Is tuning affecting composition? (432 Hz probably yes)

krushing

Moderator
Nothing wrong with alternate tunings and such - and good luck with the project - but the "science" behind this seems to be very much in the "pseudo" kind of territory. One doesn't have to dig very deep to find out that the "magical earth frequency" (ie. the Schumann resonance), on which this is supposedly based on, isn't exactly 8 hz but 7.83...
 

Pietro Valente

New member
I agree, the scientific base for this theory is not totally convincing me neither.

What is more convincing is the experiments on Cymatic and on people's feeling.
In fact the reason why I chose to do this is also based on my personal feeling when I hear and play music in 432 Hz.

For the sciene part I hope more investment in research will be done about this.
Meanwhile I go for broke :)
 

bandcoach

Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
a backward step in terms of tuning

Bach's time A=427Hz or thereabouts
Mozart's time it crept up to 432Hz
Beethoven still creeping and eventually reaches 440Hz.
1970's Japanese instrument makers adopt 442Hz as their tuning standard for all electronic keyboards - plays hell with tuning of bands worldwide until they realise the issue (electronic tuners made by the same companies make the march forward in rescuing this situation).
1980's emergence of the just intonation societies and a return to just tuning. Electronic keyboards have adjustable tuning from 435Hz to 445Hz

As for the 7Hz-8Hz, it is more about brain wave relaxation frequency than anything else particularly Alpha, Theta, and Mu waves:

Brainwave typeFreq. (Hz)
Alpha wave8-12
Delta wave0.1–4
Theta wave4–7
Mu wave8–13
Beta wave12–30
Gamma wave25–100

I agree with krushing: this is bad science without basis in fact or experiment; it is just as bad as the pseudo science surrounding the golden mean/fibonacci sequence (GM/FS) ratios used to show the harmonious tuning of intervals that someone else is peddling here in the theory section - the numbers and ratios are fudged to create the desired result rather than observing the numbers in the result. In this case (GM/FS) the number work was actually done to predict stock market share price returns and buy and sell automation
 
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rhythmgj

Character in Spades...
Hey BC & All,

I haven't heard of the Fibonacci series being applied to music, but i guess it was only a matter of time. Not sure about music/sound, but as applied to art/graphics and the actual proportions we see around us, I think it's pretty accurate and amazing. Predicting the stock market? There's always someone willing to test P.T. Barnum's axioms...

I would be interested in hearing about any research into this idea one way or the other (negative or positive) though, if anyone has any links to studies or books.

GJ
 

bandcoach

Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
the only valid application I have seen of of Fibonacci/Golden mean is to identifying points of interest in time: i.e climactic points in a piece of music, generally occurring at 61.8%of the way through. This is even true of simple things like an 8 bar phrase, where the end of the 5th bar is the climactic point (highest or lowest or loudest or softest note)of the phrase.

One of my composition lecturers/tutors, Clive Pascoe, did his PhD thesis on the application of the Golden Mean in identifying the climactic point in a piece of art music on a movement by movement basis. In addition, he further determined that the point of the golden mean in the larger scheme of the whole work also identified interesting climactic points. During his analysis and research, he also discovered that many composers would consciously or otherwise avoid the climactic point indicated by the Golden Mean and delay the climax by what turned out to be, remarkably, a number of bars directly found in the Fibonacci sequence. He later did work analysing pop songs to show that the ideas he originally presented were universal.

I have written about this elsewhere here at fp recently

https://www.futureproducers.com/for...d/how-do-i-make-melody-438007/2/#post49614856
https://www.futureproducers.com/for...d/how-do-i-make-melody-438007/2/#post49619720

there is at least one other thread where I have discussed this but the search engine is not finding it
 
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krushing

Moderator
Here is a page from a German Institute working about this since a long time:
The Foundations of Scientific Musical Tuning

Not exactly a scientific organization, but a political one...and something that's usually considered as being almost cult-like (look up the LaRouche movement). They also seem to actively campaign against global warming...so yeah, I'd take any kind of "research" coming from an institute like that with a truckload of healthy scepticism. All the signs of pseudo science are there.
 

hollandturbine

New member
The physics of sound, Human hearing/cognition and musical instrument construction will always result in a compromise or best fit tuning that might appear to calm the Chakra of your inner Dolphin or whatever bullshit people are attributing to cognition, but more importantly certain frequencies might mesh better depending on the tuning.
 

