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I have been reading about tuning musical instruments to A=432 frequency instead of recently (meaning in the last century) arbitrarily defined standard of tuning to A=440Hz.

Supposedly the 432Hz frequency and its derivative tones have been "naturally" developed standard of tones through past. These tones are supposed to be common in some dislocated primitive tribes or communities like shaman's chanting, native indian flutes, tibetan "chakra bowls", etc.

Some claim that instruments tuned to A=432Hz "just sound better".

It is claimed that old classical music was originally composed and played in these frequencies.

Also when the 440Hz standard was set in previous century, many musicians protested against it.

The temperament that is suggested to be most "natural" is Pythagorean.

What do you think of it?


PS: in my opinion there is a lot of disinformation, false claims, sellers of "healing divine sounds" which makes investigation into subject somewhat difficult for me. At first glance I would easily dismiss any such debate as a new age hoax, on the other hand one may quickly fall into spiritual faith thing.

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Tuning and temperament are not related. Temperament is the spacing of notes relative to each other, while the tuning you are asking about would move all notes by the same amount. –  endolith May 11 '12 at 19:38
The title is intriguing, but I don't see that claim that 432Hz is "beneficial to the body" cited anywhere. Without that, or some other concrete claim, this is just asking for opinions. –  Flimzy May 11 '12 at 20:37
OP is correct that this claim is in the air in various paranormal / woo communities: cf attunedvibrations.com/432hz , omega432.com/music.html , ashtarcommandcrew.net/profiles/blogs/… . –  Evan Harper Aug 26 '12 at 22:50
We don't have the scientific capacity to really test this except for significant, short term, effects that fall within a certain domain. All that we do know is that small differences in frequencies can elicit observable different responses in matter within the right scenarios (Cymatics). So talking about the benefits of different frequencies isn't conjecture, but it is still just speculation at this point. –  James Christopher Oct 20 '13 at 10:35

1 Answer 1

I am a musician. I did research on this subject myself. wrote this in Spanish and translated it automatically so spelling may be awkward but the data is accurate.

We are going to cut with the myths and to remit us to the fact:

The space between the terrestrial surface and the ionosphere (electrically loaded) acts as a guides of wave (like an acoustic box) for electromagnetic waves of very low frequency. It is called to this phenomenon "resonance of Schumann" and is the cause that the electromagnetic spectrum in the atmosphere have a shine of fund since 3 to 60 Hz with a peak in 7.83 Hz but this peak can vary a little (to +/-1.3 Hz) according to the disruptions in the solar activity that affects the ionosphere. Also this same resonance could exist in other planets of the solar system although although there is not sufficient data but the possible candidates are a Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and their moon Titan. This resonance is of light, electromagnetism, and does not produce an acoustic effect.

Good this variable frequency between 6.50 Hz and 9 Hz but the myth says that is 8 Hz. Five octaves but up serious 8 x 2 to the power of 5 = 8 × 32 = 256 Hz. Good for my it is very approximate this 8 without decimals to multiply it for 32 and to say that this result is exact but we continue.

If we take 256 Hz for a C and we seek the true note A (sixth greater or 3rd smaller invested) in an intonation just we have to add two thirds since this is the exact proportion. We multiply 256 × 1.66666 and gives us 426,66666. This serious one the fundamental sound of A and not 432 Hz. But the modern instruments are tuned up to insert by force in a scale of 12 identical steps although this implies that some notes are put out of tune until 1 percent. This scale that is the one that is used has for a C in 256 Hz, an A in 430.592 Hz and not 432 Hz. We obtain this value to multiply 256 x 2 to the 9/12. [9/12=0.75] [20.75=1.68179]

In fact if himself related an instrument with the A in 432hz, when touch himself the C, will sound 256,824. if we are seeking an A one that yields in a DO=256hz serious the exact thing to tune up the the in 430.592hz but if we seek an integer number entire serious better to tune up the the in 431 that in 432. For an A in 431hz the he C he remains in 256.229hz.

Then in temperate intonation:

for a LA=440,000hz a DO=261,680hz for a LA=432,000hz gives us gives us a DO=256,824hz for a LA=431,000hz gives us a DO=256,229hz for a LA=430,592hz gives us a DO=256,000hz

But if we speak to harmonize, it true harmonious would be to use just intonation. This intonation gives the real proportions of the muse of the spheres of the ones that speaks the myth. And with this system of perfect harmony:

for a LA=440,000hz a DO=264hz for a LA=432,000hz gives us gives us a DO=259.2hz for a LA=426,666hz gives us a DO=256hz

OK. Horrible translation but to summarize 432 is not special magic tuning first because in tempered instruments like pianos and guitars it don't lead to a C note in 264. second the Schumann resonance peak is variable and not in 8hz. so much for the pseudo science theories but if the argument is that it just sounds better: maybe.

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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

Sorry, but your translator is not working very well: have you misspelt some of the Spanish words, because it doesn't even seem to have attempted to translate some of them? –  Benjol Jan 16 '13 at 10:18
Welcome to Skeptics! Please provide some references to support your claims. –  Sklivvz Jan 16 '13 at 15:20
Please provide a reference on the fact that the distance between ground and ionosphere has anything to do with how different frequencies are received as pleasurable by the human ear. –  nico Jan 16 '13 at 16:59

protected by Oddthinking Oct 20 '13 at 10:02

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