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Topic: Concert A  (Read 481 times)

Offline electrodoc

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Concert A
on: March 05, 2023, 01:20:42 PM
Has anyone tried tuning their piano to A = 432? If so, what did you notice?
432 is considered by some to be the more natural tuning. There is an interesting video on You Tube relating 432 to sacred geometry.
I will be interested in ay comments.

electrodoc

Offline brogers70

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Re: Concert A
Reply #1 on: March 05, 2023, 10:42:43 PM
I looked at the video about A 432 and "sacred geometry." I'm reasonably convinced that I could derive a similar numerologic justification for the mystical importance of A 415, or A 440, or A 444, or just about any randomly chosen frequency. It's also good to remember that the units of the frequency are Hz or sec^-1, so that the specific number associated with a frequency depends on the arbitrary division of the day into 24 hours, the hours into 60 minutes and the minutes into 60 seconds. Had a different culture been the first to divide up the day into units of time, we could easily be measuring frequencies using different units and, therefore getting different numerical values for different tunings. So there's nothing particularly natural about any individual frequency. Indeed, there's no particular reason we need to call a tuning by the frequency at which A occurs; might just as well call modern tuning E 330. In short, I would not take any of the numerological mysticism seriously.

Apart from that, playing a piano designed for a 440 at A 432 will result in slightly less tension on the strings and a slightly changed tone quality (a subtle version of the kind of change in tone you can hear on a classical guitar if you tune it all down a whole step). And to someone with perfect pitch, it will sound flat.

Offline electrodoc

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Re: Concert A
Reply #2 on: March 06, 2023, 01:09:49 AM
For any group of musicians to play together there has to be an agreed tuning. For most purposes the note A is chosen as the reference pitch and today it is standardised at A= 440 Hz . This has not always been the standard tuning frequency. For example, the French standard used to be A = 435 Hz. The USA adopted A = 440 in 1926. It was  not until 1939 at an international conference in London the 440 was recommended as a compromise between various tuning systems. In 1955 440 was adopted by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) It was noticed that tuning to A=440 gave a brighter sound to concert music. The Vienna Philharmonic still tunes to A = 444.
There is much "New Age" controversy on You Tube suggesting that A = 432 is a more natural (or spiritual) reference tuning.  Personally, I am neither interested in nor persuaded by such claims.  However according to some medical research (Italy?) tuning to A 432 reduces heart rate and thus may be considered as more relaxing. A = 440 does not have this effect.
Both A = 440 and A = 432 have quite different effects on water molecular clusters. (see Aquagrams and Aquaphotonics). Since we are comprised mainly of water these effects presumably also apply to ourselves.
When we play music we are producing many complex frequencies; we are not listening to a steady 440 Hz. However, by standardising A at 440 we are also setting the frequencies of all notes of the musical scale.
Of course, it is unreasonable to expect anyone to tune their piano to a different reference frequency but it seems that some guitar players have tuned to 432. There are claims that it sounds more resonant and some guitar players claim it be more relaxing.
Having said this, I am simply interested in the notion of alternative reference tunings and their possible subjective effects.

electrodoc

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Concert A
Reply #3 on: March 06, 2023, 01:45:38 AM
Has anyone tried tuning their piano to A = 432? If so, what did you notice?
432 is considered by some to be the more natural tuning. There is an interesting video on You Tube relating 432 to sacred geometry.
I will be interested in ay comments.

First - I would never do that to my piano because you are causing the tuning and the strings to rest at an almost unnatural tuning. Lowering the pitch will cause more volatility in your tuning and the ability to hold the tuning later on.

Secondly, there have been many claims that A=432 is more calming, serene, cures cancer bullshit, but it's total malarkey. A lot of the time we perceive pitch has having a correlation being flat and laid back, and sharp to build tension. This is why when composers modulate from say G Major to A flat, we get a boost because the music has the effect of having more energy, same as when some composers use a modulation (say from C Major to B Major), we get a sense of calm because the music is becoming lower in pitch.

However, this is merely because we have the reference from going from one key to the other. If you were to take 100 different people and play 50 of them music at A=432, and the other 50 the same music at A=440, all of whom are without perfect pitch - your results would yield in nothing other than mixed results. And you can't play them BOTH pieces of music at A=440 and A=432 because again our brains are programmed to enjoy that sense of relaxation when music transposes down, and thus it would invalidate the results.

However according to some medical research (Italy?) tuning to A 432 reduces heart rate and thus may be considered as more relaxing. A = 440 does not have this effect.
When we play music we are producing many complex frequencies; we are not listening to a steady 440 Hz. However, by standardising A at 440 we are also setting the frequencies of all notes of the musical scale.

This also brings about a conundrum. Even if you tune to A=432, as you said - almost none of the notes are specifically 432 hertz as you are hearing all the overtones and different pitches other than A=432, so in essence all you're doing is lowering the entire pitch by 8hz. By that logic, lowering the pitch by 50 hertz should make people feel like they're floating on a cloud, but there's no evidence to that matter.

It's the same with half-beat theory and a whole bunch of other nonsense fads that seem to be floating around the internet.

Offline brogers70

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Re: Concert A
Reply #4 on: March 06, 2023, 01:56:51 AM
Both A = 440 and A = 432 have quite different effects on water molecular clusters. (see Aquagrams and Aquaphotonics). Since we are comprised mainly of water these effects presumably also apply to ourselves.
electrodoc

All I find when I look for aquaphtomics and aquagrams are studies of the interaction of water with infrared light under different conditions. The frequencies of infrared light are are on the order of 3 x 10^14 Hz, 12 orders of magnitude faster than the mechanical vibrations induced by sound waves at 4.32 x 10^2 Hz. Maybe you have some specific paper in mind, but as far as I can tell, aquaphotomics relates to the absorption of electromagnetic waves, not sound waves, by water.

In any case, it would be perfectly easy to do the sort of experiment perfect pitch just suggested - the proof is in the pudding. If two groups, large enough for statistical significance, respond differently to otherwise identical musical recordings that differ only in being shifted by 8 Hz in frequency, then you'd have some evidence. Lacking that, it does not seem particularly plausible.
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