relatives that a few months before her arriving in America, she had traveled under the pseudonym “Madame Laura” to Italy and Russia with several concert tours.[32] Olcott wrote in his memoirs:

[Blavatsky] was a splendid pianist, playing with a touch and expression that were simply superb. Her hands were models—ideal and actual—for a sculptor and never seen to such advantage as when flying over the keyboard to find its magical melodies.[32][1]

There are many testimonies of occult musical phenomena observed in the presence of Blavatsky. For example, according to Henry Olcott, many times he and other Blavatsky’s companions “were regaled with most exquisite music”, which by itself appeared in any place of the room where they were located.[33][note 9] Alfred Percy Sinnett wrote about music originating in places designated by Blavatsky herself.[35] The play on the closed musical instruments, which she was also demonstrating, is well known to the members of the spiritualist seances.[36]


In 1875, Emma Hardinge Britten (1823–1899) participated in the formation of the Theosophical Society.[37] Her musical talent manifested itself already in childhood, and at the age of 11 she gave music lessons. According to Godwin, from among the first Theosophists she was the only one professionally associated with music—she worked in the Paris studio of Sébastien Érard as a “piano demonstrator” and composed “music for her spiritualist educational program”.[1][38] There are several compositions and songs written by her under a pseudonym “Ernest Reinhold”.[4] In the 1840s and early 1850s, she was an opera singer and then an actress at the Adelphi Theatre and other theaters in London.[39]


An ancient Egyptian anthem, “restored” by Edmond Bailly (1912)[40]

Edmond Bailly (born Henri-Edmond Limet; 1850–1916) was a poet, musician, publisher, and one of the leading Theosophists in France. He had a classical music education.[41] In 1887, Bailey established the publishing house “Independent Art” (FrenchLibrairie de l’art Independant) for the support of occultism and symbolism.[note 10] In his office he opened a salon that turned into a meeting place of the writers and musicians of Paris.[note 11][1][43][44][45][46]

In September 1912, a magazine The Theosophist published a note on the new music work[40] of Bailly:

Those who were present, in 1906, at the third Congress of the Federation of the European Sections of the Theosophical Society, will remember that curious Egyptian chant which was sung by a chorus to the accompaniment of harps, under the direction of Monsieur Bailly. In the Transactions of the Congress the score was printed together with a short introductory note. Since then M. Bailly has continued his researches concerning this ancient piece of music and considerably amplified his notes. The above mentioned booklet is the result: a re-edition of the score and a recast and greatly extended introduction.[47][note 12]

Prof. Jann Pasler wrote that Bailly outlined in 1900 in his book Sound in nature (FrenchLe Son dans la nature[49]) his ideas about “Hindu musical philosophy”.[50] In 1913 he organized in Paris the first concert of the Hindu sitar player Inayat Khan (1894–1938).[51][note 13]


Music by Cyril Scott
 Symphony No. 1 in G major (1899)

Composer Cyril Scott (1879–1970)[52] had been actively participating in the work of the Theosophical Society. He claimed that not only many aspects of politics and culture are reflected in music, but also that “changes in musical style often mysteriously precede and influence changes in politics and culture”.[28] As Theosophist, Scott studied the occult influence of music, after which he published his findings in a book Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages,[53] dedicating it to the Master Koot Hoomi and to the memory of his pupil, Nelsa Chaplin.[5] Scott believed that the mahatma not only played an important role in “his musical career”, but also inspired him to write this book.[1][54][note 14]

According to Prof. Antoine Faivre, it is “difficult to discuss” musical esotericism without taking into account the opinion of the composers, in particular, stated in the work by Cyril Scott Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages.[56] Godwin praised Scott’s comments[57] on the occult meaning of correlation of sound and color.[58] Brendan French wrote that influence of Scott “on esoteric movements has been significant”.[59]

In Scott’s opinion, the music by Handel, for example, promoted to the fact that affectation, haughtiness, and formalism were usual to many people of the Victorian era which was filled with “conventions”. He wrote that these imperfections of human characters should be considered as a result of the influence of his music on these characters:

