Let’s try to separate fact from fiction

If you happen to meet some musician who claims that 432 Hz is “the natural frequency of the Universe”, which this frequency has the power of “attract the masses to the music” and cure diseases, first of all, take a look to this article by Assaf Dar Sagol, on Ask.audio:

432 Hz seems to be just another number without any special significance over others. Tuning your music to a specific frequency will not unlock cosmic powers, or make your music sound better or worse.

I have already written a post on this subject, and this article could be his ‘reasoned’ conclusion.

I’ll summarize it in broad terms:

The ancient instruments

It is not true that the old instruments uses 432 Hz as base pitch: the term “Hertz “ concept appears only in 1930, and most likely the instruments were arranged with even lower frequencies (before standardization, the pitch of “A” fluctuated heavily between 400 Hz and 460 Hz).

As for evidence, I could not find a single solid evidence for ancient flutes or bowls tuned to 432 Hz. If you find some — please let me know!

Pythagoras’ tuning system

The Pythagora’s “A” was not 432 Hz: Pythagoras has not theorized an absolute tuning, but relative, starting from a selected tone.

Pythagoras’s tuning system was based on cycling perfect fifths. However, cycling fifths will never get you to complete a circle — unless one of the fifths is diminished. In other words, the Pythagorean scale has to be ‘tuned-down’ a little each octave in order to maintain its consistency.

Mozart’s “A”

Mozart did not use 432 Hz for all his music.
The only Mozart’s “A” supplied it was in 1780 and was of 421.6 Hz

Verdi’s “A”

Also Giuseppe Verdi did not use 432 Hz as base pitch for his music: he has expressed a slight preference for 432 Hz, because he was concerned about singers.

Verdi is the only known composer to even hint towards 432 Hz, and it was obviously for completely different reasons than cosmic spirituality.

The frequency of the heart

Furthermore, the 432 Hz are not the frequency of the heart/brain/earth/sun/water: for example the heart frequency ranges approximately from 1 to 2.5 Hz.

Your music would sound better

And finally, your music will not sound better at A=432Hz

Tuning to different pitches has subtle effects on the timbre of acoustic instruments, but makes no difference to electronically generated sounds.

But, actually what changes?

Assaf says:

I do believe that musicians should be able to tune to any base frequency they like, which is why we have decided our next update will include a master tuning setting. After all, i see no reason not to tune to 432 Hz.

Have fun, create and experiment, and don’t let standards hold you back!

In my personal experience on the guitar, the only benefit that i found is a less tension of the strings, which allows a better expressiveness and a more pronounced vibrato.

But this can be accomplished simply using strings with a lower tension!

And no, even at 432Hz my girlfriend still does not loving my music!

References and further reading