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Tuning to A-432

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Postby Kroikey » October 9th, 2009, 2:11 am

A-432

I began playing music after a bit of a 1960s spiritual moment (if ya know what I mean) and a year spent researching what the hell religions are going on about, I came to a realisation that a lot of religious history has been about destroying anything that goes against the Bible and the control it had. Examples are assigning Lucifer/Satan to the Pentagram, Pagan festivals being taken over by Christianity etc. all to alter the original belief so it would have less impact.

I came to believe that the Universe is a Fractal process, and the Big Bang is some kind of perfect resonance which began the whole process. I also managed to unravel the misleading BS the church tarnished the Pentagram with. The Pentagram is a symbol of Phi, the golden mean, the ratio which gives nature its tendency towards efficiency. Pythagoras himself was in a secret religious order that was based on mathematics. It was at this time that the mathematical harmony was beginning to be understood. The perfect Pentagram inscribed within a circle was the entrance exam for this secret religion. (It was secret to avoid persecution by the Church).

Within this mathematical shape are 3 angles: 72 (360/5), 54 and 108.

108 is an amazingly auspicious number in Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, with mantras being said 108 times and gongs banged 108 times on the first or last Sunday of the month, 108 names for the sun god, Shiva in his Nataraja form having 108 poses in the 'Cosmic Dance' etc. The Pentagram also has massive correlations with Phi - the Golden Mean, but I won't go into that here.

From this information I found a lot of coincidental numbers within religion: 72 virgins if you die a martyr in Islamic tradition; God creating 72 languages to mixup humanity after the tower of Babel was destroyed. Many many other examples of spiritual stories relating to the Pentagram.

Heres ancient Buddhist monument which includes the number 72 within its design:
on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur

As an outcome I decided that music was important to life itself, that the Universe is resonating from the Big Bang and music has major power of the world. I took up guitar due to my love of 80s guitar music and the fact that mastering a stringed instrument would be a nod to the vibrational aspects of my spirituality.

But this post isn't about the spiritual or mathematical aspects of the Universe, its about tuning to A-432 instead of A-440. I heard about this a while ago, and I tried it out and it does seem a little warmer, but I recently found this site that has two comparison versions of Silent Night. One at 440 and another at 432.

Why 432? Its a multiple of 108, although this was never stated in the original webpage I found this tidbit on. I wonder if anyone knows more about the tuning to 432, has any experience with this tuning, or wants to try out this experiment to see which they prefer. Maybe ask a friend to listen to both and let you know which they prefer (BEFORE TELLING THEM WHICH IS WHICH!).

Below is a pseudo science site with the comparison on it. I'd appreciate any comments on whether it sounds better or worse than A440.
http://www.omega432.com/music.html
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Postby Kroikey » October 9th, 2009, 2:20 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_tuning

Pythagorean tuning is based on a stack of perfect fifths, each tuned in the ratio 3:2, the next simplest ratio after 2:1, which is the ratio of an octave. Starting from D for example, the A is tuned such that the frequency ratio of A and D is 3:2 — if D is tuned to 288 Hz, then the A is tuned to 432 Hz
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Postby NoteBoat » October 9th, 2009, 5:33 am

Although I'm no stranger to 1960s style spiritual moments, I'm no fan of new-agey mysticism that contorts facts to engineer support, or to provide evidence of, "ancient wisdom". I did a little digging this morning...

Kroikey wrote:Pythagoras himself was in a secret religious order that was based on mathematics...The perfect Pentagram inscribed within a circle was the entrance exam for this secret religion. (It was secret to avoid persecution by the Church).


That doesn't add up. Pythagoras lived about five centuries before Jesus, so it's impossible the Pythagoreans were ever persecuted by Christians. Pythagoreanism itself died out as a religious movement BEFORE the common era began.

The Pentagram also has massive correlations with Phi - the Golden Mean, but I won't go into that here.


Why not? The relationship of the pentagram to the golden mean IS what the Pythagoreans found important about the shape.

God creating 72 languages to mixup humanity after the tower of Babel was destroyed.


Really? By what source? Neither the Bible nor Torah mentions an exact number; the number of languages is a later construction based on the named descendants of Noah - and depending on the source text used, different sects have come up with 70, 72, or 73. And the first person who came up with 72 (Isidore of Seville, c. 600) confused some of the descendants of Noah with those of Abraham in his writings.

As an outcome I decided that music was important to life itself, that the Universe is resonating from the Big Bang and music has major power of the world.