Those who have closely examined Handel’s technique will observe that he had a strong predilection for the repetition of single chords, for two or more bar phrases, and for sequences,—viz.: the reiteration of a phrase in a different position or on a different degree of the scale. Thus, apart from its emotional content, Handel’s music was pre-eminently formal in character, consequently it was formal in effect. If, however, we combine its emotional qualities with its formalism, and to repetition and musical imitativeness—for sequence is but imitativeness—add grandeur, the net result is the glorification of repetition and imitativeness; and if we translate all this from the planc of music to that of human conduct, we get love of outward ceremony and adherence to convention.[60][note 15]

According to musicologist Arthur Eaglefield Hull, Scott’s Theosophical and occult studies deeply influenced his music. In 1919, he wrote about Scott as follows:

Doubtless too, the music of others whom he admires WagnerStraussStravinsky, Debussy, Grainger, Ravel has stimulated his muse in a healthy way. But there is a power within him which gives impulse more than any other: it is the joyful welling forth of music itself as a natural force. It often gushes out after the manner of an extemporaneous performance in a sheer glad carolling, a happy warbling like that of the natural song birds, out of the very joy of life itself.[62]

MacCarthy and Foulds

External video
Music by John Foulds
 A World Requiem, Op. 60 (1921)

Violinist Maud MacCarthy (1882–1967) was a singer, writer, Indian music expert, and Theosophist.[63][note 16] She studied violin in London at the Royal College of Music, where her teacher was Enrique Fernández Arbós. Composer John Foulds (1880–1939) was her second husband. From 1919 to 1921, she helped him in his work on a World Requiem, dedicated to the memory of those dead in World War I. This work was conceived, as Godwin noted, in the “non-sectarian spirit of Theosophy”. MacCarthy worked on the text using passages from the Bible, excerpts from The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, and poems by Hindu poet Kabir.[1][65][66][64][67]

De Grandis

External video
Preludes for piano by R. de Grandis
 “Echi”[note 17]
 “Midrash”[note 18]
 “Antahkarana”[note 19]

In addition to music, Renato de Grandis (1927–2008) had been interested in philosophy, poetry, and painting. He engaged in research in the field of Theosophy, Buddhism, and Kabbalah. This was bound with the long journeys, especially in Asia. De Grandis was “an active member of the Italian Section” of the Theosophical Society. He founded the International Center for the Theosophical Research in Cervignano del Friuli (ItalianCentro Internazionale di Studi Teosofici di Cervignano del Friuli). He wrote the Theosophical books Teosofia di baseTeosofia contemporaneaTheos-SophiaAbhidharma e Psicologie Occidentali, in addition, he published comments to the Book of Dzyan and The Voice of the Silence by Helena Blavatsky.[1][69][68][70][71]

Musicians and Theosophy


External images
Richard Wagner’s “music-forms”
 Overture to Parsifal[72]
 The Prize Song from The Mastersingers of Nuremberg[72]

According to Gary Lachman, in the last years of his life, Richard Wagner (1813–1883) had been endorsing ideas “remarkably similar to Madame Blavatsky’s”.[75] He had been saying of “universal currents of Divine Thought”, “vibrating ether”, and the “great cosmic law”. He believed that music is capable of introducing an audience into a state of trance, provoking a kind of “musical clairvoyance”.[76] Prof. Wouter Hanegraaff wrote that Wagner’s “great music dramas were sometimes interpreted from esoteric perspectives”.[77] Wagner believed in the “spiritual oneness of all living things, abhorred cruelty to animals and was a vegetarian”.[78]

Speaking of the impact of Wagner’s music, Cyril Scott wrote that the basis of his general composition idea was “a profound spiritual principle” of “unity in diversity”.

As the waves of the ocean are each different, yet are one with it and inseparable from it, so each melody was one with the great art-work of which it formed a part. Wagner’s music was the prototype of the principle of co-operation against competition; symbolically speaking it symbolized the mystic truth that each individual soul is unified with the All-soul, the All-pervading Consciousness.[79]


External video
The Theosophical sonatas by Alexander Scriabin
 Flight Toward A Star, Op. 30[28]
 White Mass, Op. 64
 Five Elements, Op. 66[28]
 Black Mass, Op. 68

Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915) composed ten piano sonatas, some of which, according to composer Kurt Leland, “have Theosophical subtexts”. For example, the Fourth Sonata is about “flight toward a star, as in the experience of astral projection“, the Seventh, subtitled White Mass, is about the “mystical forces unleashed in a magical ceremony”, and the Ninth, subtitled Black Mass, is about “purging the corresponding dark forces”. The Eighth Sonata “uses five musical fragments to represent the constant interplay of the elements earthwaterairfire, and, as he called it, ‘the mystical ether‘”.[28][note 21]

