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Music and sound have been used for millennia to either express or to spark inspiration and creativity.source of our inspiration? When we mix in brain science and modern technology, we have an effective way to spark inspiration and creativity on even the most uninspiring day.

In last week’s blog, I shared information about the characteristics of inspiration and recent study investigating the ‘flow’ state. Click here to read the blog

Measuring Inspiration

The creative inspiration is experienced differently in Alpha and Theta brainwave states. In an electroencephalogram, Alpha brainwaves show up between the range of around 8 Hz to 12 Hz. When you are relaxed, you are most likely in predominately alpha brainwave state. Numerous studies have linked Alpha brainwave state to creativity and learning.

In a study called, Right temporal alpha oscillations as a neural mechanism for inhibiting obvious associations, the researchers concluded:

“In summary, we provided robust evidence that the right temporal alpha oscillations play a critical role in the ability to override habitual, but misleading, associations during creative problem solving. Taking a less-traveled path is often considered an effective path to creativity (i.e., creative thinking calls for a break from habitual thinking and associations), and our findings support that the underlying cognitive mechanisms are served by the temporal alpha oscillations.”

When the frequency for Alpha brainwaves move to the slower range at around 8 Hz, we move into a bridge between the conscious and subconscious mind. A sour brainwaves slow down further to the Theta range, around 4Hz to 8Hz, we gain access to the subconscious mind and slip into a more hypnagogic state.

Here we are in a more internal state of awareness, especially when engaged in meditation, prayer or spiritual awareness. Creative inspiration in the theta state stems from this internal focus connected to intuition, the subconscious mind and expanded awareness.

Moments of creative insight (those ‘ah-ha! Moments) are measured consistently while subjects are in theta state. These sudden spikes into the Gamma brainwave state range, between 40Hz to 100Hz. These moments offer us unusual solutions to problems.

The flow state has been measured at the intersecting point of 8Hz between the Alpha and Theta brainwave states.

How to Create the Optimum Brainwave State for Inspiration

There is a great deal of music that has been specifically designed to reduce stress, increase productivity, maintain focus, stimulate the immune system, enhance creativity and more. Here are some of my favorite choices to create an environment for maximum focus, creativity and productivity.

  1. One of my favorite series of specifically engineered music to support wellbeing and productive, creative work is the Sound Health series produced by Advanced Brain Technologies. Titles of recordings in this series include:
    1. Maximum Focus
    2. Concentration
    3. Inspiration
    4. Learning
    5. Motivation
    6. Productivity
    7. Thinking
    8. De-Stress
    9. Relax
    10. Peak Performance

    Here is a link to their site to check them out:

  2. Another favorite is music with brainwave entrainment frequencies. This is one of the easiest ways to shift your brainwave state into Alpha or Theta. My favorite sources for this type of music are:  
    1. The programs of Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, founder of The Center for Neuroacoustic Research. Many of his programs include the same titles as the Sound Health Series. Here is his website:
    2. The programs of Hemi-Sync. Founded by Robert Monroe, this site offers recordings based on decades of research into brainwave states and brainwave entrainment. Here is the website:
  3. A highly effective way to stimulate inspired creativity is through the use of guided imagery along with music. My favorite company for these types of recordings is Health Journeys. Here is the website:

We live in a noisy and distracting world. There are however, some great solutions to create quiet, productivity, inspiration and serenity within your day. It’s worth searching them out.

In Health and Harmony,