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originally posted by: Astyanax
There are no specific audio frequencies to which all human bodies resonate. This is because human bodies come in different shapes and sizes, with different-sized and -shaped cavities inside them. No frequency — 432Hz, 440Hz or any other number — can possibly have the same special physical effect on all humans.
What about psychological effects? That's a more subtle question. Still, for all but a few musicians and non-musicians, who are blessed with perfect pitch, the experience of pitch (that is, frequency) is relative, not absolute. You can tell whether one note is higher or lower than another, but you can't tell what frequency (pitch) the note is.
Even someone with perfect pitch would find it hard to tell whether a piece of music was played in an A=432 or A=440-derived scale, unless two otherwise identical pieces in the two different scales were played one after the other. And whether someone has perfect pitch or not, I am willing to bet they couldn't even identify single notes as belonging to one or the other of the respective scales unless some other tones were played for comparison purposes.
You may, of course, argue that the difference is subliminally perceptible. However, there would have to be some proof of this claim (MRI scans showing different activity in the relevant parts of the brain, perhaps?) before it could be accepted.
It is untrue to say that music was ever widely made in scales derived from an A=432 reference. There was no standard reference frequency used anywhere in the world before the twentieth century, so instruments (even church organs) were all over the shop as regards pitch. They could vary by over a fifth! This obviously created a big problem for travelling musicians, especially singers, as well as for instrument builders, piano tuners, etc., which is why a standard pitch, A=440, eventually came to be adopted.
The Nazis had very little to do with that, except for the fact that the frequency A=440, a compromise among various proposals submitted to an international conference on the subject held in London, was suggested by the German broadcasting authorities, and Hitler was in power in Germany at this time.
My education was in physics with a specialization in musical acoustics, and I have been a musician myself for more than 35 years. In my somewhat informed opinion, there is no merit to the claims made for A=432. Tuning slightly below concert pitch or playing very slightly flat on any instrument does tend to give an apparently 'fuller' and more emotional sound, but this is also an effect of relative pitch (other instruments in the ensemble have to be playing in tune). Besides, it is not associated with any particular frequency or set of frequencies.
Here are the results of a lab experiment conducted by a professor of acoustics to see whether people preferred A440, A432 or another reference frequency. Click the link and see the results for yourself. They will surprise some of you. If you read the whole blog post you will get a few more surprises. You should also read the comments, most of which are from A=432 defenders.
Still not convinced? Here's a (somewhat less scientific) test you can take yourself. What do your ears tell you?
If anyone wishes to debate me on this I am happy to do so, but please don't waste your time and mine by showering me with links to the usual internet twaddle about Nazis, cymatics, stones moved by chanting, Tibetan bowls, chakras, musical cures for cancer, etc, etc, etc. I have read all that, thanks. Genuine experiments or theoretical arguments in acoustics, psychoacoustics or physiology, the results of double-blind listening tests — that's what I'm interested in.
the body while being of different sizes and shapes still has the same materials making it right? So on the atomic level that material is vibrating the same and being pushed by vibrations the same.
If I make a small guitar out of Brazilian rosewood or a big guitar they still resonate the same notes.
an instrument with sympathetic strings: No matter what size the chamber of the instrument or shape sympathetic strings will resonate with a louder fundamental tone right through the overtone series.
Ratios of just intonation have a definite impact on the mind.
The prime number ratios that happen in acoustics happen across the cosmos in cell divisions, planet distances, molecular bonds etc.
The pitches from overtones have a definite impact of body both physiologically and psychologically. Much more so than equal temperament.
You could say since there is no study its not true. But the world is full of anecdotal evidence to prove otherwise.
As far as pitch 432 to 440 is what 8 cents that's pretty audible to a trained ear.
I can hear the two cent difference between a perfect 5th in just or a perfect fifth in equal if I listen hard.
Seriously though open your mind up a little.
Volume: What does that matter?
You quite expertly left out my arguments points.
Where as not explaining what happens acoustically to objects of different size.
Just because a bigger instrument has the ability reproduce and respond better to the audible range does in know way mean they are not present in the smaller instrument.
My point that you either missed or choose to ignore is that response mechanically is much much more effected by the shape/design and materials than the size when they are relative.
I can build a guitar with more bass as a baby than a $100 dreadnaught.
Your argument for the different size of human resonance chambers is not large enough to create a big difference.
Another fallacy is there are not studies already. There are lots of studies on music and its relationship with brain activity.
Do you know for sure that mechanical sound waves in the ear drum do not become electromagnetic in the brain and travel through the nervous system?
Your asking me to put together a research project for you when I know there is plenty of info out there.
Relative pitch is just a name for somebody that has to use ear training to have perfect pitch.
When I studied raga all meaning every of my teachers could guess a note without one being played first.
No one ever said anything about the simplistic physics of one frequency or another, or the almost unnoticeable difference between 8Hz.
Originally posted by dezertdog
432 Hz is in harmony with nature 440 Hz is in opposition to it.
Originally posted by KAOStheory
I use only A432Hz in my work.
I suggest you read Maria Renolds' book, then get back to us when you understand the physics of chords played by stringed instruments in Equal Temperament.
originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: KAOStheory
Why would you do that — and suffer the inconvenience of being out of tune with the rest of the musical world, which uses A=440 — unless you thought there was something special about A=432?
You are missing the point ENTIRELY.
I do cymatics too.
Why do you think militay marching bands tune to A444 or higher, but Hindu Ragas are A432?
The metaphysics only come in if you believe in the Chakra correlations to the 7 colors of the solar spectrum, and the C# and B theories of Om and the Schumann Earth Resonance. I do, so if you believe these things, fine, let's talk.