Pietro Valente

New member
Ok, let's say scientific proof for the 432 Hz tuning sucks.

My question is: why 440 Hz tuning should be the standard? Just give me a good reason...
 

bandcoach

Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
Only because of its impeccable referencing do I recommend that you read this wikipedia article
Concert pitch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Of note in my reading on other sites (and in some books on hand) about this is that the 432Hz tuning wave is based on just intonation and Pythagorean tuning, which yields whole numbers for each freq ency of the white keys: the black keys break from this pattern as should only be expected. There are also some fudges introduced such as inserting middle C=256Hz into the 432Hz regime: no matter how I twisted the numbers I could not get C to equal 256Hz if i started with A=432Hz. However, if I start with C=256Hz then A=432 falls out as direct consequence of applying the Pythagorean ratios of 3:2 for dominants (notes a 5th above), 2:1 for octaves and 11:8 for subdominants (notes a 5th below). Regardless of the approach this tuning system is flawed because at the extreme upper and lower frequencies there are variances from the expected frequency, particular the difference for notes at different octaves - i.e. there is fudging to get the numbers to work regardless.

This is similar to the problems of overtone creation (whole integer multiples of the fundamental frequency) vs pitching in equal temperament, where the notes will be 2[sup]N/12[/sup] x the fundamental frequency: i.e the 2nd harmonic/overtone is double the fundamental frequency because it is 12 semitones above, giving us x 2[sup]12/12[/sup] or just plain x 2[sup]1[/sup] or just x 2. The 3rd overtone/harmonic is 19 semitones above and so its frequency will be x 2[sup]19/12[/sup]
All subsequent overtones/harmonics are similarly calculated in equal temperament.

Quick example for the first 8 overtones of A=110Hz (chosen so that the numbers don't become too large):

PitchInteger2[sup]N/12[/sup]Difference
A1101100
A2202200
E330329.63-0.37
A4404400
C[sup]#[/sup]550554.37+4.37
E660659.26-0.74
G770783.99+13.99
A8808800
 
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Pietro Valente

New member
We need not to confuse temperament with tuning. If we talk about temperament there is a whole other topic to open up.
If we want to consider even Bach well tempered harpsichord it is aleready using a compromise so today's tempered system it's aleready a compromise.

But my question is why to use 440 as a standard? Why I cannot find anyone who wants to try to give an answer?

That's why I trust my feelings and I chose to record my new album in 432 hertz.
 

DMTian

New member
You are asking why we are using 440 Hz. Well you don't quite understand how human society works. Some rules generally spread on itself without any organization from above or any apparent reason, and even the people using the rule can't really explain why they are using it. How would you explain why Harlem Shake got so popular? Could the first creators tell it will become a megahit? Some things don't grow from up to down, but they start on the lowest and get bigger.

That's the reason why you can't say why 440 Hz is a standart. Because there was no "process" that could be explained, and there are no real reasons why to keep it. For a comparison, there are no reasons why to wear a dress in public if it is hot outside. You do this as well, yet you never question this, you just do it and most of the time you probably don't realize you are following a rule.

I'm writing this because I'm afraid you think that there are some subliminal messages in tuning, and that you can somehow make the world better when turning everything into 432 Hz. You know, these kinds of "revolutions" reminds me I heard somewhere a thought that "government uses 440 Hz to control our lives". It's pretty ridiculous, but I can imagine a group of political activists actually persuading people to believe it - and it can be dangerous then. Tuning is simply a tuning. If you play on something out of tune you also play "different tuning". Let's use any tuning you want but don't claim it is anything subliminal to human brain when there is neither reason nor proper evidence for it. It is just an unfair marketing claim at its best.
 

bandcoach

Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
We need not to confuse temperament with tuning. If we talk about temperament there is a whole other topic to open up.
If we want to consider even Bach well tempered harpsichord it is aleready using a compromise so today's tempered system it's aleready a compromise.

