Blog » 432-Tuning Foreword

Approx. reading time: 11 minutes

432-TUNING: INDEX

The information in the blog articles contains mathematical, scientific and philosophical concepts, historical references and most important the practical implementation in relationship to music for listening and dancing, not for meditation and/or ‘healing’. You can read my reason to omit from writing about meditation and healing here: 432Hz … a “special” frequency?.

If you discover some mistake(s) I made in my article(s), then please let me know, so I can fix it. Thanks!

EVIDENCE: DO YOU REALLY NEED IT?

If you have been browsing the web for a while searching for 432-related articles, you must have come across many blogs with similar information, proclaiming the validity of 432-Tuning by providing “evidence” (often rather speculative and hardly ever supported by proper source references). On my blog I will go deeper into some of the claims to provide a bit more clarity about this all.

But, before I do I would like to ask you a question: “Evidence, do you really need it?“.

To me the only correct answer to this question is NO!

Why you might think? Well, what makes us musicians, composers, producers and directors (and any artist for that matter – including painters, sculptures, poets, et cetera) different from the rest of the people? We are creative minds that use our art to express ourselves! We like to share our “view”, our “emotions” and our “understanding” of the world around us with others. What we do is per definition “subjective” and personal. Right?!

So, wouldn’t it be enough to say: “It’s because that’s how it sounds best to my ears, that’s what makes me feel good.” and isn’t that as a fair enough a reason and explanation for people that would ask you “Why 432Hz?”.

If you are truly a creative mind, then you don’t need evidence for what you do. You don’t need an explanation or proof. You simple have to “create” and share your creation with the world. Providing pseudo-scientific “mumbo-jumbo” and fairy tales will not make your “creation” any better or more “important”.

So, why would you share an article online with circumstantial evidence, speculations, misinterpretations of historical and scientific facts en sometimes even fiction? Are you really proving a point by providing unfunded claims, pseudo-scientific gibberish and historical gobbledegook? 

My suggestion: “Just follow your ears (and heart) and let the music speak for itself.


WHAT HAVE I BLOGGED ABOUT?

Click on the subject headers below to read more about it …

► 432 TUNING BASICS
Information about the Concert Pitch and Temperament used.

► CONCERT PITCH VS TUNING SYSTEM
A common misunderstanding when it comes to 432-Tuning is that many people do not understand the difference between “concert pitch” and “tuning system”. If you do not know the difference, then please, read this first!

► 432Hz … WHAT IS RELATED AND WHAT NOT?
On many web sites and blogs about 432-Tuning various presumed relationships between musical tuning and the presence of number 432 in other fields are shared to validate 432-Tuning. In this article I will to take a closer look at the number 432 and those proclaimed relationships.

MYTHS
There are various stories (myths) going ’round that have no historical or scientific value in validating the 432-tuning concept. These fictive and/or pseudo-scientific stories do more harm then good to the credibility of the 432-tuning concept:

MYTH ► A4=432HZ (OR C4=256HZ) WAS THE STANDARD
MYTH ► 432HZ AND THE SPEED OF LIGHT
MYTH ► BOB MARLEY, MOZART, PRINCE … 432 ARTISTS?
MYTH ► GOEBBELS’ RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PITCH CHANGE FROM 432HZ TO 440HZ

► VERDI AND CONCERT PITCH 435Hz & 432HZ
A short article about Giuseppe Verdi’s support for the “Diapason Normal” (the French pitch of A4=435Hz) and his reference to 432Hz.

► 432-TUNED MUSIC HAS MORE OVERTONES?
Lower pitches can potentially produce more overtones within our ranges of hearing. But, will the change of the Concert Pitch from 440Hz to 432Hz really produce a noticeable difference in overtones? Why does the timbre of an instrument changes with the change of the Concert Pitch?   

► 432Hz … WHY USING A LOWER PITCH?
There would be various subjective reasons I could give, like that it sounds and feels better to me, but that might just be a matter of taste … I could also quote various authors that shared philosophical and/or “spiritual” point of views, but you could set that aside as a form of belief, superstition or religion … or even “pseudo-science” … right? So, I will share some general information about sound, vibration and resonance in this blog article and will try to explain what possible results can be when changing the pitch of an instrument.

► 432Hz AS INTERNATIONAL CONCERT PITCH? ONLY IF …
One aspect in the whole “432Hz tuning debate” is generally overlooked, but – in my opinion – of the utmost importance. If we want to implement a change in Concert Pitch – from 440Hz to 432Hz – then there is one very important aspect we have to keep in mind: instrument design.

► THE ASTRONOMICAL ZODIAC SCALE
This is a Musical Temperament by Roel Hollander. I is based on the the number of days of the Earth’s orbit when the Sun is between Earth and any one of the zodiacal constellations. Since each constellation is of different size and because the ecliptic passes through larger or smaller portions of each constellation and the speed of the Earth around the Sun varies along its orbit, the Sun is between the Earth and each zodiacal constellation for varying periods. When using the “Scientific Pitch” A4 becomes 431.8Hz.