This "music of the spheres" approach has been tried by many people over the years. Trouble is, electromagnetic vibration (the stuff of the universe) is not sound (a vibration within a medium). Otto van Guericke proved that in the 1650s - there is no sound in space.

A couple more points on putting numerical mysticism to music:

1. If you're going to work with frequency ratios - as in Pythagorean tuning - you won't get a system that works across the board. In fact, Pythagoreas was the one who discovered this little problem (google "Pythagorean comma") - extending 3:2 perfect fifths will not get you a 2:1 octave.

2. Because this natural relationship between pitches does not exist in our system of music, you can make up whatever you like to support whatever mystical belief you'd like to tie into music. This is easy enough to do by either of two methods:

a - get a new yardstick. One website I found ties the golden number to the speed of light: 432 x 432 = 186624, and the speed of light is 186291 miles per second. Why miles? Physicists use meters, and that works out to 299,752,488m/s. If I use that measurement instead, a "perfect" tone would be 1606.398; two octaves lower is 401.6. I'll get completely different numbers if I use furlongs per fortnight, angstroms per hour, or cubits per week. Just mix and match until the result supports your hypothesis, and you can 'prove' just about any measure is natural.

b. Round your results. Lots of websites say the golden number ties to the average number of heartbeats per minute at 72. But plenty of medical texts give the average as 70. That's a difference of nearly 3%. The difference between A432 and A440 is less than 2%.
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Postby Kroikey » October 9th, 2009, 12:04 pm

Your absolutely right to pull me on all those points Noteboat. Its my own beliefs from the overall feeling I get back from research into various religions and what they found sacred. I thought I'd ask here as I knew there were knowledgeable people to check this out. I just wanted an opinion on whether 432 sounded better to trained ears. By tuning A to 432 it wont make it divide into a ratio of 3:2 will it? I expect the other notes to be all crazy decimals and not fit a number system.

The Pythagoreans consisted of Listeners and the Priests. Listeners would just sit and hear formula and such that they deemed important, speaking of it would bring death. The fact the science they were doing wasn't always working out into in perfect fractions was kept hidden because it was too outrageous to them.

I provided the background as I thought it interesting that the Pentagram and Golden Ratio may be the reason behind the Hindu and Buddhist marking of 108 (the outside angle of a a pentagon). Then hearing of this 432 tuning it seemed odd that it divided neatly into 108 and I simply wondered whether if there was anything to it. When you look at the other divisions of notes it does seem that 432 @ the A note is somewhat arbitrary.

I have listened to the comparisons on that website I found and it doesn't jump out at you like the guy makes out. I wasn't totally relaxed and 'feeling' it though, which is a bit of a cop out lol.

However I still stand by the Universe coming forth from a fractal vibrational force...Check out this form of cymatics demonstrating sound creating form (1 minute 55 seconds in) ... Fascinating!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCHPo3EA7oE
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Postby NoteBoat » October 9th, 2009, 12:50 pm

Yes, I agree the pentagram may be the source of Hindus and Buddhists placing great importance on the number 108. But let me ask this: which came first?

The idea of dividing a circle into 360 degrees probably originated in ancient Babylon; that division was certainly used by the ancient people of India (it's found in their Rig Veda, written at least 3100 years ago). So... did they decide to apply religious significance to numbers originating from a circle/pentagram, or did they chose to give a circle 360 degrees because that backed into existing religious practice?

Not that the answer makes much difference; we can always shoehorn natural measures into a belief system. The numbers 54/72/108 aren't special in themselves; it's the 3/4/6 relationship that makes them golden numbers. Naturally occurring things can be compared and found to have ratios, and whether we're talking about musical pitches or angles doesn't matter. Where we run into trouble is when we fix labels on things, and then give significance to the labels themselves... because labels are not the objects they represent. 108 isn't the outer angle of a pentagram - it's the label we get IF we divide a circle into 360 parts. Use radians and you get about 1.885. Use gon, and you get 120.

As for A432 dividing into a 3:2 ratio, it doesn't need to. Our measurement units are arbitrary; whatever you choose as a measurement for one pitch you can multiply by 1.5 and you'll get a Pythagorean fifth above the original pitch. If A is 432, E will be 648; if A is 440, E becomes 660. You could decide A is pi if you'd like - E would then be 1-1/2 pi.

As for the big bang being a fractal vibration, I haven't a clue. But I'll bet there are some physicist guitar players who will weigh in on it :)
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Postby Nick » October 10th, 2009, 4:06 am

Are you Dan Brown? Is this part 3 of "The DaVinci Code"?

