In this video I tuned my guitar to concert pitch A=432 Hz.  Which is slightly lower than the standard concert pitch A=440 Hz.

***Although I tuned to A=432 Hz, instead of the standard A=440 Hz, this is still not a genuine Pythagorean tuning.  This is because instruments are tuned using the Equal Temperament Scale.

***According to the Pythagorean tuning, or “Just Tuning” scale A=432 Hz, and C=128 Hz… (there are more)  And they function according to fibonacci sequence, and therefore is the most harmonious tuning to our being.
(Since this spiral is used in our inner ears).

***The only issue with REAL Just Tuning is what’s known as a “Wolf Interval,” so an A# and a B flat, which are normally the same note, are actually slightly off.

*** So if you wanted to play in a different key you would have to re-tune your piano or guitar for EACH SONG.  Yikes!!!!

*** The “Equal Temperament Scale” was designed to have the least amount of these so called “bad” intervals, so it’s not as perfectly harmonious as “Just” Tuning, BUT you don’t have to re-tune your instrument for each song!
(which would make live concerts really annoying!)

*** According to our A=440 Hz Equal Tempered tuning, our C is 130.18 Hz,

So by subtracting 8 Hz from 440, we get 432, and then by default we automatically subtract 8 Hz from C=130.18, we get a C=122.81 Hz !!!!!!!

(And not the C=128 Hz like in Pythagorean Tuning)

So by making the A more resonate, we in turn make the C further away.

***According to Pythagorean / “Just” Tuning:

C = 128 Hz
G =192 Hz
D = 288 Hz
E = 324 Hz
A = 432 Hz

And our current A= 440 Hz / Equal Temperament Tuning is:

C = 130.81
G = 196.00
D = 293.66
E = 329.63
A = 440.00

SO when subtract 8 Hz from all of these, and you’ll get what my guitar is tuned to in this video, which IS NOT true Pythagorean tuning!!!  Some note’s are slightly closer to the Pythagorean notes (usually by 4 Hz), but the C is still further away.

So why did I tune to this?  Many site’s suggest that we should change our concert pitch to A=432 Hz (C= 128 Hz).  I originally assumed that by doing this my chords would become more harmonious, but as I have shown, this is fundamentally impossible!

Overall, using this tuning makes it significantly easier to sing certain songs, even if the pitch is only a tad lower.  I wouldn’t have covered this song without the tuning cause it’s hard as heck to sing normally!

Online Sources:

Frequencies of Musical Notes:
http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/notefreqs.html

I make music and share it with people

3 Responses »

1. This is astounding and very, very cool. Thanks for always sharing some amazing gem every time you post!

2. mikemolaro says:

Cool. You’re onto it. As far as A being 440, or 432. It was once even lower. Before tuners were common it seems as though players just tuned to eachother, or the local church organ. They werent hell bent on “perfect” pitch, but most musicians and most ears, were happy enough with being relatively in tune with eachother. But you’re right. 432 seems to be a bit more ‘magical’. There’s a lot of shit on the web about nazi conspiracies, which i cannot confirm nor deny. but! check out this youtube clip. it undoubtedly appears that 432 resonates much pretty pictures than 440. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zw0uWCNsyw
it’s quite mind blowing.

speaking of tuning systems is an entirely different issue than hz. It’s like a big cosmic joke.
You’re totally right, Pythagorus was one of the first to try and solve this. So we have A at 440. If we want the octave to be perfectly harmonious it must be a 2:1 ratio. So an A an octave lower would be 220 (half of 440). But Pythagorus was a big fan of the 3:2 ratio – a perfect 5th. So he decided to tune to perfect 5ths. Already we have problems. If you continue to tune to perfect 5ths. stack and stack and stack and stack. When you go through all the notes and land back on A it’s no longer a 2:1 ratio of your original A. Although you have perfect 5ths, you also have an octave that sounds wrong/inharmonious/like shit. For example, pick any number and try it…here i got stacking 2:3 through all the 5ths equaling 129.746. But if you stack the same number 2:1 you get 128. You can try and tune to perfect ratios of 3rds, 4ths, whatever the hell you want, but never are all the intervals going to be perfect. How do YOU choose to resolve it?

equal temperament is far from perfect. In fact, no interval is pure but the octave alone. All other intervals “wobble”. We shrunk every interval equally (though close it’s not equal) so that none are perfect except the octave.

cool post.

• jkramer001 says:

Yes! Thank you for your response. I too found it interesting that equal temperament doesn’t use exact pitches, but slight variations so that the overall scale sounds good, and so you don’t have to change tuning for each key change.

I originally found out about this tuning from a conspiracy I read about in which the nazis changed it and what-not to mess with our bio energy fields. It is true that the individual 432 Hz frequency resonates at a much more harmonious rate (as seen with the experiment), and most chakra healing music uses the perfect resonant pitches for each center. But Adolf himself, as well as the nazis were HUGE classical music fans, mainly of Wagner. I also read that they rallied to change the pitch in order to combat the heat of auditoriums from making the instruments flat or sharp. So I think the conspiracy is BS, but the resonance is definitely more harmonious at 432 Hz.