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440hz? 432hz?

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Ebbie 04 Mar 15 - 12:50 AM
Will Fly 04 Mar 15 - 03:30 AM
BobL 04 Mar 15 - 03:34 AM
Will Fly 04 Mar 15 - 03:38 AM
Mr Red 04 Mar 15 - 04:01 AM
G-Force 04 Mar 15 - 04:14 AM
Jack Campin 04 Mar 15 - 05:03 AM
FreddyHeadey 04 Mar 15 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 04 Mar 15 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Mar 15 - 12:10 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 04 Mar 15 - 02:55 PM
Ebbie 04 Mar 15 - 05:39 PM
meself 04 Mar 15 - 05:57 PM
GUEST 04 Mar 15 - 07:43 PM
Don Firth 04 Mar 15 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Peter Sumner 04 Mar 15 - 08:36 PM
Crowhugger 04 Mar 15 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Mar 15 - 12:58 AM
Mr Red 05 Mar 15 - 03:08 AM
Greg F. 05 Mar 15 - 08:31 AM
Jack Campin 05 Mar 15 - 10:02 AM
Don Firth 05 Mar 15 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,RBerman 05 Mar 15 - 02:02 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 15 - 02:28 PM
Jack Campin 05 Mar 15 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 06 Mar 15 - 03:39 AM
Mr Red 06 Mar 15 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,Spooked 06 Mar 15 - 08:29 AM
Jack Campin 06 Mar 15 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,# 06 Mar 15 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Mar 15 - 09:48 AM
Jack Campin 06 Mar 15 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 06 Mar 15 - 10:37 AM
Will Fly 06 Mar 15 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Mar 15 - 10:49 PM
Don Firth 07 Mar 15 - 12:55 AM
Mr Red 07 Mar 15 - 04:57 AM
Jack Campin 07 Mar 15 - 05:27 AM
GUEST 07 Mar 15 - 11:58 AM
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Subject: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 12:50 AM

All these years I thought that 440 hz versus any other vibration (?) meant simply that different disciplines required different tunings. Not so, I guess. I'd like to hear some commentary on the subject. That 440 hz may have some anti-social effect seems bizarre to me.

"Most music worldwide has been tuned to 440 hertz since the International Standards Organization (ISO) endorsed it in 1953. The recent rediscoveries of the vibratory / oscillatory nature of the universe indicate that this contemporary international concert pitch standard may generate an unhealthy effect or anti-social behavior in the consciousness of human beings.

"A=432 Hz, known as Verdi's 'A' is an alternative tuning that is mathematically consistent with the universe. Music based on 432 Hz transmits beneficial healing energy, because it is a pure tone of math fundamental to nature.

More


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 03:30 AM

Oh - one of those articles. More conspiracy theory...

I like one of the comments underneath the article:

"I have a guitar tuner and recording software that allows me to 'tune' to any frequency. 440hz tuning has treated me just fine for 39 years."

If you look at the history of tuning in Europe over several hundred years - based on tuning forks from the period - you'll see large variations in pitch well below and above 440Hz. You can draw your own conclusions from that - I know what mine are. :-)


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: BobL
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 03:34 AM

Fruitloopery.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Will Fly
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 03:38 AM

Ebbie - I forgot to mention the story of Sir Thomas Beecham, the famous conductor - knonw as "Tommy" - who was preparing the orchestra at a rehearsal, and who asked the oboe player to give the orchestra an A to tune to. After the note was played, Tommy turned to the orchestra and said, "Gentlemen - take your pick".


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Mr Red
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 04:01 AM

440 is the way we all work together.
I would like to see the reasoning for a number like 432, the references that Wiki comes up with are:
Verdi tuning, where middle C is 256. a very good binary number and one assumes there is implied sympathy with Octaves being a factor of 2. But is everyones' ear tuned to the same perfect pitch? I doubt it.
Pythagorean tuning which only mentions 432 as an example if D is 288 but why?
Wiki search for "music 432" which throws up a lot of weird associations, political etc.

And FWIW soloists like Nigel Kennedy traditionally play a tad sharper than the orchestra because it makes them sound brighter, or did I mean egoists?

on Wiki on Concert Pitch there would appear to be a measure of agreement around the world - ish. One might say "one more Hz no-one!.



I'll get my coat


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: G-Force
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 04:14 AM

Well I don't know about you but I quite like the sound of music slightly out of tune.

If someone is playing my concertina, I can always tell what key they're playing in by the way it 'howls'. Beautiful.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 05:03 AM

This is a good survey of what it's all about:

http://longform.org/stories/pitch-battles


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 08:02 AM

Good link Jack, though I couldn't get through all of it. I'm impressed that anyone can write so much on the subject!

Someone gives some examples here : 440 / 432 guitar clips


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 09:07 AM

Nikola Tesla felt that frequencies were very important. He said that electric current alternating at certain frequencies is deadly, while at other frequencies it's harmless; and he passed high voltage through his own body at the right frequency to demonstrate that.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 12:10 PM

I read a book by the famous flautist James Galway. He said that it is not true, even today, that A440 is a standard pitch. Orchestras are highest in Germany and lowest in the United States.