But my question is why to use 440 as a standard? Why I cannot find anyone who wants to try to give an answer?

That's why I trust my feelings and I chose to record my new album in 432 hertz.

Temperament and tuning are tied inextricably: without adhering to a temperament, tuning is a hit and miss affair: i.e. without knowing how you are going treat individual intervals within a tuning scheme, you are going to find that you have severe problems in getting anything to sounds good. Equal temperament came about as a solution to avoiding problematic intervals in any key, in fact it came about to make all keys equally out of tune and all semitones and every other interval equally out of tune.

I'll put it here again: go read this wikipedia article Concert pitch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia- the referencing is impeccable so I do not mind linking to it

You are asking why we are using 440 Hz. Well you don't quite understand how human society works. Some rules generally spread on itself without any organization from above or any apparent reason, and even the people using the rule can't really explain why they are using it. How would you explain why Harlem Shake got so popular? Could the first creators tell it will become a megahit? Some things don't grow from up to down, but they start on the lowest and get bigger.

That's the reason why you can't say why 440 Hz is a standart. Because there was no "process" that could be explained, and there are no real reasons why to keep it. For a comparison, there are no reasons why to wear a dress in public if it is hot outside. You do this as well, yet you never question this, you just do it and most of the time you probably don't realize you are following a rule.

I'm writing this because I'm afraid you think that there are some subliminal messages in tuning, and that you can somehow make the world better when turning everything into 432 Hz. You know, these kinds of "revolutions" reminds me I heard somewhere a thought that "government uses 440 Hz to control our lives". It's pretty ridiculous, but I can imagine a group of political activists actually persuading people to believe it - and it can be dangerous then. Tuning is simply a tuning. If you play on something out of tune you also play "different tuning". Let's use any tuning you want but don't claim it is anything subliminal to human brain when there is neither reason nor proper evidence for it. It is just an unfair marketing claim at its best.

I disagree:

440Hz was adopted by the Austrian government in the 1880's as the standard tuning.
In the mid 1920's it was agreed as the standard in the Continental USA
By the end of the 1930's it was adopted as an International standard bythe ISO: ISO 16 to be precise
This ISO standard was re-ratified in the 1950's.

The wikipedia article linked above spells this out in more detail: I got some things wrong in my first response (had totally forgotten that tuning could vary as high as A=470+Hz) but was mostly correct.
 

hollandturbine

New member
But my question is why to use 440 as a standard? Why I cannot find anyone who wants to try to give an answer?

The standard is most likely based on the accuracy of Johann Heinrich Scheibler's Tonometer, where A = 440 Hz, this frequency could have been decided upon for a specific reason or it could be based upon some practical engineering decision.
 

Pietro Valente

New member
You are asking why we are using 440 Hz. Well you don't quite understand how human society works. Some rules generally spread on itself without any organization from above or any apparent reason, and even the people using the rule can't really explain why they are using it. How would you explain why Harlem Shake got so popular? Could the first creators tell it will become a megahit? Some things don't grow from up to down, but they start on the lowest and get bigger.

That's the reason why you can't say why 440 Hz is a standart. Because there was no "process" that could be explained, and there are no real reasons why to keep it. For a comparison, there are no reasons why to wear a dress in public if it is hot outside. You do this as well, yet you never question this, you just do it and most of the time you probably don't realize you are following a rule.

I'm writing this because I'm afraid you think that there are some subliminal messages in tuning, and that you can somehow make the world better when turning everything into 432 Hz. You know, these kinds of "revolutions" reminds me I heard somewhere a thought that "government uses 440 Hz to control our lives". It's pretty ridiculous, but I can imagine a group of political activists actually persuading people to believe it - and it can be dangerous then. Tuning is simply a tuning. If you play on something out of tune you also play "different tuning". Let's use any tuning you want but don't claim it is anything subliminal to human brain when there is neither reason nor proper evidence for it. It is just an unfair marketing claim at its best.