Even before he became acquainted with Theosophy, Scriabin became interested in philosophy of Hinduism, which had become one of the sources of Blavatsky’s teachings. This is evidenced in the Katha Upanishad from the composer’s personal library with notes made by his hand. Scriabin emphasized those places in the book that illuminate idea of the universal community, the absolute unity of the world.[80] Musicologist Dmitry Shumilin stated that in 1905, in Paris, Scriabin began to study the French translation of Blavatsky’s book The Key to Theosophy (FrenchLa Clef de la Theosophie). Scriabin became acquainted with her book The Secret Doctrine no later than October 1905. This book has become for him the most authoritative source of information of occult nature, as well as a “storehouse” of new creative ideas.[81][note 22] All of the work from Scriabin’s latest period, albeit in varying degrees, was imbued with ideas, concepts, and provisions set forth in The Secret Doctrine.[83] Shumilin wrote:

Scriabin not only read this work, he studied it as a textbook, examined it how the newly founded ancient manuscript, trying to comprehend and assimilate the ideas contained in the book. More than 513 text fragments ranging in length from several words to one and a half pages are differently highlighted by the composer in five volumes of the French edition of The Secret Doctrine (FrenchLa Doctrine Secrete).[84][note 23]

The hypothetical ability of a person to perceive “spiritual” reality is one of the problems that worried Scriabin most of all. In The Secret Doctrine, he singled out many fragments describing “paranormal abilities“.[86] In addition to works by Blavatsky, Scriabin read books by Besant and Leadbeater, in particular, their Thought-Forms, which describe the “correlations” between sound, color and emotions.[87][note 24]

Shumilin noted that idea of unity is the basic idea of both Theosophy and Scriabin’s philosophy. The “principle of unity”, which he often mentioned, talking on its “immutable action”, is, in Scriabin’s opinion, a universal law. He accepted with “great enthusiasm” Blavatsky’s concept about a singular source of all religions and religious-philosophical systems, as well as the proclamation by the Theosophists the idea of universal brotherhood as the highest ethical value. In Theosophy, the composer had saw that “reality” which was “desired” for him. On the basis of his own experience, he concluded that Blavatsky’s assertions were true, and for him as an artist it was precisely this criterion that was decisive.[89]

Prof. Maria Carlson wrote that Scriabin based “directly” on the Theosophical doctrine in his theory that the creation of music is a “theurgic act” of divine play. Like the Symbolist writers, he was interested in the Theosophical concept of theurgy, the meaning of spells and rhythm as a deeply “magic” act, sobornost as “mystical experience, art as a form of religious action, and the synthesis of matter and spirit”.[90] Musicologist Victor Yekimovsky [ru] noted that Scriabin’s Theosophy has a common mystical denominator with religion, generated by the hyperbolization of the ideas of “universal love”.[91][note 25] Scriabin considered music a means of transforming humanity, accelerating his spiritual evolution. He dedicated the last years of his life to the Mysterium, a giant drama combining music, dance, theater, poetry with religious ritual, trying to create a synthesis of the emotional and spiritual aspects.[1][93][2][94][note 26]

In Scott’s opinion, Scriabin sought to synthesize all the arts, attempting to demonstrate visually the occult law of correlations “as above, so below”. He became the first Russian composer who was able to combine a “theoretical knowledge of occultism” with music, believing that he should in this way “convey to the world” a spiritual “message”.[97]


External video
Symphonic suite The Planets, Op. 32
 “Mars, the Bringer of War” (I)
 “Venus, the Bringer of Peace” (II)
 “Mercury, the Winged Messenger” (III)
 “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” (IV)
 “Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age” (V)
 “Uranus, the Magician” (VI)
 “Neptune, the Mystic” (VII)

