Cymascope Logo

Cymatics - Frequently asked questions

Great customer service and unrivaled innovation make Sonic Age America first in your search for information about cymatics--the science of visual sound.


About Cymatics and the CymaScope

Q: What is Cymatics?

"Nothing tends so much to the advancement of knowledge as the application of a new instrument." Sir Humphry Davy (Michael Faraday's mentor)

A: Cymatics is the science of sound made visible.

It is based on the principle that when sound encounters a membrane such as your skin or the surface of water, it imprints an invisible pattern of energy. In other words, the periodic vibrations in the sound sample are converted and become periodic water ripples, creating beautiful geometric patterns that reveal the once hidden realm of sound. If we could see the sounds around us with our eyes we would see myriads of holographic bubbles, each with a kaleidoscopic-like pattern on its surface. The CymaScope, in a sense, allows us to image a circular section through a holographic sound bubble. Developed by John Stuart Reid in the UK, the CymaScope reveals the once hidden realm of sound. The CymaScope, like the invention of the microscope and telescope, opens a realm not previously suspected to exist; a whole new world of visible sound.

Back to top

Q. What is the origin of the word Cymatics?

A: Cymatics is the name coined by Hans Jenny (1904-1972), a Swiss physician and natural scientist, to describe visible sound. Considered the father of cymatics, he laid important foundations for this emergent science. Jeff Volk of Macromedia Publishing has single-handedly championed Hans Jenny and republished Jenny’s 1970’s book "Cymatics: A Study of Wave Phenomena."

Back to top

Q: How are cymatic images created?

A: Sound vibrations imprint geometric patterns of energy on a surface, such as a plate, membrane, or diaphragm, even on your skin or the surface of water. Each sound creates a unique pattern.

Back to top

Q: What is a CymaScope?

A: Developed by John Stuart Reid, in the UK, the CymaScope is a scientifically designed unit that reveals the geometry within sound. Just as the microscope and telescope opened new realms, the CymaScope reveals the hidden realm of sound.

Back to top

Q: What does a CymaScope do?

A: A CymaScope makes sound visible.

Back to top

Q: How does the CymaScope make sound visible?

A: When sound meets a membrane it imprints a geometric pattern. The CymaScope imprints sound on the surface tension of water. Each pattern is unique, determined by the nature of the sound and other factors such as the tension and nature of the membrane. The patterns are usually invisible to the unaided eye but the CymaScope uses special lighting techniques to make them visible.

Back to top

Q: Is it a vibration causing the pattern or sound causing the pattern?

A: It is a vibration that causes the pattern. Sound is an air-borne phenomenon but when sound enters a denser medium, such as a membrane, it becomes a vibration in that medium. A vibration can be thought of as a mechanical movement of a membrane.

Back to top

Q: What is the purpose of a CymaScope?

A: CymaScope is an instrument used for the visual study a wide range of sounds, for example, of human sounds, sounds of cells, animal sounds, bird sounds, sounds of sea creatures, sounds from space and musical instrument sounds. A CymaScope can also be used to study linguistics.

Back to top

Q: Do sound waves create the cymatic patterns?

A:  The term “sound wave” is a misnomer since all audible sounds are bubble-shaped. If we could see sound with our eyes, we would not see waves, as is commonly believed, but beautiful holographic bubbles, each with a shimmering kaleidoscopic-like pattern on its surface.
See our physics section for more information.

Back to top

Q: How was the CymaScope developed?

A: With the success of his experiments in the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt, John Stuart Reid realized that cymatics was a tool that could assist his acoustics research and he built an early CymaScope named the "Dodecadon." Collaborating with design engineer Erik Larson in the US, the Dodecadon was enhanced and refined using sacred geometry, and the first CymaScope was completed and demonstrated at the Sound Healing Conference in October of 2006 in Atlanta.

Back to top

Q: How are cymatic images captured?

A: Cymatic images, sometimes called CymaGlyphs, are captured using a conventional digital camera or camcorder, as they appear on the surface of pure water.. We use monochromatic light as the disclosing medium. See this beautiful example of human voice made visible.

Back to top

Q: What software is used to create CymaGlyphs from the CymaScope?

A: The CymaScope is an analog instrument and doesn't use software.

Back to top

Q: Is there a CymaScope available for public viewing?

A: A CymaScope went on display in 2007 at the !Explora! Museum in Albuquerque, USA, where museum visitors can experience seeing their own voice, along with other sounds. All other CymaScopes are currently in private use.

Back to top

Q: What does the future of Cymatics hold?

A: Sound lies at the heart of every aspect of Nature, underpinning all of Creation. The new science of visual sound—cymatics—will, in the future, enable humanity to understand far more about our world and Universe than we ever could with conventional instrumentation. That is why the CymaScope, and the science of cymatics, is so important. Dr. Emoto demonstrated the effect that sound can have on water and since our body is comprised mainly of water it is clear that the sound environment is important to our health.

