Music tuned to A=432Hz/C=256Hz harmonizes with the speed of light, the human light body, the Earth’s rotation, the size and movement of other celestial bodies and Tiger Woods’ golf ball.
A couple years ago I didn’t give a second thought about using or not using the standard tuning pitch, A=440Hz, for sound healing. Why would it matter? Sound is sound, right?
As it turns out, the tuning pitch A=432Hz is much more effective than A=440Hz for healing and meditation. And by happy coincidence, it is also the basis for the philosophers’ Music of the Spheres — the motion and dimensions of the sun, the Earth, the moon, Saturn and Tiger Woods’ golf ball.
Music tuned to A432/C256 harmonizes with the speed of light, the human light body, the Earth’s rotation and the size and movement of other celestial bodies. It also has a mathematical basis and a long tradition of use in classical music extending into the 1950s. It’s also used in medical diagnosis.
My personal experience is that music tuned to A432 is relaxing and soothing compared to A440 music, which is exciting but harsh.
I became aware of using A=432Hz as a reference pitch for tuning my harp through the videos of Jamie Buturff (see “Sources” at the end of this article), which piqued my interest so I gave it a try.
Tuning my harp to A432, I led a live harp meditation with my regular group without hinting that something had changed. The resulting “Wow” convinced me that using A432 as a tuning reference is not just a great idea, but essential for healing and meditation music. And after some research, I learned that tuning to 432Hz to 435Hz has quite a tradition and history, and that the current reference pitch, A440, turns out to be an arbitrary standard with no musical or scientific basis.
What’s a reference pitch?
To explain, the “reference pitch” is what musicians use to tune their instruments and to tune to each other. So the pitch A above middle C is tuned to the frequency 432Hz. (“Hz” means cycles or vibrations per second and is pronounced “hertz.”) The other notes are tuned relative to the reference pitch, also called the tuning pitch or concert pitch. In history, the pitch C was also used as a reference, and its pitch relative to A432 is 256Hz.
A strong tradition
Before the A440 standard, tuning pitches varied but there was a strong preference in Europe for a reference pitch in the range of A432 to A435, with A435 being used as recently as the 1950s by the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Joseph Sauveur (1653-1716), a contemporary of Bach and considered the father of musical acoustics, defined middle C as 256Hz. The leading acoustician in Beethoven’s time was Ernst Chladni (1756-1827), whose textbook on music theory explicitly defined C as 256Hz, the “scientific” tuning. Classical composer Giacomo Rossini (1792-1868) complained about higher tunings then prevalent in Italy saying, “We call A in Rome, what is B-flat in Paris.” The “French” A at that time was, by law, 435Hz, but in Italy it varied from A442 to A450.
A440 was slowly adopted as an international standard between 1955 and 1975, after being proposed by Germany in 1939.
432 is the frequency of light
The magic lies in the speed of light, the human light body and the math. It turns out that 432 squared —186,624 — is within 1 percent of the speed of light, currently measured as 186,282 miles per second. The square root of the measured speed of light is 431.6.
Notes tuned relative to A432 harmonize directly with the light body allowing the vibrations to penetrate, and through entrainment, bring your energetic essence into balance. Entrainment is the tendency for a strong vibration to influence a weaker vibration.
So the strong 432Hz resonance brings an unbalanced light body into resonance with true light. Energy healing modalities such as Reiki use the same principle. Using A440 as a reference has no energetic benefit that I am aware of, and may actually be an unbalancing force.
In April 2011 a study, “Effects of Life Wave Music on Human Biofield,” by the Center for Biofield Sciences in India was commissioned to study the effects of sounds based on the A432 tuning. The results indicate that A432 has positive effects on the human body and emotions, including:
- Reduced stress levels
- Fewer lower backache complaints
- Less depression
- Fewer muscle spasms
- Less chronic fatigue syndrome
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced insomnia
- Better concentration
Music of the Spheres
Ancient philosophy refers to the “Music of the Spheres,” and Pythagoras taught that music should be based on C256. In his day music was for healing and praising the Creator and not a delivery system for entertainment.
Mathematically, C256 is associated with the number 2 — 256 is 2 raised to the eighth power: 28, or 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2=256. This is where Pythagorean pitch comes from, using 2 as the basis, and using the pitch C as a reference instead of A.
[Update, March 7, 2013: I want to clarify that I am not advocating “Pythagorean tuning” for music, as it simply doesn’t work. I’m stating that Pythagoras advocated tuning to C256 as a standard tuning pitch, but the Pythagorean formula of tuning other pitches of the scale to pure fifths is a different topic. Please reference, see my blog post, "Tuning vs. Temperament" for more details.]
