During the time of Beethoven, Ernst Chladni (1756-1827) was referred to as the godfather of cymatics. His widely accepted music theory textbook defined C as 256/512 Hertz (Hz), the ‘scientific’ tuning.
This tuning of C would, in turn, mean that A above middle C in the standard scale would be equal to 432 Hz. Why then do modern musicians accept 440 Hz as the standard for tuning today?
What is Tuning?
Tuning is a process which is used in order adjust the pitch of one or more tones on a musical instrument in order to establish a previously determined set of intervals between tones in relation to a fixed reference. When an instrument (including the human voice) is considered to be ‘out of tune’ that means that the pitch is either too high (meaning that the instrument is ‘sharp’) or too low (meaning the instrument is ‘flat’) in relation to the accepted reference pitch.
The accepted reference point in today’s society states that the note A is equal to 440 Hz. While this is today’s standard for tuning, this was not always the case!
The History of Tuning Standards
It has been reported that the discovery of both Ancient Egyptian and Greek instruments reflects that the standard at that time was that instruments were tuned to A=432 Hz. In 1917 the American Federation of Musicians accepted the standard of A=440 Hz, which was then accepted by the U.S. Government as standard in 1920.
This change in the reference point, however, did not change as quickly in Europe. British musicians held out until they received a great deal of pressure from the Rockefeller-Nazi consortium in 1939 “at the precise time WWII preparations were being finalized by the petrochemical-pharmaceutical war financiers.” This is what Dr. Len Horowitz refers to as the strategic ‘militarization’ of music.
This new standard of A=440 Hz was not popular everywhere! In October 1953, a referendum of 23,000 French musicians voted, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the standard of A=432 Hz. “This [A=432 Hz] tuning was unanimously approved at the Congress of Italian musicians in 1881 and recommended by the physicists Joseph Sauveur and Feliz Savart as well as by the Italian scientist Bartolomeo Grassi Landi.”
Science Supports the Standard of A=432 Hz
In order to better understand the concept of musical frequencies, and which are going to naturally resonate with the human body, one must examine the biological makeup of the human ear. The cochlea, which is the part of the inner that converts acoustic impulses into electrical signals that are in turn transmitted to the brain, is shaped in a seashell-like spiral. Examining a cross-section of the cochlea, it was discovered that this shape was mathematically describable through the Fibonacci series!
In ‘A Short History of Tuning and Temperament’, Chas Stoddard described that this biological feature allows octaves to be decoded at the same point in each layer of the spiral. This may be the reasons why we are able to discern octaves at all, rather than just the concept of pitch rising or lowering. Without this unique connection to the shape of the cochlea, the octave concept would likely be completely meaningless, and undetectable to the human ear.
It appears that Austrian genius Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) was already picking up on this phenomenon during his time, stating: “Music based on C=128 Hz (C note in concert A = 432 Hz) will support humanity on its way towards spiritual freedom. The inner ear of the human being is built on C=128 Hz.”
The frequency of A=432 Hz is considered to be healing if it is employed intentionally and correctly. Most meditation music at 432 Hz is found to be both soothing and relaxing to the listener, helping them to reach a deeper level of relaxation.
Maria Renold, author of ‘Intervals Scales Tones and the Concert Pitch C=128 Hz’ describes evidence that A=4440 Hz tuning “disassociates the connection of consciousness to the body and creates anti-social conditions in humanity.” This belief is endorsed by many others, agreeing that while A=440 Hz is often more exciting, or aggressive for some, it is disconnected from the human feeling centers, specifically that of the heart.
The Interesting Meanings of 432
The number 432 itself has an interesting connection to situations of constant and completion in the universe. For example:
- The Diameter of the Sun is equal to 864,000 miles (432×2).
8+6+4 = 18 (1+8) = 9, the number of completion
- The Diameter of the Moon is equal to 2,160 miles (432×5 = 2,160)
2+1+6+0 resolves to a 9, as does 4+3+2 = 9 and 5×9 = 45, 4+5 = 9 as well
- 432 squared is 186,624 (1+8+6+6+2+4 resolves to 9)
This is within 1% accuracy of the speed of light (186,282 miles per second)
186,282 also resolves to a 9
With the connection to the speed of light (the square root of which is calculated as 431.6), one can speculate that notes that have been tuned using the reference pitch of A=432 Hz would harmonize directly with the light body, which would, in turn, allow the vibrations to penetrate and bring the body’s energetic essence into balance. The reference of A=440 Hz, however, may produce a more ‘agitative’ or dissonant effect on the mind, disturbing the balance.
One must then wonder if there is a true meaning to the use of A=440 Hz as the accepted reference pitch. Could it be that the decision was made without a true understanding of the scientific reasoning behind tuning, or is there a darker meaning to the fact that German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany Joseph Goebbels argued for the acceptance of this new ‘superior’ standard of tuning?