There is virtually no reference, or other proper reviews of the following two rare volumes dealing with Paranormal Music, or Nada as it is known in the India especially in connection with a meditation system known as Nada Yoga. RS
A Casebook of Otherworldly Music: Vol. 1 of Paranormal Music
Experiences by D. Scott Rogo. San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books, 2005. 176
A Psychic Study of the Music of the Spheres: Vol. 2 of Paranormal Music
Experiences by D. Scott. Rogo. San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books, 2005. 176
Anomalist Books has re-released a number of books by the late parapsychologist,
D. Scott Rogo, including the first two books of his writing career.
Originally published in 1970 by University Books under the title, NAD: A Study
of Some Unusual "Other World" Experiences, the re-released and re-titled book,
A Casebook of Otherworldly Music: Vol. 1 of Paranormal Music Experiences was written with the purpose of providing "enough case material to reinstate
celestial music as a phenomenon worthy of parapsychology's concern" (p. 146).
Rogo's efforts were followed up in 1972 with his second book, formerly titled A
Psychic Study of the Music of the Spheres: NAD Vol. 2, in which his purpose was
to relate paranormal music experiences to the general body of psychical
phenomena. In the re-titled release, A Psychic Study of the Music of the Spheres:
Vol. 2 of Paranormal Music Experiences, Rogo fleshes out his thesis and
examines the relation of celestial music to out of body experiences, survival
after death, and other psychic phenomena.
D. Scott Rogo studied at the University of Cincinnati and San Fernando
Valley State College, from which he graduated in 1972 summa cum laude with
a B.A. in Music. He played the English horn for two seasons with the San Diego
Symphony and also performed occasionally with the Honolulu Symphony. He
played the oboe as well. Being both a musician and a student of psychical
research, Rogo was in a unique position to provide an original contribution to
the field, and did so by the age of twenty with the publication of the first volume
in this set. Much in the way that parapsychologists use the general blanket term
"psi" from the Greek alphabet to denote paranormal processes and causation,
Rogo chose the Sanskrit word NAD (also written NADA with the final "a"
being silent) as a blanket term to represent the subject of his study. Sometimes
the phenomenon is called psychic music, astral music, celestial music, or
transcendental music, but the term NAD simply expresses the idea of music tha
There are a number of criticisms that could be leveled against these books.
First, Rogo reveals some naivety about what constitutes proof of survival as well
as the proper uses of certain statistical terms. Such writing comes across as
stilted at best or pseudoscientific at worst. Second, even though Rogo attempts
to maintain some neutrality by prefacing out-of-body experiences with the term
"ostensible", he makes no apologies for his survivalist beliefs and appeals to
the "psychic ether" as an explanatory framework for some of the phenomena.
These criticisms, however, will not be the focus of this review. Reading
chronologically through the rest of the Rogo series, as released by Anomalist
Books, one may witness the developing maturity of the author both in the sense
of his writing style and his methods of critical analysis, thus rendering any
extended discussion of these criticisms moot.
Throughout both of these volumes, Rogo presents case material taken from
many different sources such as Phantasms of the Living by Gurney et al, books
by Ernesto Bozzano and Robert Crookall, as well as accounts of NAD
experiences as presented in the popular paranormal magazines of his day.
However, the bulk of material comes from personal correspondence between
Rogo and the experients of such phenomena, who had responded to his calls for
such accounts in the magazines Fate and Psychic News. Rogo states that upon
176 Book Reviews would lead. His initial plan was to present cases quoted in toto, with points of
coincidence and recurrent patterns emphasized (p. 129). However, along the
way, he noticed a number of commonalities between NAD experiences and
OOBEs (out of body experiences), and this apparent relationship became the
focus of the books.
By the concluding section of Vol. 2, Rogo affirms his belief that "transcendental
music is but another characteristic of the OOBE and is in no way
independent of it, even when the relationship is vague" (p. 96). According to
his content analysis, both experiences manifest during similar mental states,
and the type of music heard (i.e., choral vs. instrumental or melodic music vs.
music without a discernable melody) coincides with the type of OOBE (natural
vs. enforced) reported. Rogo7s analysis also uncovers what he calls a "crescendo
effect" in the majority of the collected cases, in which experients report the
volume of mysterious music gradually being heard, rising to full power, and
As much as Rogo would like to say that his study was written without bias
(Vol. 1 p. 129), one may suspect that his prior interest in OOBEs as well as his
choice of secondary sources might have tempered his conclusions. Additionally,
a call for accounts of experiences concerning "astral music" (p. 27) is likely to
elicit reports from out-of-body experients. Still, it is admirable that someone so
young, without having yet completed a formal education, would not only have
the initiative to collect reports about little understood or discussed phenomena,
but also have something meaningful to say about them. Thanks to the re-release
of these books, which were long out of print, interest in NAD experiences might
be renewed, and D. Scott Rogo might not have the first and final word on them.
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