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Why "Symfonys"?

Many have enquired about the derivation of the Symfonys Group  company name. The associations conjured up by the name range from computer consultancy to selling CDs. These associations are not misleading, for indeed we use the power of computers extensively and we choose music to assist development processes from a range of over 4,500 CDs. Symfonys runs a workshop capitalising on The Power of Music.

The Power of Music                          

Music wears a thousand masks and exists for a million reasons. It reaches our heads, hearts and bodies. It can be gentle, pleading, angry, demanding, healing; as fierce as fire and as cold.

and dangerous as thin ice; a feast for the ear and for the mind’s eye. Music is so many things because we are so many things, inside. Our most special music reflects our private selves. Music sheds light and touches secret places. Music also sheds light on management and change.

Music and Management         Music and Creativity        Music and Emotions      Music and Teamwork     








Music and Management

Management language resounds with images of sport and war. Coaches encourage captains to lead their teams to victory on level playing fields, corporate battles are fought by warriors who beat the opposition into the ground. And the myth is reinforced that management is a man’s world. At Symfonys we believe that musical analogies are more appropriate to the world of business as we move into the 21st century.  

Symfonys facilitates change and does so chiefly through team structures. The experience of leading change initiatives and teams can be compared to conducting an orchestra and we use the analogy to illustrate the complex dynamics of change. The conductor has to keep track of the different instruments, each playing different sequences of notes, some starting, others stopping. While grasping the sense of the whole, he has to shift his attention from one section to another. He has to have, or create, an overarching design to the symphony of change; without it, every little change will sound like an unrelated melody to be started or ended without regard to the rest of the music. Each player must rehearse and perform their role at the right time with commitment, listening to and aligning with others. The conductor’s effect on the performance is greater - he has a huge amount of power, yet makes no sound. His power derives from his ability to make other people perform. The measure of his success is not the reaction from critics or audience, but the response from his players - if they are energised, the conductor is doing things right.

The traditional image of a conductor dominating his orchestra correspond with a macho management style, a style increasingly outdated. Musicians cannot find full expression and inspiration if they are kept down, nor can workers produce their full potential. The leader’s skill lies in bringing out the best in people through encouragement. The symphonia of sounding together and the harmony of the orchestra is an equally powerful message for doing business or making music.

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The Derivation of "Symfonys" 

Symfonys’ name mirrors our purpose and approach:


managing change and teamwork, like music, are both art and science

a symphony, like a committed team, develops and changes as it grows and builds on earlier development

both a symphony and a team are ‘driven’ forward by their structure

the Greek root of the word (“syn”) means “together

the Greek word “symphonia” means “harmony” and “orchestra”

“symphonos” means “to agree”; “symphysis” means  “union or growing together of parts”

“syntonia” means tuned in - and there are numerous other meanings such as attunement, alignment

unison,  virtuosity, performance, synchronising, accompany, conduct, lead, direct, orchestrate

and of course “synergy” - the outcome of effective TEAMwork  


As the UBS advertisement reproduced below so clearly puts it... 


"every soloist benefits from expert accompaniment..."

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Anonymous Poem to Music

 I am music...

I am Music, most ancient of arts. I am more than ancient; I am eternal. Even before life began on this earth, I was here - in the winds and the waves, the trees and the flowers. And when Man came, I became the most subtle and most powerful medium for the expression of Man’s emotions.


When men were little better than beasts, I influenced them for their good. In all ages I have inspired men with hope, kindled their love, given a voice to their joys, cheered them on to valorous deeds and soothed them in times of despair. I have played a great part in the drama of life, whose end and purpose is the complete perfection of Man’s nature. Through my influence, human nature has been uplifted, sweetened and refined. With the aid of men, I have become a Fine Art. I have a myriad of voices and instruments. I am in the hearts of all men and on their tongues, in all lands among all peoples; the ignorant and unlettered know me, not less than the rich and learned. For I speak to all men, in a language that all understand. Even the deaf hear me, if they but listen to the voices of their own souls. I am the food of love. I have taught men gentleness and peace, and I have led them onward to heroic deeds. I comfort the lonely and I harmonise the discord of crowds. I am a necessary luxury to all men. I am MUSIC.


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Music, the Brain, and Creativity

Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Terpsichore, Erato, Melpomene, Thalia, Polyhymnia and Urania - the Greeks collectively called these nine goddesses who presided over art and science the Muses. THey inspired poets and bestowed the gift of creativity on mortals. Those mortals who knew their mysterious ways knew the language of the Muses : the Greeks called this language MUSIC.


Music is a form of communication more evolved than language. Music traces pathways in the brain between logic and image to spark the flame of enlightenment. Neuroscientists have determined that music boosts intelligence - though great thinkers have used the sound of the Muses to improve their inspiration quotient for millennia.


"Classical music frees the brain from the tyranny of conscious thought"

(Sir Thomas Beecham)

With the power to strengthen synapses, coordinate cognition in diverse regions of the brain, activate images and emotions and stir the subconscious mind, music is a potent creativity tool made all the mightier when one knows the Muses' secret code. Symfonys takes advantage of these codes to facilitate learning , creativity and envisioning.

