scotscot Virtuoso
in Technique Posts: 654

Does anyone here use the 432 or 444 tuning instead of the "standard" of 440hz? 432 is called scientific, philosophical or Verdi pitch and has been the subject of discussion for centuries. I actually played in a band (not gypsy jazz) that used @432hz back in the 80s. Some folks say that 432 is more "harmonious" or something similar. I don't know about that, but my old Martin does seem a bit livelier at 432. Another of the many fascinating things in the wonderful world of music! Anybody?



  • Posts: 283

    That sounds like a pain in the butt for those who go to jams lol.

  • paulmcevoy75paulmcevoy75 Portland, MaineNew
    Posts: 95

    unless you have perfect pitch the only thing this is going to change is the instrument...your strings will be tighter or looser and your instrument will respond accordingly...floppier, darker, buzzier vs tighter, brighter, cleaner.

  • edited January 11 Posts: 4,776

    YT just suggested a comparison video that Paul Davids put out some years ago. Lot of out-there comments about the benefits of listening to him play with 432 tuning. When he just switched to play with 432 tuning after having played 440 (same piece) I made a stank face, that did not sound good to me. What surprised me the most was when he simply played A at 432 and 440. 432 sounded dull compared to 440, when he plucked A at 440 it came to life. This could simply be because of how the guitar was voiced. I'll tune to 432 and try it out and see what happens.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 654

    Since I retired from both working and playing much music, I read a lot and some of what I read is kind of esoteric. I read about tuning to 432 or 444 (like the post about the "tristan chord") in a book about alchemy. And thinking back, that old band I was in actually tuned a whole step low to make it difficult for diatonic instruments - dulcimers - to intrude on jam sessions at festivals. It made my old Gibson rattle. 432-444 is something that has been talked about for a long time, but as Paul said, on a string instrument it affects tension which affects the top which affects etc and on and on. No way to predict anything without trying it out.

  • PJDPJD New
    Posts: 38

    The Django Reinhardt video of J'attendrai is in 432hz. Someone must have noticed??

  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 654

    Really?! WTF?

  • PJDPJD New
    Posts: 38

    There are more Django recordings in 432hz, i read on the internet that Django used both tunings, i have not studied this, i don't know if this is true or maybe recordings have just been tuned down... i don't know... . I like old instruments and think the 432 tuning sounds better. I have a tuning fork keyboard (a dulcitone by Thomas and Machell ) from the 1900s that has 432hz tuning. The (what did I do to be so) Black and Blue recording of Louis Armstrong has a dulcitone (or something alike) in the beginning of the song and is in 432hz as well.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 469

    It looks like in Django's time A=332 just might have been the standard! sound played at 432,matter of convention and subjectivity.

    The article is a little unclear as to exact dates. But we can listen to all the recordings, organized by date, and see. (I had just assumed no one was particular about absolute pitch, but maybe I was wrong!)

  • WillieWillie HamburgNew
    Posts: 833

    No real standard pitch until 1939/1955 (but the whole thing is rather complicated because of historical and reginal developments, different pitches used by orchestras even nowadays, playing early music today, the difference between "Kammerton" and "Chorton" - not to mention different ideological approaches):
    "In 1939 an international conference recommended that the A above middle C be tuned to 440 Hz, now known as concert pitch. This was adopted as a technical standard by the International Organization for Standardization in 1955 and reaffirmed by them in 1975 as ISO 16."

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