The 432 Hz phenomenon PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 18:43

What is 432 Hz ?

432 Hz is one of the possible ways to tune musical instruments, also known as the Tuning Note "A" and A=432.
Music tuned to 432 Hz sounds better than contemporary music which is tuned at A=440.

The famous Stradivarius was tuned to 432 Hz according to the Verdi tuning

During historical periods when instrumental music rose in prominence (relative to the voice), there was a continuous tendency for pitch levels to rise, also known as the pitch inflation.

At the times of Bach, the baroque tuning used A=415 Hz. The famous Stradivarius was tuned to A=432 Hz according to the Verdi tuning. Instruments from old civilizations such as the Greeks and Egyptians were also tuned to A=432 Hz according to . Indian instruments also are based on A=432 Hz.

In 1939 Germany and England determined 440 Hz as the frequency of the musical pitch, after first recommendations in the 19th century, as production of A=440 instruments already started before 1900.Their effort to standardize this worldwide didn't succeed for then. But in 1955 at a congres of musicians in London, 440 Hz still became the international ISO 16-standard.  Many protests of (among others) French musicians, who didn't want 440 Hz as the standard, didn't help unfortunately.

A higher pitch sounds sharper and more "fresh", but also more aggressive, which is not a quality audiophiles are looking for.

Authentic Indian musical instruments with 432 Hz as ground tone

Geert Huinink, the producer behind DJ Tiƫsto, has been using the knowledge of 432 Hz for years, which is probably the secret why his records are so popular.

How does 432 Hz work?

Based on cymatics research, which is the study of vibrational patterns that are the result of exposing matter to certain frequencies (like water or sand), there's a big difference between A=440 and A=432.
The water sound images of A=432 are more clear with much higher harmonics, while A=440 just looks like "bad soup". We refer to the research of Robert Boerman and the video's of Jamie Buturff.

432 Hz resonance in water vs 440 Hz, copyright Robert Boerman /

The cohhlea in our inner ear is a water filled spiral, which resonates naturally to music tuned to A=432 Hz, as the cochlea is based on the principles of phi-demping. A well known example is the famous B&W Nautilus speaker (the original one), which spirals are based on the same principe.

The team behind the 432 EVO organized focus groups which resulted in 60 trials. In 95% of the trials, our panel found music retuned to 432 Hz the better version. Listeners are more emotionally involved, while 440 Hz is a more "mental" experience. Our research is public, and visitors can look at all the data: more than 60 listening hours were documented.

Maria Renold came to similar results, with real musical instruments, and 2000 test candidates! Here's her book:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 16:25