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Is 432Hz Tuning the Miracle Frequency in Music?
Or, just Out of This World?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (11 votes) 
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ELCBK
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September 28, 2021 - 11:37 pm
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432Hz is supposed to be the "Frequency of The Universe".

Talk about mind-altering! 🤣 

432hz Unlocked and Explained (The Miracle Frequency Secret Revealed) How To Change The World W/Music

Okay, can't believe I got sucked into watching that (sorry 🤭), but got me thinking about if I could even tell the difference between 432Hz and 440Hz.  

Move over, you "Pitch-Perfect" People - can you hear the difference, here? 

A = 432Hz

Perceived Pitch - pitch is arbitrary!

I sure couldn't tell the difference, but can tell when it's a little lower. 🤔 

So, what is all this 'tuning in with the Universe and our bodies' all about, when it comes to making music?  Adam Neely comes to the rescue, again! 

Testing 432 Hz Frequencies (and temperaments)

🤣 The music we listen to isn't played through 'Bad', or 'Good' frequencies, but some temperaments have 'Bad' intervals and can sure lead to 'Bad' harmony! 

Love the complete list of "Names for Intervals" - at huygens-fokker.org! 

Can you wrap your head around a "13/10 - tridecimal semi-diminished fourth", or a "351/350 - ratwolf comma", or a "78/71 - porcupine neutral second"? 

So, 'intervals' are MUCH more important than frequency... but do you have a preference, a favorite tuning frequency? 

I think I could be quite happy with A= 415, which is what current Baroque Orchestras consider 'Baroque Tuning".

Anyone have a favorite temperament, other than 'Equal'?

Get your FREQ on! 

 

...I'll never learn the names of ALL those 'Intervals'! 😣 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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September 28, 2021 - 11:50 pm
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I've mentioned I like what is considered today to be 'Baroque Tuning' or A = 415Hz. 

But, for a better understanding of how Pitch is 'arbitrary', I'd like to share this educational video, by Dr. Alice Chuaqui Baldwin, in here. 

Historical Pitch (And Why “Baroque Pitch” is NOT A 415)

 

...so, take your pick & have fun? 

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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I've just been reading a book on baroque music. Apparently we have Handel's original tuning fork, and its frequency is 422.5.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -

That's really Cool! 

Makes me think that the only reason current Baroque Orchestras choose 415Hz - is because it's an easy half step down from Concert 440Hz. 🙄 

Guees I like any excuse to play a little... L  

                                                                            o  

                                                                                 w  

                                                                                      e  

                                                                                            r  

                                                                                               😊

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Gordon Shumway
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September 29, 2021 - 4:22 am
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Yes (so the book), 415 is a modern convention, deliberately exactly a semitone below 440 specifically so that specially constructed keyboards for harpsichords and organs can slide down a semitone to the next string/pipe. If that's already in Wiki, I apologise.

"Chorton" is not pronounced as in "carton"! It's Chor Ton = Choir Tone! (a spondee, not a trochee)

Andrew

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ELCBK
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September 29, 2021 - 11:56 pm
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Found a great article to further separate fact from Fiction, by Assaf Dar Sagol, the co-founder and CEO of Polyverse Music . 

Music Theory: 432 Hz Tuning - Separating Fact From Fiction

Just to recap a few key points:

So, an old tuning fork of Mozart's (besides Handel's) was discovered from 1780 - 421.6 Hz. 

Seems Verdi was the only composer to even hint at using A=432 Hz. 

432 Hz is NOT the frequency of our bodies or the Universe! 

Pathagoras did NOT base anything on frequencies. 

It was the British, NOT the Nazis - that set the A=440 Hz standard. 

Currently, "It is generally agreed that baroque music is to be played at around A=415Hz, classical and early romantic eras at around 425 Hz and later repertoire at 440 Hz and up". 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/94/58/7d/94587d747101b238d290bcfc4c1551e1.jpg

 

...but, do many Orchestras really play Classical & Romantic era music at around 425 Hz? 