Dear DMTitan,

1)you are living in a Disney world, please come to the Real World.
2)inform yourself before talking.

I accept critics from Zukatoku because he is awareness of the situation.

---------- Post added at 01:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:00 PM ----------

Temperament and tuning are tied inextricably: without adhering to a temperament, tuning is a hit and miss affair: i.e. without knowing how you are going treat individual intervals within a tuning scheme, you are going to find that you have severe problems in getting anything to sounds good. Equal temperament came about as a solution to avoiding problematic intervals in any key, in fact it came about to make all keys equally out of tune and all semitones and every other interval equally out of tune.

I'll put it here again: go read this wikipedia article Concert pitch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia- the referencing is impeccable so I do not mind linking to it



I disagree:

440Hz was adopted by the Austrian government in the 1880's as the standard tuning.
In the mid 1920's it was agreed as the standard in the Continental USA
By the end of the 1930's it was adopted as an International standard bythe ISO: ISO 16 to be precise
This ISO standard was re-ratified in the 1950's.

The wikipedia article linked above spells this out in more detail: I got some things wrong in my first response (had totally forgotten that tuning could vary as high as A=470+Hz) but was mostly correct.

Yes temperament and tuning are obviously tied, I didn't want to extend the topic to that but if you want I tell you the way I'm going to do.
It would be nice to be able to redefine the whole note relationship and intervals in terms of frequency but it would be very difficult to record an album in this way because two main reasons:
1)instruments like keybord may have a pich regulation but they definitely don't have a hertz control for every single key to adjust.
2)even more serious, the musicians are part of my band ( especially the singer and the trombonist) may have serious problem to adapt to a different temperament.
The result is I'm going to tune in A 432 Hz but use the temperament of standard 440 Hz tuning.

About the history of tuning it is very articulated but if you go back to the most ancient cultures of the world like Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Indian, they all use to use the 432 hertz tuning.

P.S.: don't rely so confident in Wikipedia.
 

bandcoach

Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
Hmm

it is possible to adjust the temperament of any synth to match just intonation or any other temperament scheme - it is part of the midi spec and where an instrument was made before this part was added to the spec, you could do it simply by using system exclusive messages - if that doesn't get you there then careful experimentation and notation of pitch bend positions will allow you to adjust each note to the desired frequency in your chosen temperament.

your trombonist will have no difficulty adjusting to the new temperament as only the 1st position notes are fixed in tube length - everything else is adjustable by moving the slide further out or closer in. Even the fixed positions can be lipped up or down in pitch - I play trombone and this is a common enough technique to simply play in tune in equal temperament that adapting to another temperament is not a big deal - adjusting the ears (i.e. being aware of the new tuning scheme and matching pitch to it) will be. Your singer will likewise not have too much difficulty beyond learning the new tuning scheme.

The statements you make about ancient cultures tuning systems cannot be supported by facts, only by supposition mainly from those who want these ideas to be true.

As for wikipedia - I know and always insist on something more solid than a wikipedia article. In this case the references and external links made the article a good first read with the ability to delve further into the matter if you wanted to

@hallond and @DMTian: ignore him - this is more like troll baiting than anything else......
 

produce dept

produce dept
Different keys evoke different feelings... D feels bright, Db does not. Changing 440 to 432 would undoubtedly affect this...
 

bandcoach

Zukatoku - Mod Scientist
you have factual basis for these assertions or just your own response to these keys?

I challenge you on this because in equal temperament tuning all keys are equally out of tune and therefore no different from any other except for relative pitch height, i.e. D will sound brighter than D[sup]b[/sup] only because it is a semitone higher, and therefore contains higher frequency overtones in each of its notes; however, if I play my D major chord an major 7th below my D[sup]b[/sup] major chord, then the opposite is true - the D major chord will be darker because it is lower and has fewer high frequency overtones/harmonics compared to the D[sup]b[/sup] major chord.

When it comes to just intonation all things change (the fundamental frequency associated with each note changes depending on the root/tonic of the key) and some assertions about relative "brightness" of different keys can be sustained, barely.
 
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