Welcome, Dear Reader. How are you doing? Are you having a good day? Did you have a nice time during the holidays? Gee, that’s wonderful. You obviously did not spend those hours trying to decipher the physics and psychology of musical theory or navigating through the inane prattling of conspiracy theory blogs that seek to explain why off-key music has thrown the whole world into higgledy-piggledy.
Fortunately, the Commonplace Fun Facts research staff is unhindered by such things as friends, hobbies, or meaningful cultural pursuits. While you were making memories, we were working hard to provide this article for your edification and the betterment of humanity.
We hope you appreciate our sacrifice.
OK, enough whining. Welcome to our attempt to make sense of that burning question on your mind: should middle A be tuned to 440Hz or 432Hz. What’s that? You didn’t know that was a thing? Hold on, because there are a lot of people out there who think this issue goes well beyond musical taste; for them, the future and freedom of humanity are at stake.
Unquestionably, there is a lot of bad music out there. Coincidentally, it all seems to be played on the cars that drive past our house in the middle of the night. According to a bunch of people who claim to know what they’re talking about, pretty much all of today’s music is bad. It has nothing to do with the genre; it is all about how the music is tuned.
First, a bit of explanation and history.
Musical notes are assigned letters, A through G. A common practice for tuning musical instruments is to focus on A4. This is the first A after middle C. The modern standard is A = 440 Hertz (Hz), meaning that there are 440 vibrations per second to produce that sound.
440Hz for A is not set in stone. Standardization of musical tuning is a comparatively recent phenomenon. In 1939, the British Standards Institute hosted an international conference and issued a joint recommendation to set the standard for concert pitch at A=440Hz. This was not the first time such a recommendation had been made. Johann Heinrich Scheibler made the same proposal at the 1834 Stuttgart Congress of Physicists, and by 1917, the American Federation of Musicians had agreed to the “standard pitch” of A-440Hz. The International Organization for Standardization made A=440Hz a recommendation in 1955 and turned it into a standard in 1975.
Before 1939, few gave much attention to any kind of standard. Composers wrote to what sounded best to them. Musicians played according to what they preferred. A study by British mathematician Alexander Ellis revealed that pitch standards in 1880 ranged from 374 to 567Hz.
For a more detailed historical account of the standardization of A=440Hz, read “A Brief History of the Establishment of International Standard Pitch A=440 Hertz” by Lynn Cavanagh here.
By this point, you may be thinking, “Well, this is all terribly interesting, but what does any of this have to do with music making the world go bad? For the answer to this, meet Leonard Horowitz.
Leonard Horowitz is a brilliant man. Just ask him. His website lets everyone know that he is “the world’s best-credentialed, most-prolific, most-articulate, and most-pioneering natural healthcare authority” and is “deserving of a Nobel Prize for relaying the most provocative and important information in the world today!”
He demonstrates his unsurpassed knowledge of acoustics by declaring, “In the beginning there was only God and the ‘word.’ Word is sound, and sound is electromagnetic frequency. The world began when the Creator’s word acted on water, that is sound frequencies based on physics and mathematics were applied to water.”
This is a revolutionary thought, to say the least. It’s absolute bosh from beginning to end, to say the most. It does, however, give Horowitz the opportunity to peddle his Water Resonator, a device “for vibrating your water in the frequencies of ‘Love 528’ and divine design.” It can be yours for $29.95.
The self-proclaimed medical expert also offers his Liquid Dentist, that will restore even the most decayed tooth without the need of seeing a dentist: “REMEMBER, TEETH CAN BE NATURALLY HEALED WITHOUT DRILLING, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU STARVE THE VARMENTS CAUSING TOOTH DECAY BY AVOIDING DIETARY SUGARS. BESIDES SAVING YOUR TEETH, YOU CAN SAVE THE COST OF NEEDLESS TRIPS TO DENTISTS, AND ALL THE PAIN COMMONLY CAUSED BY DENTAL DISEASE AND EVEN GOOD DENTISTS.” The website leaves us to speculate about the curative properties of writing everything in all capital letters.
But back to music…. When Horowitz is not busy telling us how blessed we are to have him in our midst or selling his advanced medicinal discoveries, he spends his time warning us about the dangers of 440Hz music. He tells us that the world’s natural frequency is 444Hz. 440Hz, in contrast, is just a little bit off. We are willing to concede Horowitz’s expertise in the field of “Being a Little Bit Off.” Since musical tuning is a bit off from the natural order, it causes uneasiness, aggression, bouts of inexplicable anger, and a host of all those side effects that drug commercials warn us about.
According to Horowitz, standardizing music to A=440Hz was not just a bad idea. It was the deliberate efforts of the Illuminati, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Nazis to weaponize music and control the masses.
He explains his findings in “Musical Cult Control: The Rockefeller Foundation’s War on Consciousness Through the Imposition of A=440hz Standard Tuning.” With explanations that are basically on par with your typical Sovereign Citizen manifesto, Horowitz tells us:
The monopolization of the music industry features this imposed frequency that is “herding” populations into greater aggression, psychosocial agitation, and emotional distress predisposing people to physical illnesses and financial impositions profiting the agents, agencies, and companies engaged in the monopoly.
Horowitz has gained quite a following. One of his apologists, L.C. Vincent, explains the problems of 440Hz by coming to the startling conclusion that 440 is divisible by two. Realizing that he may not have been the first person to discover this sinister fact, he puts himself in the shoes of some nefarious person of influence:
You are an incredibly powerful, wealthy, influential person who secretly grows wealthier due to conflict, destruction, disease, death and war. You have discovered that certain sound frequencies (those easily divisible by two, signifying opposition) create conflict, discord and disharmony, within the minds of whoever may listen to them; while those divisible by three (signifying balance, polity, reconciliation, harmony) produce symmetry, and visually harmonic, pleasing structures.