According to Godwin, Gustav Theodore Holst (1874–1934) was a friend of the Theosophists Clifford Bax,[note 27] G. R. S. Mead, and Alan Leo.[1] Holst was being interested in Theosophy, although he did not become a member of the Theosophical Society. He studied Hindu philosophy and Sanskrit, translated texts from the MahabharataRamayana, and Rigveda and created several vocal compositions for his own translations and for words of Kālidāsa as well as other Indian poets. He composed a chamber opera Savitri in 1908 and The Hymns of Rigveda, for a womanish choir, in 1909. In 1913, Clifford Bax and Alan Leo introduced him to the basics of astrology, and Leo’s book The Art of Synthesis inspired him to create a seven-movement symphonic suite The Planets (1914–16). Describing in his book the astrological characteristics, Leo devoted on a separate chapter to each planet. The last part of the suite “Neptune, the Mystic” obtained a name of the 12th chapter from the book by Leo. In 1917, Holst has written The Hymn of Jesus, containing Gnostic text translated by George Mead.[1][98][99][2][100]


Instruments for futuristic music of Luigi Russolo (1913)

Luigi Russolo (1885–1947) was a composer, painter, and one of the ideologists of futurism, inventor of “various kind of the mechanical and electrical tools” for noise music.[101] According to Chessa, Russolo, along with studies in the field of the “physics of light, sound, waves, acoustics, magnetism”, was interested in spiritualism and metaphysics. Judging by his “personal documents” and stories of his acquaintances, his worldview did not actually differ from the “Theosophical orthodoxy”, which proclaimes the reality of the superphysical world. To develop his concept of the “art of noises”, he used the Theosophical ideas about sound and music “forms”,[102][103] taken from the books by Besant and Leadbeater.[104]

In Chessa’s opinion, Theosophy is the “key” that makes it possible to “identify, decode, and contextualize” Russolo’s interest in the occult, which is present in his compositions: from his “printmaking and paintings” to his theoretical works on music.[105][106]


External video
Music by Olivier Messiaen
 Turangalîla-Symphonie[note 28]

According to the Russian Musical Encyclopedia [ru] (ME), compositions by Olivier Messiaen (1908–1992) are related to the “religious theme” and the mystical ideas of their author, who believed in the “divine origin” of music.[107] His pantheistic love for nature manifested itself in the interest for singing of birds—he considered them, with his characteristic mysticism, “the servants of the spirituality”.[107][108][note 29] Yekimovsky noted several moments pointing to the “Theosophical nature” of his worldview.[109] Messiaen studied the rhythms of ancient Indian music, creating his own rhythmic “dictionary” based on the “deçi-tâlas” formulas systematized by the Indian musicologist Sarangadeva.[110] The title of his popular composition Turangalîla-Symphonie (1948) is composed from two Sanskrit words, “Turanga” and “lîla“, and it may be translated as “hymn to joy”.[111]

Messiaen’s synesthesia was bidirectional, because music created for him color, and color sounded like music. He was completely persuaded that his experience was not an illusion, and he invented a way to describe “music in color terms”. He could talk about “color chords” and could say that they were “colored” by the harmonies, and not “harmonized in the classical sense”.[112][note 30] According to Messiaen’s stories about his “color” hearing, when he listened to music or read a musical score, he sensed specific colors that “swirled, moved, mixed” in the same way as sounds.[114][note 31] However, unlike Scriabin, he did not seek to demonstrate his color visions.[116] Nevertheless, between Scriabin and Messiaen, as Yekimovsky wrote, “amazing” parallels can be drawn:

The central themes of both composers’ creativity are both cosmogony and universal (‘fatal’, by definition of Messiaen) love, and a kind of ‘supra-church’ scale of thinking, of course, the religious-mystical interpretation of the ideas of Apocalypse, the creation of the world (‘Divine play’, according to Scriabin), and the literary-theatrical mystery-play—Scriabin conceived his Mysterium for all mankind—Messiaen intended to perform his Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum (more modestly) on openly air, on a high mountain, for example, in La Grave, opposite a glacier of La Meije, against the backdrop of a powerful and majestic landscape.[91]


External video
Music by Karlheinz Stockhausen
 Sirius[note 32]

In musicologist Svetlana Savenko [ru]‘s opinion, Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928–2007), who was a student of Messiaen, embodied in contemporary music, “Wagner’s typology”. This is confirmed by such his features as the “theurgic character” of creativity and the desire to form an “artistic cosmos”.[117] According to ME, his compositions are associated with the “cosmic mystery”.[118] Many researchers have noted the “esoteric character” of his musical ideas.[1][119][note 33] Godwin stated that Stockhausen’s creativity “best exemplifies the Theosophical program of brotherhood, ecumenism, and research into human potential”. Intending to produce a “transformative effect” on the listeners, he filled his heptalogy Licht (1977–2003) with “esoteric ideas”, partly taken from The Urantia Book.[1][121][note 34]