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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ELCBK said

So, an old tuning fork of Mozart's (besides Handel's) was discovered from 1780 - 421.6 Hz.

Close enough to Handel's 422.5 (only just noticed you mentioned Handel, but I'll let it stand anyway.)

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -

That additional info I found was from the article, but I should've been more precise (sorry) - it actually belonged to Mozart's piano builder.  Just making the point - there was no indication that Mozart used 432 Hz.

Fact #3

Fiction: Mozart used 432 Hz for all of his music.

Fact: The only evidence for Mozart’s A comes from an ancient tuning fork from 1780 with the tone of A=421.6 Hz. This tuning fork belonged to the Viennese piano builder Johann Andreas Stein, the leading piano maker in Vienna at the time, who was responsible for Mozart's pianos as well as Haydn’s and Beethoven’s. It is likely that they have all used A=421.6Hz.

Handel’s personal pitch fork was found 30 years earlier in England and was tuned to A=422.5Hz - pretty close to Mozart! and pretty far from 432 Hz.

Resources:

https://books.google.com/books.....038;f=true 

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Gordon Shumway
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I don't know the history of 432, but it was an established frequency, not a mystical one. So much so that more than one of my ukulele forum members has come across an A432 tuning fork, and at least one has filed it down to sharpen it to 440.

I suspect it was just an early attempt to discover a baroque norm for informed performance and has now ceded to 415 for other reasons, as mentioned above.

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -

Thank you! 

That's what I was hoping for - more information!  🤗

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Gordon Shumway
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ELCBK said

Pathagoras did NOT base anything on frequencies. 

Currently, "It is generally agreed that baroque music is to be played at around A=415Hz, classical and early romantic eras at around 425 Hz and later repertoire at 440 Hz and up". 

...but, do many Orchestras really play Classical & Romantic era music at around 425 Hz?  

The book I read is part of a three part set, the other two parts being Classical and Romantic. When I've read them, I'll keep you informed.

I've ranted about Pythagoras before.

We have absolutely nothing directly written by Pythagoras and only one indirect potential quote in Plato's Laches.

It is important to note that Pythagoras the man lived one or two hundred years before the Pythagoreans, who simply followed his religion.

Pythagoras if anything discovered that an octave required the resonant object to be halved in length and the ratios for the fifth and the fourth were 2/3 and 3/4 respectively. That is all. He did not invent music. He didn't know what a frequency was.

That 4/3 frequency ratio (inversion of the 3/4 wavelength) is already a problem, as the harmonic series's ratios all have denominators that are a power of 2 (1/2, 1/4, 1/8). They are not compatible with x/3.

The harmonic major third is 5/4, for example. The Pythagoreans discovered that. They theorised that the numerator had to be one greater than the denominator. e.g. 2/1, 3/2, 4/3, 5/4, 6/5 (their minor third), 9/8 (tone), 10/9 (semitone).

Pythagoras was a mystic, and they felt that that system was mystical.

Musicians told them they were out of their tiny little minds because the system gave intervals that were all wrong to the ear.

Andrew

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BillyG
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October 1, 2021 - 12:56 pm
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Gordon Shumway said
Yes (so the book), 415 is a modern convention, deliberately exactly a semitone below 440 specifically so that specially constructed keyboards for harpsichords and organs can slide down a semitone to the next string/pipe. If that's already in Wiki, I apologise.

"Chorton" is not pronounced as in "carton"! It's Chor Ton = Choir Tone! (a spondee, not a trochee)

  

Ah-ha Sir, @Gordon Shumway - nice one - TWO unique forum-search-words in one post !  Nice one man and hats_offto you  !!!  Yeah - both are new terms to me ( spondee and trochee ) - but - yes - I have always understood the different placing on syllable-stress, and was aware of iamb/ic etc - but knew there were names for others, was just unaware of what they were called....  Never thought I needed to know - but - there you go - suddenly - we know !! 

So there you go, just learned my second (well, 3rd now if we count that as two....) new thing/s for the day !!!! Yippee !!! What an awesome place this forum is !!!!  So cool.

