Article By: Brian T Collins
The term Concert Pitch refers to a standard musical pitch from which other musicians can tune their instruments in unison to produce harmonic and melodic consonant music. The tuning note commonly used to set a standard concert pitch is usually the “A” note, but sometimes middle “C” can be used also such as on alternate and more natural tuning center such as “C” prime 256Hz.
Most musicians are aware that the arbitrary de facto ISO 16 international standard is A=440Hz ET. This means that by compromise or constraint in western music, most bands, session musicians and orchestras are encouraged under peer pressure of employment to tune the “A” note of their beautiful instruments to A=440Hz under the closed circle of Equal Temperament.
Hertz is a modern measurement of cycles per second which means the vibration of the string or pipe beats at a measurable frequency a second which determines the frequency of the pitch.
So what does this have to do with setting a pitch that we can all sense as sonorous?
Simply, time, frequency, rhythm and harmony of the senses. Not material musical theory; but instead, feeling through the perception of conscious awareness.
Feeling the Difference
The best way to experience the expressive sensation of A=432Hz is by listening. The tracks you are about to hear is a performance of “Silent Night.”
The recordings are the same, only the tuning and harmonic intonation is slightly different. This was made from one performance recorded into the Midi piano plug in “Ivory” so the emotions of the piece remain the same.
We then changed the pitch and harmonic intonation in Ivory on playback so pitch compression does not take place which can happen when you drop an existing recorded A=440Hz ET track into A=432Hz from pitch setting programs.
Clear your mind; and
Listen to Silent Night at A=432Hz
Concentrate on your senses of awareness; and
Listen to Silent Night at the current concert tuning pitch of A=440Hz ET.
Was there a different perception between the first one and the second one?, if need be, repeat each one several times until you can feel the difference?
This third clip is a combination of both tunings.
It starts with one bar of A=432Hz and then one bar of A=440Hz ET. It does this twice and the last measure ends in A=432Hz.
What is your emotional state of mind between the two tracks can you sense the difference?
Music is about the sensation of emotion and feeling through harmonic tone, not about theory or pseudo new age claims.
Many people from all walks of life have described similar perceptions over their individual experience of the two pitches.
A=440hz concert pitch is slightly non local whereas A=432hz concert pitch is centered in the spine and heart.
Some people who are not able to distinguish the 8hz difference but claim they can feel A=432hz warmer due to the longer wavelength and in different harmonic intonations, more resonant.
In either case, all agree that there are positive results in the listening experience at A=432hz.
The 8hz dissonance between the two, can affect the inner ear in sensation and perceptual dimension of frequency. A=440Hz ET tuned music creates a compressed closed circle sensation of tone contrary to the natural spiral resonant formation of the inner ear.
Studies done by Maria Renold conclusively proves A=440Hz ET tuning can cause anti-social conditions in human beings.
Pitch A=432Hz has gained international interest as a alternate to A=440Hz ET and even higher pitches in the past few years due to it’s relaxing effects on our general wellbeing. A=432Hz and C=256Hz for concert pitch centres has physical benefits for vocalists as they do not need to stretch their vocals chords in Bel Canto to the higher pitch 440Hz ET. Professional opera singers have petitioned to lower the standard back to what was called the “Verdi A” 432Hz in Italy. (C prime 256Hz)
432Hz and 256Hz as a measure of beat time is entwined with prime mathematics and Phi geometry which is found everywhere in nature. It makes sense that if we are natural beings, borne on a natural world, using a base system of ten mathematics since we have ten digits, that we be in harmony with that natural world regarding our choice for music. Fibonacci spirals are everywhere in nature. Phi is everywhere.
Many ancient structures have the ratios 864, 432, 256, 144, 108, 72, etc.
There are volumes of academic evidence that the ancient civilizations world wide used natural number geometries in their building and aligning of scared sites and megalithic structures. Modern material worldview was the fall of education by gatekeeping even the basic fundametal teachings of the 3rd, 4th and 5th sciences which can be found in grammar, logic, rhetoric, music and astronomy. Many people who have been taught the five classics such as enlightenment initiates are familiar with the Pythagorean 3/4/5 triangle which yields Phi and Pi geometry which is also the cornerstone calculation of most golden mean based architecture in the world today.
likewise in musc we had systems of ratio thousands of years before hertz or cycles per second.
It seems we are standing on a world that is screaming natural ratio of geometry and fundamental origin ratio at us, even in the music form of the spheres of the spiral orbits of the planets do we find such ratios.
It makes sense as musicians, we listen to the great grand conductor of the musical universe and tune our instruments to Concert Pitch A=432Hz.