All religions, both Western and Eastern, were acceptable to Stockhausen, and he made no secret of his faith in reincarnation and astrology. In his music of the late 60s one can notice the influence of the Buddhist culture, meditative practice, and Zen philosophy. He believed that “Lucifer’s Requiem” from his Saturday may be played after a person’s death during 49 days to help his/her soul in “the journey through the bardo“. “World music” was seemed to him as the result of the combination of Western rationalism and Eastern mysticism.[123]

Godwin noted that Scriabin’s dream of a “new age” spherical hall for music was partially realized in 1970, when Stockhausen’s works were performed in the West German pavilion at the World Exhibition Expo ’70 in Osaka.[124][121][note 35]

Rock musicians

External video
Compositions by Todd Rundgren
 “A Treatise On Cosmic Fire: Prana”
 “The Fire of Mind or Solar Fire”
 “The Internal Fire or Fire by Friction”‘

According to Albert GoldmanElvis Presley‘s biographer, Presley was interested in “Blavatsky’s writings and those of her disciples”, like Besant and Leadbeater. Goldman wrote that Presley’s “favourite reading included Leadbeater’s The Inner Life [ru], from which he often read aloud before going on stage to perform.”[126]

During the shooting of Space Is the Place, 1972, Sun Ra should have read the Urantia Book, like Jimi Hendrix, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Jaco Pastorius, Elvis Presley, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.[127] The movie possibly was supported by the Rosicrucian Order, it contains references to Aleister Crowley, the Saturn-Gnosis, DescartesSokrates, as well as reflections of sociocritical science fiction like Dr. Who or The Day the Earth Stood Still.

In 1975, Todd Rundgren used for his compositions in the second side of the album Initiation[128][129] headlines from the Theosophical book A Treatise on Cosmic Fire by Alice Bailey.[130] That same year, Rundgren’s rock band Utopia recorded an album Another Live, which included compositions “Another Life” and “The Seven Rays”, associated with the Theosophical concepts, like reincarnation and “seven rays“.[131]

Peter Mills, author of the book Hymns to the Silence: Inside the Words and Music of Van Morrison stated that Van Morrison[132] was seriously interested in the occult side of music.[133] In Mills’s opinion, Morrison’s enthusiasm for music and his interest in esoteric spirituality, which appeared later, “are not as far apart as they would at first seem.”[134] He has read books like Music: Its Secret Influence Throughout the Ages[53] by Cyril Scott, The Secret Power of Music[135] by David Tame, and also many books by Alice Bailey.[136] Nevill Drury wrote about the Morrison’s album Beautiful Vision (1982) that its texts were inspired by the Theosophical publications of Bailey and her “Tibetan Master“, especially for songs “Dweller on the Threshold” and “Aryan Mist”.[137][note 36]