Pay no attention to that stuff about 432 being a healing tone constant in nature. It's 432 beats per second, and if mankind had made the length of a second longer or shorter than it is, then the number 432 would change.

Has anybody else noticed that 432 = 36 dozen?


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 02:55 PM

While it's true that 432 has no real significance because the length of a second is an arbitrary human convention, the length of an earth day is not arbitrary, and the number of vibrations per day at 432 hertz is 37,324,800. That would be true regardless of what arbitrary segments of time the day were broken into. And 37,324,800 is a very special number. It is the exact number of people in the world who believe the number 432 has some special significance. And t is a constant. It never varies. In order for a new person to believe in the cosmic relevance of 432 hertz, someone else must first change his mind or get hit by a truck.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 05:39 PM

Thanks, BWL. Your answer is most helpful. :)


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: meself
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 05:57 PM

Hmm ... that might explain all those trucks trying to run me over - because I've made it known that I will not change my mind on this or any other subject!


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 07:43 PM

Thanks, BWL, another coffee-logged keyboard....


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 08:11 PM

The Greek mathematician, scientist, and philosopher, Pythagoras (570 – c. 495 BC), and bane of modern high school geometry students (rule for right triangles: the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides—reminds me of a horrible joke, but I'll put it on the joke thread….) was convinced that the universe was made up of, and could be described by, numbers—various ratios and such.   Considering that he was essential right, I'd say that's not bad for a guy wearing a bedsheet and sandals and kicking around some 25 centuries ago.

Fascinated by the sound of the humming of plucked strings, he experimented with a thing called a "monochord," finding the harmonics of the string by touching the string at various points along its length. He recognized that the note produced by touching the string at its halfway point and plucking it produced a note that was higher, but, somehow recognizably the same note (the octave). But when he touched a point at one-third the length, he got a distinctly different note.

So he tuned another string to that note, and repeated the experiment with the new string. He kept repeating this until he had twelve strings, each tune to a different note—before he began getting repeated notes.

He had discovered the overtone series—and the 12 tone scale.

Music written using all twelve notes was what some modern composers call "atonal" and lacks a "musical center." It took experiments over the centuries, using selected notes from the twelve tones that Pythagoras had discovered to come up with a whole family of scales (modes), eventually settling on the scales (major, and three variations of the minor) that are most commonly used today.

Pythagoras was convinced that the whole cosmos resonated to these notes. Now, if he could only figure out what all this meant….

Of course the question remains. What note was his original string tuned to?

And does it really have any significance? Or is it purely arbitrary?

Note: Owners of fine stringed instruments get a bit perturbed and understandably upset when the edict comes out that "we're cranking our standard pitch up another notch." That sickening splintering wood sound you just heard is someone's $3,000,000 Stradivarius pulling apart….

Music of the Spheres? Chakras? Gerald McBoing-Boing sneezing? Dunno….

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,Peter Sumner
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 08:36 PM

A440 was and probably still is call 'British Standard Pitch'
I still use it in my concert work but do prefer to work at A441 and A442.
Worked with a German Orchestra here in California a few years ago and they required A443.
The higher pitch produces closer coincidental partials which gives a 'tighter' sound and more clarity.....a generally happier sound...in my humble opinion....
If a piano is usually tuned to 440 is takes quite an effort to get it to 442 and then keep it there...given that there is 20 tons of tension on a piano plate (frame) is seems fine to me that they get grumpy when someone disturbs their normal state...

Hope that helps...

Peter Sumner
Curator of Pianos
Stanford University
California


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 09:20 PM

Since at least the 1700s folks have been conspiring to keep us guessing how high or low to tune when in Rome or Germany or...
http://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory27.htm#chartofpitch
Seems like a fairly reputable website.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 12:58 AM

Good heavens, from 376 to 570. Thanks, Crowhugger

At church I play recorder with a fine violinist and a good pianist. The violinist tells me that the piano changes pitch throughout the service, and she adjusts to it. I adjust by listening intently to her and trying to match.

I don't know if I succeed, but nobody's complained so far. I doubt if anybody notices the the pitch is changing. I certainly can't tell.

The violinist is from Taiwan. Many Asian people have perfect pitch because pitch can determine meaning in their language.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Mr Red
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 03:08 AM

A tuning fork used by Handel (Handled by Handel?) is currently A415 and doubtless was when used.

It is not just the precise length of the day that is imprecise, the Earth precesses, its orbit is variously oval depending on where Jupiter is (othe planets are available). So 365.25 days in a year is only an approximation (on any given year). When was the last Leap Second thrown in?

The human form varies, and internal resonances follow, and so does our exposure to musical pitch.

But it is one of those unfathomable coincidences that in 432 there should be a common factor of 12 (cf notes in the scale).

But is not A a strange note to standardise on, why not middle C?
for A440 - 260.74074074074074074074074074074?
or in A441 Germany 261.33333333333333333333333333333zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
or in A442 Germany 261.92592592592592592592592592593zzzzzzzzzzzzz
or to Handel 245.92592592592592592592592592593

not as neat but isn't music all about aesthetics?