In the magic of musical physics, doubling the frequency of a pitch gives you the same pitch an octave higher, and conversely, cutting the frequency in half yields the same pitch an octave lower. So, Using 256Hz as the reference for C, all occurrences of C are a power of 2.
Frequency in Hz (cycles per second)
Power of 2
|C – 3 octaves higher||
|C – 2 octaves higher||
|C – 1 octave higher||
|C – 1 octave lower||
|C – 2 octaves lower||
|C – 3 octaves lower||
Working through the math, it turns out that the Earth’s “pitch” as it rotates is G, a fourth below the theoretical C that lies 24 octaves below middle C, when C=256Hz. So C256/A432 is in tune with the Earth’s rotation. (See “The math,” below, to go through the computations.)
Other interesting coincidences with 432 include:
- The diameter of the sun is 864,000 miles: 432 x 2 = 864
- The diameter of the moon is 2160 miles: 432 x 5 = 2160
- Saturn orbits the precession of the equinoxes over 864 of its years: 432 x 2 = 864
- The precession of the equinoxes is 25,920 years: 432 x 60 = 25,920
- Divide the precession of the equinoxes by 12 (25,920 / 12 = 2160), and you get the length of an astrological age: 2160 years: 432 x 5 = 2160
- The Ancient Indian time periods, Yugas, are in increments of 432 and added together are 4.32 million years. The current Yuga, Kali Yuga, is 432,000 years.
- There are 432 Buddha statues at Mt. Meru, India
- Tiger Woods uses a golf ball with 432 dimples to reduce drag.
So, A432 really is the pitch basis for the Music of the Spheres. When you tune to A432, you’re in tune with the universe and Tiger Woods’ golf ball.
I could go on but I want to keep this blog short. Here are some other interesting facts about tuning to A432/C256:
- Singing to A432 is much easier and healthier, and Verdi insisted on A432 for his operas, and wrote the vocal parts assuming the bel canto vocal break at F#. At A440, the break is at F, which is awkward for singing.
- In October 1953, a referendum of 23,000 French musicians voted overwhelmingly in favor of A=432Hz in the face of Germany and Britain pushing an A=440Hz standard.
- A “C” tuning fork is recommended as a way to detect bone fractures without an X-ray. Specifically, 128Hz, which is one octave below middle C tuned to 256hz.
- Tuning forks used to detect hearing loss are tuned at 512Hz and 1024Hz, two and three octaves above middle C tuned to 256hz. I could write a whole article on how C256 is vibrationally compatible with the structure of the ear. Maybe some other time.
- Rudolf Steiner warned that using “Luciferian” brightness and tones in music could bring a condensing of greed forces in the West, as opposed to A432/C256, which he compared to the Christ consciousness of ascendant energy.
My conclusion is that music tuned to A432 is healing because of its resonance with light, and I propose that all music be performed using the A432 pitch. (Unless, of course, your intention is to be harsh on purpose.)
Try it at home!
Right now! Compare Sample One, below, which is tuned to A440, and Sample Two, which is tuned to A432 and see if you can feel a difference. Use the comments section, below, to let me know what you think. (Headphones are highly recommended.)
How to compute that the G 24 octaves below middle C is the same frequency in Hz as the rotation of Earth, assuming C=256Hz/A=432Hz.
Compute Earth’s rotation in Hz:
- Earth rotates once every 24 hours, which also equals 1,440 minutes (24×60=1440) or 86,400 seconds (1440×60=86,400). So Earth’s rotational “frequency” is 1/86,400 cycles per second. Dividing 1 by 86,400 yields 0.0000115.
- So the frequency of Earth’s rotation is 0.0000115Hz
Now, compute G 24 octaves below middle C:
- Halve 256Hz 24 times, which equals 0.0000152Hz
- G is a fourth below that. Using the Pythagorean ratio of 3:4 for an interval of a fourth, multiply 0.0000152Hz by three (0.0000152 x 3 = 0.0000456) and divide that result by 4 to get 0.0000114Hz, the pitch of G 24 octaves below middle C — C256. (0.0000456/4=0.0000114).
- Or cut 256Hz in half 25 times (0.0000076Hz) and compute the G above that, which is an interval of a fifth, computed by Pythagoras as 2:3. That’s 0.0000076×3 = 0.0000228, divided by 2 equals 0.0000114Hz.
“Effects of Life Wave Music on Human Biofield,” by the Center for Biofield Sciences, India