I'm so glad I don't have to be the voice of reason on this one.
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Postby KR2 » October 10th, 2009, 8:58 am

Aw come on, Nick . . . aren't you tuned in to the Cosmic vibrations?
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Postby Kroikey » October 10th, 2009, 11:04 am

Fair enough. Its true though that certain frequencies cause physical responses in the body. The 'Brown Note' as its been dubbed is an example, although it only causes a certain amount of anxiety and stomach discomfort. When emotions and music align the effect can be life changing can't it? I'm simply asking if there's anything in A-432 tuning.

As for the pentagram and such, its not circumstantial evidence. It seems there' s a very good reason it was a sign of reverence and its to do with the Phi and the Golden Mean. But since I'm being mocked I'll just leave it. At least this got more response than my Hear Hear post lol.

*tumble weed blows across this post* :lol:
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Postby Nick » October 11th, 2009, 4:33 am

I'm not mocking, but I am more impressed with the list of similarities between me and President Kennedy:

1. Before he was president he wasn't. Neither am I.
2. Both of us have ridden in convertibles
3. We both dated women named Jackie
4. He walked through the White House, so did I.
5. Both Kennedy and I travelled quite a bit in our times.
6. Kennedy went to Church too.
7. We both have the letters N, K and E in our names
8. We both thought Marilyn Monroe was hot.
9. Kennedy went to Berlin, as did I.
10. We've both been to Arlington National Cemetary.
11. Both Kennedy and I are males.
12. I didn't like Dallas much last time I visited either.
13. Neither Kennedy nor I have mastered the German language.
14 Both of us were succeeded by men named Johnson.
15. Both Kennedy and I have been to Boston.

Well okay, I am mocking a bit. But that list is eerie isn't it?
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Postby KR2 » October 11th, 2009, 7:33 am

Kroikey wrote:Below is a pseudo science site with the comparison on it. I'd appreciate any comments on whether it sounds better or worse than A440.
http://www.omega432.com/music.html

I listened to both versions of Silent Night and think the 432 sounds a little flat.
It sounds like the battery is dying on whatever device is playing that tune.
Some musicians deliberately tune down their instruments to give a funkier or jazzier sound . . . so some people might like that new twist on that well known song.

However, the 440 tune also sounded kind of weird. I don't know that much about music but the chords accompanying both tunes don't sound like major chords . . . which makes both tunes sound kind of strange since (I'm guessing here) that is the way most people are used to hearing it.
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Postby greybeard » October 11th, 2009, 10:00 am

KR2 wrote:However, the 440 tune also sounded kind of weird. I don't know that much about music but the chords accompanying both tunes don't sound like major chords . . . which makes both tunes sound kind of strange since (I'm guessing here) that is the way most people are used to hearing it.

As I understood it, there was only one recording with A=440Hz. The 432Hz version was the 440Hz take, adapted to 432Hz, so that the only difference would be the pitch.
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Postby Scrybe » October 12th, 2009, 12:33 pm

You go to church Nick? Now that is eerie...
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Postby Nick » October 12th, 2009, 5:56 pm

There aren't many that need it more than I. Besides you'd be surprised at how many hot, repressed and available women there are at church.
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Postby gnease » October 12th, 2009, 9:27 pm

greybeard wrote:
KR2 wrote:However, the 440 tune also sounded kind of weird. I don't know that much about music but the chords accompanying both tunes don't sound like major chords . . . which makes both tunes sound kind of strange since (I'm guessing here) that is the way most people are used to hearing it.

As I understood it, there was only one recording with A=440Hz. The 432Hz version was the 440Hz take, adapted to 432Hz, so that the only difference would be the pitch.


yeah -- except pitch is not the only difference. the person who created this comparo neglected to consider the interaction of the lossy codecs (whichever Flash was using of the many) and the differing frequency content of these cuts. this example was created in ignorance (I'm being nice) -- no understanding of how (or even simply that the) sampling rates, and frequency-dependent perceptual coding processes with render these cuts differently in ways beyond just frequency shifts, because the codecs algorithms are sensitive to absolute frequency. there is obvious pitch modulation in these cuts: it's codec induced; and it's not the same for each. this is what KR2 is hearing, not some natural, perceptual difference between A440 and A432 tuning.

sorry, Kroikey, but that comparo is seriously flawed. it's crappola.
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Postby Kroikey » October 13th, 2009, 1:45 am

I thought the same when I finally got to listen to it. I suppose its pointless to ask all to disregard the examples from that site and try your own test. Thought so lol...
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