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Topic: High-quality playbacking of music in 432 Hz tuning (Read 1745 times) previous topic - next topic
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High-quality playbacking of music in 432 Hz tuning


I want to present you my blog and its first article, which is dedicated to 432 Hz tuning, and so will be another 2 articles. Firstly, I want to enlighten or explain this a little, whichever wording you prefer.
You may care about quality of reproduction, about quality of recording, bit-perfect playbacking, resolution of audio, sound cards, DACs, amplifiers, cables, speakers or headphones, and it is all good, at least considering the things I mentioned, because they do matter, but there is one thing in music in general which appears to be overlooked → tuning. Tuning at which that song or a composition was recorded in.

At some point of time it was set by certain people that A = 440 Hz is a standard, but why? And it is interesting, but the answer to it is something, which can't be easily found. At least I didn't find it - a logical reasoning why 440 Hz should be the standard tuning. Although I know that some tests were done with a tonometer, I don't actually know about an easily accessible study which would show superiority of this tuning and if there is any, it should be known to musicians and probably even explained at music schools, shouldn't it? But it isn't that case.

Of course, there are other tunings too, and also a so-called scientific pitch, known as the Verdi tuning, or possibly a natural tuning, which seems to be in some way, or at least in more ways than the standard tuning, in accord with laws and principles of the Universe, or with the nature. And it is the tuning I am writing on my blog about, where A = 432 Hz. But of course, there are different opinions on that. For instance, someone suggests that A4 = 432 Hz or C4 = 256 Hz is meant for Pythagorean tuning rather than the equal tuning. Anyway, it can be used with the equal temperament tuning as well.

It is possible that someone may dispute this and have an opinion, such as that the musicians know better what they do. They are professionals after all. The truth is, that it is being overlooked by many people, professional musicians including. Many of them blindly accept it and the result is, that most of music is recorded with the 440 Hz tuning. And you know, piano tuners tune at the standard and commonly other instruments adjust their tuning according to piano. And even instruments are being built to be able to play or tune well using this pitch.

If you are interested in hearing a comparison and listening music using this tuning, which is what matters to me - the fact how it sounds, you can find such videos and videos with retuned music, but also an original music using this tuning. But of course, the audio in online videos is usually compressed and in case of retuning it may not be clear what method was used, so there can be audible artifacts and therefor, it may not be ideal for you.

In my article I explain how to play music on a PC in this tuning while preserving its tempo and possibly still maintaining character of instruments and/or vocals. Of course, it is an overall change, 8 Hz difference, but it is possible to still have a very high quality of reproduction after retuning. So it depends on what you prefer, I guess.

By the way, I plan on to make a comparison recorded using a microphone with flat frequency response, so if it's possible, you could hear yourself in a good quality and accurately how each tuning sounds to you. Actually, even with altered hearing, the change could be noticable. I do realize that recording made in this tuning and a recording which was retuned are different things, but I explain that in the article.



Re: High-quality playbacking of music in 432 Hz tuning

Reply #1
432 Hz seems to be just another number without any special significance over others. Tuning your music to a specific frequency will not unlock cosmic powers, or make your music sound better or worse. Having said that, there is no rule or law that requires musicians to stick to the standard tuning of A=440Hz....

GIMF  :)
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  ;~)

Re: High-quality playbacking of music in 432 Hz tuning

Reply #2
I think I was already reading this article earlier a bit.

The author doesn't give a reasoning to his resolute claim, so it basically makes the whole article quite untrustworthy. Actually, it makes sense that it's missing a reasoning, because the conclusion is wrong. Changing pitch changes how music sounds. ...this is clear.

The article seems to be made to look conclusive, but states some hypothetic fictions, which I actually haven't seen much elsewhere... like a statement, that Verdi or Mozart used 432 Hz tuning for all their music. Notice the word “all“. It changes the meaning a lot.

In my opinion, there are some interesting information, but also a wrong claims which lack an explanation and need a wider research.

Re: High-quality playbacking of music in 432 Hz tuning

Reply #3
I updated the article with a caution regarding low frequency tones and clipping after retuning.