Swami Kriyananda composed over 400 pieces of music in his lifetime. Below are a few of his words on the ability of music to transform consciousness and how music can convey a mystical experience:
“You see, what music does that words alone can’t do is transmit experience. What the composer experiences he can — through the melody primarily, through the harmony, and rhythm; through all three, but primarily through the melody — he can convey states of consciousness which — if the listener really listens, if he tunes into — he finds himself transformed also. An example of that would be the wonderful choral piece at the end of the St. Matthew Passion. Another example of that would be Handel’s Messiah, the Hallelujah Chorus. But all music in one way or another opens the door to states of consciousness.
Some of these states can be lower states. They can use moods and depressions as well as elation and joy. So music in fact ought to be a kind of ministry, bringing people a higher experience, a higher awareness of life than they have ordinarily. Poetry, visualization, paintings, all of these can open those windows to a degree, but none is so direct, immediate as music.”