This blog is written by our international intern who is from China, Her Chinese name is Lu Jiayi, a sophomore student from HNU-ASU Joint International Tourism College studying on Parks and Recreation Management. This blog entry is Jennifer’s perspective and opinion of her experience working with plants playing music, please enjoy.
Since I was a young child, I believed that every creature has a soul. My mom told me that it is not true, but I still believe it. Sometimes children who are younger and purer are more in touch with the rootstock of the universe. However, most people do not believe that. The reason they deny their existence is because of their ignorance to nature. Our knowledge is limited but we try to use ignorance to answer all questions and that is not the right way. Although some old thoughts are rooted in the public’s mind, some scientists keep questioning and studying. Now what they have found and what they are going to find out will break down those old roots and ways of thinking.
In the previous blogs we have introduced the Bamboo device which plants can use to play music. That is right. Plants can play music, but do not be panic or doubt what I write at once, keep reading. You should know that it is not a easy thing to write in my second foreign language. I have been studying “plants play music” for more than two weeks. Here I will briefly tell you what I have done and what I have learned and found during these days.
Below you’ll see some of the notes I took. The first experiment was done inside the WorldBeat Center with indoor potted plants and the following 2 experiment were completer in the outside garden. Although I have not learned much biology, I still tried my best, and I used what I learned in physics: control variables. The aim of these experiments is To find out what elements influence plants while playing music, and what can help to improve plants playing their music.
Experiment 1 – 07/24/19
Indoor plants (WorldBeat Cultural Center) 2 plants
- The connection between plants and the Music of the Plants machine was not very good. Steel probe and the spring clip have been changed in different places and leaves in the same plant.
- During the music playing, there were many times that Status-LED 2 turned Red (looking for the signal).
- While changing the options (Instrument, Scale, Reverb…), the Status-LED 2 turned Red sometimes.
Experiment 2 and experiment 3 used same subjects and same settings of the machine, and same period of time.
Experiment 2 – 07/25/19
Outdoor plants (Garden in WorldBeat Cultural Center) 4 trees
- The connection between plants and the machine was good compared to the indoor plants experiment.
- During the music playing, there were less than 4 times that Status-LED 2 turned Red (each tree).
- The music did not stop, when planes flew through, and the the Status-LED 2 kept Green for a long time
- While changing the options (Instrument, Scale, Reverb…), the Status-LED 2 stayed Green and music kept playing for a long time.
Experiment 3 – 07/26/19
Indoor plants (WorldBeat Cultural Center) 2 plants
- The connection between plants and the machine was better than the first experiment.
- The plants played better than their first time (fluency, the number of different notes): They were learning and improving.
- While changing the options (Instrument, Scale, Reverb…), the Status-LED 2 kept Green.
- While the plant playing music, touching leaves and stem did not influence the music, and the Status-LED kept Green.
The first experiment was my first experience. I should admit that the “Music of the Plants” machine is easy to operate with powerful and abundant functions. And I am thankful to those plant “musicians” for allowing be learn a lot on the first try where I became familiar with this magic machine at once. When it comes to the other two experiments, the results and findings reminded me of something I read before: scientists have already found that trees communicate with each other through their roots. I believe this must have something related to my question of why outdoor plants play better than indoor plants. I think it shows that because they can communicate, they can also learn things from each other, so that might be why to the plants improved from the second experiment to the third experiment. Perhaps they might be learning from others and sharing their experience of playing music through the machine.
Here are the pictures and recordings from the 3rd experiment, which will give you a new feeling and understanding about plants and their music.
Tree 1 (Ficus)
Tree 2 (Danki tree)
Tree 3 (Mango)
Tree 4 (Loquat)
Aside from these notes, pictures and recordings, we also had an interview with Teresa Helgeson, who is a Certified Hypnotherapist studying on sound healing (“Plant Music Therapy,” n. d.). According to our questions and Teresa’s answers, even test the same leaf in the same branch of the same plant, in the same time, the music can be different. And plants are like humans, some of them are good at playing music, but some are not. The most interesting thing I learned is that the music that plants play can reflect their emotion. Teresa found that a dying plant will play sad music which means the music that plants play can reflect their emotion and condition.
Today only a few people in the world know about this instrument and have heard the music that plants play and realized that plants live just like humans. Their roots just like our mouths. They have feelings, they have friends and enemies, they can teach and share information to others. So if you read this blog, I should say you are so lucky, because you have learned about a part of nature’s mystery that only a few people in the world know about. And now you must do something for us, tell more people about what you have read and what you learned. Help break down the old roots, let people respect plants, let people respect other creatures, let the world become better.
Plant Music Therapy. (n.d.). Retrieve from http://plantmusictherapy.com/about.html