See also


  1. ^ In September 2013, an academic conference Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy and the Arts in the Modern World was held at the University of Amsterdam, at which about 50 reports were presented to an audience of 150 scholars.[8] Of these reports, at least 10 dealt with the question of Theosophy and music.[9]
  2. ^ “The fundamental theory of Indian classical music, as indeed of all Indian art and poetry, is grounded in the theory of Nada Brahman or Shabda Brahman and is linked with the Vedic religion.”[14]
  3. ^ Taimni mentioned “patterns which are called Chladni’s figures” that prove the creative ability of sound.[16]
  4. ^ Taimni stated that “thoughts, feelings, emotions”, by their very nature, are vibrations in the “matter of the subtler planes”, and they generate forms that can be seen “objectively”.[13]
  5. ^ Forms created by music, strictly speaking, are not thought-forms, but, nevertheless, they do not arise without “the thought of the composer”.[21] Later, Leadbeater explained that mentalastral, and etheric structures are built up “by the influence of sound”, and that “forms, created by the performers of the music, must not be confounded with the magnificent thought-form which the composer himself made as the expression of his own music in the higher worlds.”[22]
  6. ^ Gary Lachman called Besant and Leadbeater’s music-forms “the synaestheticforms created by music”.[23]
  7. ^ The Mahatma Letters argue that music is “the most divine and spiritual of arts”.[1][25]
  8. ^ “[Blavatsky] possessed great natural musical talents.”[30]
  9. ^ According to Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, paranormal music varies from inspired performances of mediums and compositions dictated by “spirit musicians” to music that sounds without any visible material source.[34]
  10. ^ His first step as a publisher was the publication of the famous Kabbalah book Sefer Yetzirah.[42]
  11. ^ The spiritist seances were also held here, often with the participation of Debussyand Satie. They played their music on the piano placed in the back room.[42]
  12. ^ Bailly’s Le Chant des Voyelles for women’s choir, flutes and harps “was first performed in early June 1906”. Bailly wrote in foreword to his score that “the accompaniment by Harps and Double Flutes[disambiguation needed], the latter scarcely found outside the cases of large museums, can be replaced by a harmonium (also flute, English horn)”.[48]
  13. ^ Khan later gave “several lectures on music and philosophy”. In 1914, he spoke at the congress of the International Musical Society.[51]
  14. ^ Scott stated that “his personal contact” with the mahatmas began in 1919-20.[55]
  15. ^ Scott believed that the “depictive value of music over and above that of literature, drama, painting and poetry, consists in its total lack of restrictedness, and in its direct appeal to the intuition or subconscious”.[61]
  16. ^ In 1905, MacCarthy was allowed to participate in a work of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society.[64]
  17. ^ De Grandis dedicated his piano prelude “Echi” to the president of the Theosophical Society Radha Burnier.[68]
  18. ^ He dedicated his piano prelude “Midrash” to Abraham Abulafia, the “Kabbalist and mystic“.[68]
  19. ^ The word “Antahkarana” derives from the Vedantic philosophy.[68]
  20. ^ Commenting on this illustration, the researchers of esotericism wrote that, according to the Theosophists, Wagner’s organ music produces on the astral plane the “weird mountains in pink, green and red”.[74]
  21. ^ In Prof. Wouter Hanegraaff‘s opinion, it can be unequivocally stated that esotericism had “a major influence” on compositions of Alexander Scriabin.[77]
  22. ^ Scriabin considered Blavatsky’s attempt to unite religion, philosophy, and science into one teaching as “quite reasonable and successful”.[82]
  23. ^ These 5 volumes, which belonged to the composer, are stored in Scriabin State Memorial Museum [ru] with a lot of notes and underscores, which testifies to a thorough study of the text. He noted more than 500 fragments in these volumes.[85]
  24. ^ It should be noted that Scriabin did not consider himself the Theosophist and categorically objected to the promotion of Theosophy through his work.[88]
  25. ^ “He was very much a mystic and indeed his first symphony composed in 1900 has a choral finale that glorifies art as a form of religion.”[92]
  26. ^ Scriabin’s Mysterium had to surpass “even the greatest ambitions of Wagner”.[95]For his project, the composer used as a basis the concept of cosmogenesis and anthropogenesis, presented in Blavatsky’s Theosophy.[96]
  27. ^ Composer Arnold Bax was his brother.
  28. ^ Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Myung-Whun Chung, 2008.
  29. ^ Messiaen created the “system of transformation of the bird whistles, appeals, screams, jubili on musical instruments with an equal temperament“. See, for example, compositions Oiseaux exotiques (1956), Catalogue d’oiseaux (1959).[107]
  30. ^ Messiaen thinked in color not only individual chords, but whole “harmonic-timbre fields”.[113]
  31. ^ He called Mozart a “source of colour-pleasure”.[115]
  32. ^ Sirius: “eight-channel electronic music and trumpetsopranobass clarinet, and bass is a music-theatre composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed between 1975 and 1977. It is No. 43 in the composer’s catalogue of works, and lasts 96 minutes in performance.”
  33. ^ Hanegraaff pointed out that creativity of Stockhausen is an “ultimate example of how avant-garde music can be wholly grounded in an esoteric worldview”.[120]
  34. ^ Savenko called his theatrical super cycle Light “the most ambitious” of the [realized] musical projects.[122]
  35. ^ Dmitry Shumilin wrote that Scriabin’s “ideas influence” was quite noticeable in the work of Stockhausen.[125]
  36. ^ In Hanegraaff’s opinion, progress of rock music was exerted by the fashion of “alternative spiritualities” that emerged in the 1960s due to the “influences from Oriental as well as Western esoteric traditions”.[120]