We predict that cymatics will become an important tool for the study of disease, via sonocytology, and as a therapy for disease support.

Back to top

Q: What are some of the practical applications of cymatics?

A: Applications of cymatics are beginning to emerge for almost every aspect of human endeavour, from asteroseismology—the study of the sonic signatures of stars—to zoology, the study of animal sounds—and a wide range of other scientific disciplines highlighted on our web site.

Back to top

Q. How can cymatics assist with Dolphin communication?

A: Sonic Age America, in collaboration with Jack Kassewitz in Florida, is beginning to decipher dolphin language by building a lexicon of dolphin picture words. Dolphins can see with sound and when they echolocate on an object we can record the reflections and image them on the CymaScope.

Back to top

Q: What is the link between cymatics and the Great Pyramid?

A: In 1996 English acoustics engineer John Stuart Reid experienced the extraordinary resonant qualities of the granite sarcophagus in the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza. He concluded that the Egyptians may have employed acoustics principles to design the King's Chamber and its sarcophagus as part of a resurrection ritual. In his search for a scientific tool to explore the inherent resonances of the sarcophagus he came across cymatics, a method that would visually reveal the resonances. He returned to the pyramid in 1997 to conduct a series of cymatics experiments that proved to be highly successful. See our Egyptology section for more information.

Back to top

Q: What is your research ethos?

A: John says he sometimes feel like a child treading on new fallen snow--walking a path where no one has been before—“every day in the lab we see sounds that have never been seen before. It is a great privilege to assist in the emergence of a new frontier in research—to be part of scientific history in the making. Cymatics is an enormously exciting new field of science”. The new science of visual sound—cymatics—will, in the future, enable humanity to understand far more about our world and Universe than we ever could conventional instrumentation. The CymaScope, and the science of cymatics provides an important new aspect of future scientific research. A hugely exciting journey of exploration lies before us with the CymaScope, creating benefits for our children and our children’s children.

Back to top

Q: What kind of company is Sonic Age America?

A: We are essentially a research organization studying sound and its effect on inanimate and animate matter. Our sales division sells cymatic art to help support our research.

Back to top

Q: Why would I need a CymaScope?

A: To assist in your chosen field of study or for the joy of seeing your favorite music made visible.

Back to top

Q: Does the CymaScope have healing qualities?

A: In its present form the CymaScope is not designed as a therapeutic instrument although a T-CymaScope is under development.

Back to top

Q: Is the CymaScope patented?

A: CymaScope technology is patented in several countries. Prospective licensees may apply here.
The names “CymaScope,” “CymaGlyph” and “CymaArt” are registered trade marks.

Back to top

About Voice Mandalas and Personal Cymatic Imaging

Q: Can I get a sound image of my own voice?

A: Yes. We make cymatic images directly from your voice recording. Your cymatic image is unique to you. Celebrate your own harmonic beauty with a Voice Mandala.

Back to top

Q: Can I get a sound image of other sounds?

A: We offer an accessibly priced laboratory service for imaging any sound. Celebrate the spirit of your dog, cat or baby. Or have your favorite music made visible.

Back to top

Q: Can you image sounds for scientific research projects? A: We offer an accessibly priced laboratory service for imaging any sound. Please ask for a quotation.

Back to top

Q: What is a Voice Mandala?

A: A Voice Mandala is your voice sound made visible. The unique geometry of your voice can now be made visible, encompassing your personal frequencies, directly reflecting your body chemistry.

Back to top

Q: Can I combine more than one Voice Mandala on a single image?

A: Yes! Our Voice Mandala product is a unique work of art for two people, an affectionate statement of unity for couples, spouses, or friends, the visual expression of two hearts joined as one, an object of beauty to cherish for a lifetime. Each partner records the words "I love you" to create a gorgeous work of art that is one of a kind, the mingling of your voice energy your partner, custom created according to the color and finish you requested when placing your order.
Browse our online store here:

Back to top

Q: Is each Voice Mandala truly unique?

A: Absolutely. The technique we employ would result in a different cymatic image for every individual in the world. No two can ever be the same. That's one of the beauties of your Voice Mandala, it’s unique to you.

Back to top

Q: Can I choose the color and size of my Voice Mandala?

A: Yes. We have many options to allow you to express your personality while matching your décor! We have 24 unique color options. Be creative. All the choices are visible in our online store.

Back to top

Cymatics App for Mobile

Music Made Visible App

See the actual geometry of music for the first time on iPad iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet! The CymaScope app is the world’s first app to make the geometry of piano sounds and music visible. The imagery you will see is not a computer simulation; all the beautiful imagery in the app was created on a physical CymaScope then stored in digital memory for you to enjoy.
Keep the CymaScope app in your pocket at all times on iPhone or Android smartphone or if you prefer a larger screen size use iPad or an Android-powered tablet.





Cymatics App for MobileCymatics App