► RENOLD 1 – THE SCALE OF FIFTHS BY MARIA RENOLD
I came across the “Twelve True-Fifths Tuning” concept (by Maria Renold), this concept is a great alternative implementation of the Pythagorean Temperament. In this blog article I will explain the concept.

► RENOLD 2 – HE SCALE OF FIFTHS BY MARIA RENOLD
After Maria Renold created – what later would be known as the “Renold-I” temperament – she continue experimenting and developing her concept. The result is what is known as the “Renold-II” (also known as “Middle Tuning” temperament.

► MOST HARMONIC NUMBERS (MHN) CONCEPT
This concept brought to my attention by Jamie Buturff and represents the Pythagorean Temperament. In this article I share some thoughts about two implementations of this concept, the “Scientific Concert Pitch” implementation and the “Tonic Concert Pitch” implementation (an alternative I have used in the past).

► FIBONACCI AND CONCERT PITCH A4=432HZ
The implementation of the he Fibonacci Sequence in the usage of ratios when creating a Temperament. In this blog article I will explain how this is done.

► 432 & THE “FACTOR 9”
The Factor 9 concept has been explained in a video called “Sonic Geometry: The Language of Frequency and Form” (by Eric Rankin).  

► 432HZ & THE SCHUMANN RESONANCE
On various sites that provide information about 432-tuning (Concert Pitch A4=432Hz or C4=256Hz + Pythagorean Temperament), the “Schumann Resonance” fundamental (at approx. 8 Hz) is often being put “on the table” as evidence: “8Hz is 5 octaves below C4 = 256Hz”. HOWEVER, is it correct to state that there is a relationship between the Schumann Resonance and concert pitch A4=432Hz?

► 432HZ & CYMATICS
Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration. Typically the surface of a plate, diaphragm, or membrane is vibrated, and regions of maximum and minimum displacement are made visible in a thin coating of particles, paste, or liquid.

► 432HZ & 256HZ IN TONE AND COLOR
In one of my other blogs “Sound & Light (colour)”, I wrote something about the relationship of Sound and Light (color in particular). It is important to understand what Sound and Light have in common and how they differ. Sound and Light do relate, but are not the same.

► REAL-TIME 432HZ AUTO-PITCHING MUSIC PLAYERS
For all who have some difficulties working with sound editors, maybe a music player with real-time pitch control provides the solution. If you just like to listen to your music from your PC or Laptop, iPhone and Android, using one of the applications listed below will provide the easiest method to get in tune with Concert Pitch 432!

► REAL-TIME 432HZ AUTO-PITCHING VIDEO PLAYERS
While using sound editors is still something relatively easy, editing videos is not. There for using a video player with real-time pitch control could provides the solution. If you just like to listen to your music from your PC or Laptop, iPhone and Android, using one of the applications listed below will provide the easiest method to get in tune with Concert Pitch 432!

► EVO 432 MUSIC SERVER
The 432 EVO is a high-end music server competing with the best products (think Aurender and Lumin) created by “Klinkt Beter” (Dutch for: “Sounds Better”) located in Wetteren, Belgium. It adds live 432 Hz processing not available anywhere else. The 432 Hz processing is artefact free and is build on world class DSP. There’s no resolution or detail loss!

HOW TO: CHANGING THE CONCERT PITCH (POST PRODUCTION) 
A blog about using software and/or plugins to change the Concert Pitch post production. There are various applications (sound/wave editors) and plugins that can be used for changing the Concert Pitch. I am not going to blog about every available piece of software, most applications and plugins work pretty much the same.

► HOW TO: CHANGING THE CONCERT PITCH + TEMPERAMENT (POST PRODUCTION)
A blog about using software and/or plugins to change the Temperament post production. There are various applications (sound/wave editors) and plugins that can be used for changing the Temperament. I am not going to blog about every available piece of software, most applications and plugins work pretty much the same.

432HZ: DAWS, VIRTUAL INSTRUMENTS, PLUGINS & TOOLS
In this blog article I will place various information about 432Hz virtual (software) instruments, plugins, packages and more, for various DAWs (Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Melodyne), as well as useful software tools (such as Scala).

► 432HZ INSTRUMENTS
At present time there are only a relatively small number of instruments specially designed for Concert Pitch 432Hz. In this article I will share little bits of info and links about them.

432HZ SAXOPHONE REDESIGN LOBBY
I started this 432Hz Saxophone Redesign Lobby in December 2011, without much success. All companies I wrote e-mails and letters to did not seem to be interested. But In December 2014 – 3 years later – the 432Hz Sax was a fact, thanks to Enrico Marchioro and Borgani Saxophones.