The A=440Hz conspiracy proponents believe this is the best explanation for the decision to standardize music and the subsequent turmoil in which the world is embroiled.
For Horowitz, the best answer (aside from buying his books and health products) for restoring the world to the peaceful, stress-free world it always was before 1939, is to tune music with A=444Hz:
[The] A=444Hz (C5=528Hz) frequency … is most vividly displayed botanically [and] has been suppressed. That is, the “good vibrations” that the plant kingdom obviously broadcasts in its greenish-yellow display, remedial to emotional distress, social aggression, and more, has been musically censored. Thus, a musical revolution is needed to advance world health and peace, and has already begun with musicians retuning their instruments to perform optimally, impact audiences beneficially, and restore integrity to the performing arts and sciences. Music makers are thus urged to communicate and debate these facts, condemn the militarization of music that has been secretly administered, and retune instruments and voices to frequencies most sustaining and healing.
Sadly, no one seems to have pointed out to him that 444 is also divisible by two. Granted, that is pretty advanced math, so we are hopeful no terrorists discover this either. Another alternative is to go back to A=432Hz, the way music has been played since before the days of the ancient Egyptians. That frequency is sufficiently different from A=440Hz that it avoids most of the aforementioned ill effects.
There are other reasons why A=432Hz has benefits. The number 432 has special properties. It is, for example, the sum of four consecutive primes: 103, 107, 109, 113. It is exactly three gross, where gross = 144 is a traditional unit. An equilateral triangle whose area and perimeter are equal has the area of exactly the square root of 432. Additionally, there are allegedly 432 Buddha statues on Mount Meru. It has something to do with the GPS coordinates of chakras. You will even find someone pointing to a startling discovery by a Nike scientist that there are 432 dimples in a golf ball.
All of these are very significant to this discussion about music, mind control, and world domination because of… well… reasons.
It isn’t enough to go back to embracing the old way of tuning music, however. We first have to address the big problem of the proliferation of A=440Hz music. It is already being used by the US Navy and big media companies to control the masses. If you want evidence of this, Horowitz tells you to look no further than rock concerts. The reason so many women lost control, screamed, and threw themselves at the Beatles was because of the A=440Hz music that evokes strong emotions.
Those who are behind the A=440Hz conspiracy are not content to stop at creating a generation of screaming, out-of-control teenage girls, however. Horowitz warns that the whole thing began as part of a joint effort between the Rockefeller Foundation, which was in league with Mayer Amschel Bauer (Rothschild), creator and founder of the Illuminati, and the Nazis to pursue an agenda of eugenics and population control. Proof positive of this assertion is the fact that Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, was a featured participant in the 1939 British Standards Institute meeting.
You, of course, remember how close and chummy the United Kingdom and the Nazi leadership were in 1939, mere weeks before plunging into World War II. Naturally, a top-ranking Nazi leader would have been welcomed to London to conspire on how to control the world. What’s that? You don’t remember reading anything about that? Maybe it’s because it didn’t happen. The first published reference to such a thing was in a 1988 article in a Lyndon LaRouche magazine. LaRouche started as a follower of Leon Trotsky but found that Marxism was a little too warm and fuzzy for his tastes. He went on to warn the world about how the British royal family was engaged in drug trafficking, that H.G. Wells tried to control the world by redefining logic, and that the true spread of AIDS was through insect bites. Call us cynical, but we’d prefer a source with a wee bit more credibility.
Facts don’t seem to get in the way of a good conspiracy theory, however. If you type A=440Hz into any search engine, you will be rewarded with a plethora of articles and memes that assert that John Lennon, Prince, and Jimi Hendrix played their music exclusively at A=432Hz. You will also be treated to quotes by Plato that one shouldn’t interfere with the natural tuning of melodies. You will see plenty of articles that purport that the musical instruments of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks were all tuned to A=432Hz.
Before you buy into all of that, keep in mind that you can find lots of things on the internet that will tell you the earth is flat, Reptilians control the world governments, and that pineapple tastes good when you put it on pizza.
Before you drink the Kool-Aid (or eat the pineapple pizza, for that matter), let’s look at some of the facts.
First, concerning the “natural frequency” of the earth, we have known since the 1940s that the planet’s rotation is not constant. Any number of things can affect how it moves, such as the dam in China that lengthened the day by 0.06 microseconds. Coming up with a “natural frequency” that is unchanging is doubtful, at best.
Beyond that, there’s no indication that anyone was particularly sold on A=432Hz for musical tuning in ancient Egypt or any time before 1939. For one thing, the way a second was measured was far from universal until the 20th century. The practice of dividing a minute into 60 smaller segments did not appear until the 16th century. Even then, clocks ticked at different rates and there was no practical way to synchronize clocks over even short distances. The first clocks that could accurately keep track of seconds over long periods didn’t appear until the 18th century. When talking about the difference between 432 vibrations per second and 440 vibrations per second in the days before accurate measurements of seconds wasn’t high on anyone’s list of priorities.
If, however, you want to press the issue, consider the numbers. We are told that numbers mean everything. The definition of a second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom. That means that A=432Hz, the special curative number of great significance, is one vibration per 21,279,240.2083 periods of radiation of a rare chemical element. Numerologists, knock yourselves out.
And then there’s the fact that…. Oh, for crying out loud, what’s the point? If we’ve learned anything from our dealings with Sovereign Citizens, no amount of facts will make a difference. If you’re inclined to believe all of this musical conspiracy stuff, maybe you need to get off the internet and listen to some actual music. Perhaps that will calm your frail nerves.