Music breaks the limits of logic, paints mindpictures, makes connections, sprouts mindseeds and hatches great ideas.

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Music and Emotions

Music harmonies resonate in the brain's right hemisphere while rhythms register in the logical left; the right side listens for changes in melody, the left recognises tunes transposed into different keys. Different harmonies activate a variety of emotional centres located throughout the brain - so, harmonically diverse music engages more brain areas and emotions.

When we want to access the deeper unknowns, reaching into the deeper parts of the brain could take us to the 'mother lode'. Music enlightens the mind from higher planes and triggers spiritual experience by inducing ecstasy, trance and altered states of consciousness. And music can even rearrange the brain's landscape - especially when listening to unfamiliar music which fires across unused synapses. Every new synaptic connection represents a potential new idea - the sound of surprising music must therefore stir up innovative thoughts.

"Music gets to the places that are hardest to speak about. It's dealing with things that are sometimes too important for words" (Sir Simon Rattle)

Uplifting music beats the blues, livens your love life, boosts confidence. Music does all this by overcoming paralysis, enhancing rhythmic competence (like dancing), conditioning moods, action and energy.

Music can release emotions to improve health and bring about catharsis (cleansing). It works by translating mental and emotional energies into physical sensations (through the spinal chord) - a 'head-to-toe' experience. Whether heartbreakingly sad or ecstatically beautiful, music explores the extremes of emotion. Music exercises our EQ even more than our IQ (Mozart's music has been proven to increase IQ by the way), exorcising demons and improving performance in all aspects of life and work. And classical composers can, and do, explore in a single piece rage, joy, pain and bliss - both creating and resolving these conflicting feelings in a positive, life-affirming cadence - i.e to complete the job of catharsis.

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Music and Teamwork

The analogies between music and Teamwork are multiple ...


bulletvAll players must be in tune with each other
bulletvAll have different roles to play at different times
bulletvAll roles equally important in ‘big picture’
bulletvAll have different tastes but, together, have much in common + complement each other
bulletvSpace between notes is what makes the music
bulletvAwakening passion and openness
bulletvLiving according to a vision of creative possibilities


Teamwork and Symphony

... as are the analogies between Teamwork and the performance of a symphonic work:


bulletvIllustrates the complex dynamics of change
bulletvConductor tracks the different instruments - different sequences of notes, some starting, others stopping
bulletvConductor grasps sense of whole; shifts attention from one section to another
bulletvHas power, yet makes no sound - power derives from ability to make others perform
bulletvMeasure of his success: not reaction from critics or audience, but response from his players
bulletvMust have/create overarching design to symphony of change - or each small change like an unrelated melody
bulletvEach player must rehearse/ perform role at right time, with commitment, listening to and aligning with others



On a more philosophical level, like the planets, we are all instruments, contributing to the music of the spheres; how are we playing? In tune with? Attuned to? In harmony with? In minor or major key? Like the universe, we entire 'symphonies' as we bring all our levels into play; each individual is one note and happiness lies in becoming attuned to harmony of universe. While such 'poetry' may seem far-fetched and unrelated to everyday work and teamwork, the underlying meanings are extremely powerful. When we work with teams, we make full use of these meanings and relate them to the team's work. 

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Music and Dance

Since time immemorial, people have danced to repetitive rhythmic beats to awaken energies and the divine source within - the Sufi mystics of Persia, the Dionysian temple dancers of Greece, the Tantrics of India, the early Christian churches of Europe and indigenous cultures across the globe. All knew that movement of body and breath, with intention, through music is a pathway to cathartic healing, divine alignment and personal realisation.


"You have been dancing for hours... suddenly your dance is effortless as you become filled with boundless energy and light... there are no more edges... you begin to melt into an ocean of light... you have a sense of unity with everyone on the dance floor... you are in ecstasy..."  


Sounds familiar? "Ecstasy" is the transformational force which vibrates all our cells into resonance with the 'universal field'. Fear cannot exist in an ecstatically vibrating body; it only knows union. 




Our body is composed of energy centres called chakras, grounded by sensation-inducing glands, interlinked electrically by the nervous system, activated by circulation, connecting the inner world with the outer. Our cells and our chakras carry all our thought forms, beliefs and memories - ancient wisdom, our deepest traumas, our greatest elations, our unique gifts and our life purpose. 


Our chakras embody states of consciousness and emotion (compassion, love, ecstasy, joy) and are gateways to access the behavioural blueprint encoded in our cells and to shift our unconscious patterns. Researchers have now demonstrated that major shifts, healing and potential-release may be accomplished by specific qualities of thought and feeling.


So dance to break up those patterns that keep you in fear; dance to break free of the confines of personal ego definitions; dance to heal; dance to express your deepest potential and secrets (to bring them into the embrace of acceptance). Dance to remember who you are. Surrender to the beat of your inner pulse.


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© 2004 SYMFONYS Group     Updated 06 February 2012