Everyone seems to be talking about the magic number 432 Hz. This tone is rumored to be a natural frequency of the universe.
The 432 Hz tone is also said to have cosmic healing powers, which attracts a massive audience to the sound of its music. It is claimed that if we tune our music down to a semitone under our norm A=440Hz, we are guaranteed access to the treasures hidden with the universe. Let’s try to find out if there any basis behind these claims.
Here are a few facts about the 432 Hz tone:
1. Hz and Cycles per Second
Hertz is a term presented in 1930. Before then, it was called “Cycles per Second.” In 1834, “Cycles Per Second” was accurately measured when two instruments were created: the altered version of the Savart Wheel made by Felix Savart, and the Tonometer created by Johann Scheiber.
Furthermore, in the 16th century, the measurement of Seconds had only begun.
No one before could ever have tuned their musical instruments to measure 432 Hz because quite frankly, the scale just did not exist at this time. To my knowledge, there is no single valid piece of evidence that ancient flutes or bowls were possibly tuned to 432 Hz.
2. Pythagoras’ System
Pythagoras’ system of tuning is considered ratio based. Therefore, the system is not based on an absolute pitch but on relations to an arbitrary reference pitch.
Pythagoras had no way of knowing what a second was, therefore, he couldn’t possibly know what Hz means. 432 is a ratio multiplied between C and A. C is considered 1 and A is 27/16. This is the same as 432/256. The count towards any base frequency and generally has no link to a specific Hz.
His system revolved around cycling perfect fifths. This, however, never got you to a complete circle unless one of the fifths is done away with. The Pythagorean scale must be tuned down slightly each octave to maintain consistency. The reason it was abandoned is that this makes the temperament unbalanced and sound off when playing music with advanced harmonies.
3. Giuseppe Verdi
Alexander John Ellis, a musicologist, has documented, measured, and searched tuning forks and ancient pipe organs. What he found was that 432 Hz was brought to attention in Italy in 1880 by Giuseppe Verdi. This was done not for spiritual reasons but for practical ones. Before tuning became standardized, the pitch of A ranged from 400 Hz to 460 Hz.
There are many indications that present cymatic imagery as evidence for the 432 Hz theory. Cymatics is the scientific realm that remains unexplored. The images are made by bodies of water or metal which are tuned to show at different frequencies.
Just like guitar strings, bodies of water and metal plates are tuned to show at 440 Hz.
5. The diversity of music frequencies
The aesthetics of the music is highly flexible. People who orchestrate music aren’t obligated to use the base frequencies of 440 Hz. Orchestras globally use varied pitches, according to the music they are playing.
In general, baroque music is played at 415 Hz. Early Romantic eras and classical music are based around 425 Hz and later ones were measured at 440 Hz and above.
Some people believe that 432 Hz is a frequency that might unlock cosmic powers. There is no solid evidence to confirm this claim, but there are studies that point to the potential mental and physical health benefits of this sound frequency, such as decreasing the heart rate, relieving anxiety, and improving sleep quality.
432 Hz may also make your music quality sound better or worse. Many artists of the musical talent still use this frequency because they believe it to be harmonic for the ears. Many others choose to use it to meditate because it is known to be calming.
Whether it does or doesn’t work, never let a standard set your limits. The universe is your limit, so be sure to have fun with creating and experimenting with different Hz. Music is meant to be for your pleasure, but I definitely recommend giving this a try.
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