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432 Hz Music

Music at 432 Hertz Does 432 Hz sound better… or not?

Today, I want to talk about the numerous articles published on the mystical properties of vibrations and the fact that a correct tuning to 432 Hz for the central A improves the chance for music to “resonate naturally,” with beneficial effects on mood and so forth.

Unfortunately, music is strongly linked to mathematics, and there are some things you can’t cheat on. The frequencies of the notes based on the tempered scale are easily calculable.

Here’s how:

Given the frequency of a note, the next semitone is obtained by multiplying that frequency by the twelfth root of two. Indeed, the frequency must double when moving to the same note in the next octave. The reference frequency has been the central A of the piano keyboard for centuries. It’s the note that corresponds to the letter A in Anglo-Saxon notation,

This frequency is the same as the busy signal used in telephony or the test signal on television.

Since on a tempered scale, the notes are each distanced from the other by the twelfth root of two, and since the central A is at 440Hz, the frequency of 432 Hz is not present in any note emitted by a tuned instrument.

In fact, by dividing 440 by the twelfth root of two, we obtain:

f (A) = 440 Hz

f(A♭) = 440 / 1.05946409 = 415 Hz, frequency of the central A flat = E#

So neither the E sharp (previous semitone) nor the central A have a value of 432.

The frequency of 432 Hz is close to the central A but not close enough.

Historically, values for A of 442 and 443 Hz have been used even further away… and for which values close to 432 Hz are never obtained.

I doubt that a conductor could decide to tune down by almost two cents; I await contradictions.

Regarding resonating at 432 Hz, I wait for someone to find frequency values corresponding to notes present on the tempered scale, whose multiple makes 432; I say this ironically…

For 432 to “resonate” anything, the value 432 should correspond exactly to an integer multiple of the value of at least one frequency of a note from previous octaves to the central one.

But this is not the case:

If we divide by two, we find ourselves at 216 (and the frequency of A has moved to 220 Hz).

Any division by a power of two does not bring us to values that coincide with notes belonging to a correctly tuned tempered scale.

If we divide by three, we find ourselves at 144 Hz. Unluckily… the nearest notes are 139 and 147 Hz.

If we divide by five, we get 432/5=86.4 Hz. The nearest notes to 83 and 88Hz…

A hypothetical sixth harmonic: 432/6=72 Hz. Here, too, the closest frequencies of correctly tuned notes are 70 and 74 Hz (and NO MUSICIAN who is not as deaf as a bell/incapable tunes their instrument so that it emits EXACTLY a note in between a C sharp and a D…).

At 432, nothing resonates that is connected to a tempered scale, and, as we have seen, any overlaps with the frequency of 440 Hz can be attributed to tuning errors…

This 432 Hz thing is a resounding nonsense, and it’s funny how many people fall for nonsense like this, superficial fluff based on nothing and on claims devoid of merit and straightforward to refute, numbers in hand.

There are also fanciful and, as far as I know, ahistorical rumours: 440Hz would be “negatively” charged because the tuning to 440Hz would have been decided by none other than Goebbels. At the same time, Pink Floyd would have played with the tuning at 432Hz, to “improve sound quality.”

The first claim is false; the tuning to 440Hz was arrived at through an international committee and for a noble purpose: to allow all musicians to play together without problems, one of the many cases of international COOPERATION, nothing negative about it, and Nazism has nothing to do with it, it’s a standard approved in the 50s!

The second is equally false: Pink Floyd had a sound engineer named Alan Parsons, who is well known to anyone professionally involved in audio or even at a slightly more amateur level. The gentleman in question has released his notes to the public, available online, in which if, by chance, lowering the A tuning by 8 Hz had obtained some advantages, there would be traces in his writings, and it would be well known to anyone involved in sound engineering. This is not the case. In sound engineering forums, the theory 432Hz is discussed humorously and is unanimously considered a resounding hoax on the same level as reptilian theories.

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