BORGANI 432 SAX
For saxophonists, composers (that like to compose for saxophone) and 432-fans in general this is great news. Till now the Saxophone could not be used optimally when using 432Hz as Concert Pitch due to some intonation issues. But, with the Borgani 432 Sax this might change!

MY VIEWS ON 432-TUNING?
  • 432Hz tuned music does not sound better then 440Hz tuned music per say. I have heard horrible sounding 432Hz-tuned music and amazing productions in 440Hz as well. At the and the musicianship, the hardware and software used and the skills of the sound engineer(s) are still key factors. Also not all music styles sound as well in 432Hz as they do in 440Hz. Some styles of music require more “punch” or “aggression” and thus to raise the pitch would be more “logical” then to lower it. For some music styles and recordings – in particular with acoustic instruments – 432Hz does seems to sound better though!!!

  • I am supporting the introduction of A4=432Hz as an official international recognized pitch, but I do not wish to “replace” the 440Hz standard with it. A “standard” should never “limit” people’s freedom. The view that only one pitch and one temperament should be used is one of narrow mindedness. Besides that, some instruments do not handle a pitch change very well. So in order for instrument manufacturers to start producing 432Hz tuned instruments, the 432Hz pitch needs to become an official standard first.

  • I am aware that the standards were introduced so you could practically play in any place with any other musician or formation without having to worry about tuning issues. I do question this reasoning though:

First of all: the majority of artists does not “job-hop” every other day. 

Secondly: the “selection process” with whom you work with takes place anyway (based on skill, musical preferences, experience, et cetera). Adding an additional factor (concert pitch of the instruments you use) to it, would not really over-complicate this matter (as long as instruments are available for the particular pitch). We live in times where communication is no longer a “limiting” factor. Many musicians use various tools to communicate, so when “calling” someone to ask about a possible musical collaboration you could simply include the question “We play use concert pitch xxxHz, can you handle that?”.

WHO AM I AND WHAT DO I DO WITH 432?
  • I am a musician, composer and sound engineer. I have studied a few years at the Music Academy (conservatoire) in Zwolle, The Netherlands, but did not finish my study and have no degrees whats however. I am for a big part a “self-made man”. I am NOT a scientist or specialist in any field and if that’s not “good enough” for you, then so be it. I do not proclaim knowing “the truth”, but “my truth” might be yours as well … do read the disclaimer on this blog for additional details. 

  • I have been actively reading, researching, experimenting and producing 432-pitched / 432-tuned music since the beginning of 2011. I started blogging about this subject in 2014.
  • The music that I have released using 432Hz (or other Concert Pitches) were pitched in post-production. The reason for this is that the instrument I play (the saxophone) does not handle the change in pitch (and temperament) very well, and thus require me to record in 440, the Concert Pitch my instruments were designed for.

  • All music produced before I came across the 432-concepts was released using the 440Hz standard. Even after my first 432Hz release I have continued using 440Hz, (not all colleagues I work with share my interest in 432-tuning). 

  • Only with some music I have released I have used Concert Pitch 432Hz / 432-Tuning, in particular using the “Most Harmonic Numbers Tonic Concert Pitch” concept. This concept is an alternative implementation of the “Most Harmonic Numbers” concept that itself was based on the Pythagorean Temperament. 

  • I have experimented with various software and plugins, using midi and wave, exploring various options and temperaments to hear, feel and put to practice most of the 432-tuning related info I share on this blog. Some of those tools used are mentioned in some blog articles.

  • I do NOT perform live using Concert Pitch A4=432Hz. As mentioned earlier the instruments I use do not work very well with 432Hz as Concert Pitch. Perhaps one day a saxophone will be designed that is in-tune with 432-Tuning.

! ADDITIONAL FOOTNOTE !
Unfortunately some people have not been able to respect a “difference of opinion” and have used rather insulting and demeaning words to describe my person online. It is OK to disagree and criticize the content of my blog, I don’t proclaim knowing the truth. We are all unique and have the right to have our own view on things.

But, if you wish to “judge” me then you should make an effort to learn to know me first, don’t you think? So, I would like to ask you kindly to think about this first before you write anything about my person. Thank you!

If you have any questions or comments, then feel free to send me a message or look me up on Facebook.

One or more articles on this blog have been used as reference for various online 432-related articles. The writers of the following articles have been so kind to make note of that (click on their names to visit their articles):

Derek Gedney, Freek Zwanenberg, Lynda Arnold (ask.audio), Michael Levy, Dr. Coreen Morsink, Frederick Vanden Poel (Klinkt Beter)Gianmaria Griglio, Kosmas Lapatas, …

If you have mentioned me and/or provider a source reference to my blog, feel free to let me know, then I’ll add your article to the list as well.


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