Yeah, ALWAYS troubled by the at least 3 ways - hahahah - and there's probably a 4th, even on the good old BBC, that "record" is annunciated !!!!

^5s !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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ELCBK
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OMG! 

Can't believe you made me entertain the thought that I should find out where "Chorton" was pronounced the wrong way! 😖

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Gordon Shumway
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Bad news, the books on Classical and Romantic (I skimmed them both) don't seem to discuss pitch or temperament at all. I'd better look at the last words of the baroque book in case they mention its resolution there. The other two books mention organ music continuing, albeit less popularly in the Classical than the Romantic (Mozart and Beethoven indulged in private). That raises the question, did they retune the organs?

Poetic metres are important for the relationship between poetry and music. When I was studying Classics, there was curiosity about the origins of the dactylic hexameter, theories that it was alien to Greek (accidence had to be amended or invented to fit it, but this misses the point that it coincides with the invention of Greek poetry, and even Shakespeare invented stuff, probably, and Greek never ceased developing until the present day), that it came from the Middle East (as if).

I think it's easier to apply Occam's razor.

There's a thing called the choriamb "long short short long" "tum titi tum" and it's at the heart of all Greek and Latin lyric poetry. Originally it was a musical rhythm, then they decided they could use it in poetry too.

There are only two ways to string a series of choriambs together: -

tum titi tum, tum titi tum, tum titi tum, which gives triple time music and some poetic metres, e.g. Asclepiadic.

tum titi tum titi tum titi tum, which gives duple time music and dactylic poetry.

The dithyramb was a 4-step dance (and hymn in honour of Dionysos, if you know your Nietzsche).

The thriamb (Lat. triumphus - did they march in three-step?) was three-step, and was also a hymn sung to Dionysos.

(The ίθυμβος was two-step. I don't think I want to transliterate that into English. Ithymb? yuk!)

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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As for temperament, it is possible that, since no modern piano uses strict ET (my old head of music claimed to be able to detect the different tonalities between say Db major and A major on a piano), we are still actually using what is no more than a slightly tighter form of Bach's well temperament. (ET is one of many well tempered systems - the only one where there are genuine enharmonics). I don't know if today's modified ET system has a name (e.g. Bach's was probably one of Werckmeister's).

But the pitch question is still unanswered, except in that string instruments acquired more tension in order to generate more volume of sound and so pitch rose accordingly?

Andrew

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ELCBK
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@Gordon Shumway -  

Higher pitch stands out in a crowd - so that's understandable, but I don't think volume should automatically be associated with frequency - that's strictly intensity. 

Great, now you have me thinking of ear fatigue/hearing damage. 😳

Just read some disturbing recommendations from the WHO that we shouldn't be listening to music for more than 60 minutes per day!  😞🙁

 

 

How prevalent is it that Orchestras tune down to A = 425 Hz - rarely, or for all music of the Classical & Romantic era? 

Do you, personally, have a preference between A = 415 Hz and A = 440 Hz? 

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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The pitch would have risen due to the higher tension, Emily. 

As to what I prefer, it doesn't matter to me - if an orchestra plays something a semitone flat, I probably wouldn't notice. The music might be more mellow, but I often listen to baroque for mellowness already, so the pitch might be masked by the mood.

On the other hand, accompanying the extra mellowness might be worse intonation, so it's swings and roundabouts.

This sounds as though it's in E, but I wouldn't have known without checking.

Nor would I have known that it was written in F.

Andrew

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@Gordon Shumway -

Well, E is a half step below F - accounts for the Baroque tuning then, right? 😊

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Gordon Shumway
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Yes, that's what I was saying.

I'm not convinced by those horns being held in the air - it would be more comfortable to hold them downwards. Maybe they saw it in a painting.

In ancient Rome infantry used long straight trumpets and rested them on the shoulder of the man in front.

The rounded version was for cavalry to sling over their head and shoulder.

It makes more sense.

Corno-Max-scaled.jpgImage Enlarger

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway
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The commonsense way to hold a horn

AKG115534.jpg

Andrew

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