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  2. Jump up to:a b c Lachman 2002.
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  5. Jump up to:a b Melton 2001d.
  6. ^ Шумилин 2009.
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  8. ^ Introvigne 2018, p. 30.
  9. ^ Conference, pp. 7–9, 15–7, 26–8.
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  14. ^ Purohit 1988, p. 856.
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  16. ^ Taimni 1969, p. 281.
  17. ^ Blavatsky 1888, p. 555; Godwin 1987, p. 6.
  18. ^ Blavatsky 1980a, pp. 562, 564; Blavatsky 1980b, p. 621; Rudbøg 2010, p. 258.
  19. ^ TForms 1901, pp. 75–82; Leadbeater 1913, pp. 267–87; Chessa 2012, p. 124.
  20. ^ TForms 1901, p. 75; Chessa 2012, p. 104.
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  24. ^ Chessa 2012, p. 104.
  25. ^ Barker 1924, p. 188.
  26. ^ Kuhn 1992, p. 113.
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  29. ^ Blavatsky 1975, p. 625; Блаватская 2007, p. 473.
  30. ^ Melton 2001a, p. 194.
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  35. ^ Sinnett 1886, p. 87.
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  48. ^ Godwin 1991, pp. 51, 97.
  49. ^ Bailly 1900.
  50. ^ Pasler 2007, p. 253.
  51. Jump up to:a b Pasler 2007, p. 254.
  52. ^ МЭ 1981.
  53. Jump up to:a b Scott 1969.
  54. ^ Godwin 1987, p. 39; Godwin 1994, p. 366.
  55. ^ Tame 1984, p. 264; French 2000, p. 727.
  56. ^ Faivre 1994, p. 106; Faivre 2010, p. 106.
  57. ^ Scott 1917, p. 115.
  58. ^ Godwin 1991, p. 38.
  59. ^ French 2000, p. 729.
  60. ^ Scott 1969, p. 50; Tame 1984, pp. 150–51.
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  63. ^ Mann 1913.
  64. Jump up to:a b Mansell 2016, MacCarthy.
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  90. ^ Carlson 2011, p. 52; Carlson 2015, p. 159.
  91. Jump up to:a b Екимовский 1987, p. 275.
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  95. ^ Faivre 1994, p. 94.
  96. ^ Шумилин 2009, pp. 86–8.
  97. ^ Scott 1969, Ch. 21.
  98. ^ Planets.
  99. ^ МЭ 1982a.
  100. ^ Conference, p. 7.
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  102. ^ TForms 1901.
  103. ^ Leadbeater 1913.
  104. ^ Chessa 2012, pp. 113, 163–64.
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  107. Jump up to:a b c МЭ 1976.
  108. ^ Екимовский 1987, p. 79; Lachman 2002, p. 135.
  109. ^ Екимовский 1987, pp. 72, 144–45.
  110. ^ Екимовский 1987, p. 106; Sherlaw-Johnson 2012, p. 122.
  111. ^ Dingle 2007, p. 108.
  112. ^ Cytowic 2002, p. 310.
  113. ^ Екимовский 1987, p. 240.
  114. ^ Екимовский 1987, p. 238.
  115. ^ Macdonald 2013, p. 316.
  116. ^ Екимовский 1987, p. 240; Macdonald 2013, p. 316.
  117. ^ Савенко 1995, p. 35.
  118. ^ МЭ 1982b.
  119. ^ Faivre 1994, p. 106; Lachman 2002, p. 135.
  120. Jump up to:a b Hanegraaff 2013, p. 154.
  121. Jump up to:a b Godwin 1998.
  122. ^ Савенко 1995, p. 28.
  123. ^ Савенко 1995, pp. 24, 26; Godwin 1998, p. 354.
  124. ^ Godwin 1987, Ch. 1.
  125. ^ Шумилин 2009, p. 222.
  126. ^ Goldman 1981, p. 366; Tillett 1986, p. 10.
  127. ^ UB The News, Musicians
  128. ^ Erlewine1.
  129. ^ Weigel 2017, p. 159.
  130. ^ Bailey 1925, Contents.
  131. ^ Erlewine2.
  132. ^ Кастальский 2003.
  133. ^ Mills 2010, p. 115.
  134. ^ Mills 2010, p. 123.
  135. ^ Tame 1984.
  136. ^ Mills 2010, pp. 181, 356, 383.
  137. ^ Drury 1985, p. 60.


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