As for Pianos - didn't Yamaha produce a self tuning piano? They ran current along each wire to heat them up, that way the electronics could constantly adjust the heating and hence the tension. 1/2 an hour would tune to any pianist's pecadillos. And stay there.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Greg F.
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 08:31 AM

Music based on 432 Hz transmits beneficial healing energy, because it is a pure tone of math fundamental to nature.


Yes, but do you have to be inside a pyramid holding a crystal walking widdershins for it to work?


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 10:02 AM

Many Asian people have perfect pitch because pitch can determine meaning in their language.

In tonal languages, it isn't absolute pitch that determines meaning - if that was the case, people with bass and soprano voices would have no shared vocabulary. So perfect pitch is irrelevant.

This has been investigated with speakers of the tonal languages of Africa, and it seemed that perfect pitch mainly correlated with being brought up from infancy in a quiet environment, like a rural village.

I don't know where Don's stuff about Pythagoras comes from, but it's urban legend. The ancient Greeks never had scales with 12 pitches, and neither did mediaeval musicians who used "Pythagorean" tuning.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 01:58 PM

Jack, that is NOT "urban legend!"

Look it up for yourself. Pythagoras's experiments with monochords and the conclusions he drew can be found in many books on music history.

If you have better information, then let's see some documentation.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,RBerman
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 02:02 PM

The Greeks never had a single "scale" in the modern sense which had twelve pitches, or seven for that matter. However:

"Unique to the Greek system were the concepts of *tetrachord* and *genus.* A tetrachord (literally 'four strings') comprised four notes spanning a perfect fourth... Since most melodies exceeded a fourth, theorists combined tetrachords over a larger range... Cleonides noted that in the diatonic genus, the three main consonances of perfect fourth, perfect fifth, and octave were subdivided into tones and semitones in only a limited number of ways, which he called species...

"The seven species of octave... are combinations of the species of fourth and fifth, a division of the octave that became important in medieval and Renaissance theory. Cleonides identified the species by what 'the ancients' supposedly called them... Later writers, including Aristoxenus, Cleonides, and Aristides Quintilianus, used the same names for up to fifteen different *tonoi*, defining a *tonos* as a scale or set of pitches within a specific range or region of the voice. These essentially involve transposing the system of tones up or down by some number of semitones. Like *harmoniai*, tonoi were associated with character and mood, the higher tonoi being energetic and the lower tonoi sedate."

(A History of Western Music, Burkholder, 9th Edition, 2014, pp. 15-17)


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 02:28 PM

Thanks for that, RBerman. I was aware of that, but I did not say that the Greeks used a 12-tone scale. In fact, I didn't specify any specific scale or scales. The so-called Greek modes were more a matter of Medieval ecclesiastical music.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 02:29 PM

Cleonides identified the species by what 'the ancients' supposedly called them

Yep - ever since Aristoxenus, music theory has been a game of Chinese Whispers attributing ideas to predecessors that they would never have recognized as their own. It's only been in very recent decades that people have been able to get closer to what ancient music theorists really intended to say.

Some of the thoroughly unhelpful factors that distorted our perceptions of the history of music theory have been

* the near-deification of Pythagoras in pagan times, which meant that his own ideas got buried in a farrago of myth

* the tendency of theorists like Aristoxenus to act like the drunk searching for his watch under the streetlight, by ignoring ubiquitous kinds of music they didn't know how to theorize about

* 2500 years of ignorance about music theory preceding classical Greece, which has only been interpreted quite recently by scholars like Anne Kilmer. (The Greeks didn't invent the tetrachord - players of aulos-type instruments would have known about it 1000 years before the Greeks ever produced a theory of anything).


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 03:39 AM

Look it up for yourself. Pythagoras's experiments with monochords and the conclusions he drew can be found in many books on music history.
Well Wiki thinks there is a lot of whoey about Pythagorus's theories on music. It agrees that he pondered just strings and octave, though.
Pythagorus, music and harmonies (scale etc) on Wiki


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 04:00 AM

Pure supposition but
Anyone who was a musician with a multi-stringed instrument could not fail to notice that a string with a fundamental 2/3 of another were somehow related. And if that perspicacious muso/mathematician were to set the two strings at 1/2 and 1/3 distance (at the correct respective tensions) the result would be a eureka moment. Even geniuses can miss the obvious - but old Pythy?

Didn't J S Bach spot just these kind of relationships?


Or am I being a lyre?

I'll get my toga....


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,Spooked
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 08:29 AM

No word of a lie, I woke up early this morning and looked at my watch and it said 4.32

Is some one trying to convince me?

Please stop sending me these subliminal messages, who ever you are...


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 08:34 AM

Anyone who was a musician with a multi-stringed instrument could not fail to notice that a string with a fundamental 2/3 of another were somehow related. And if that perspicacious muso/mathematician were to set the two strings at 1/2 and 1/3 distance (at the correct respective tensions) the result would be a eureka moment.

It was, but it first happened to Mersenne in the early 17th century.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 08:48 AM

If 432hz, maybe 440hz more?


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 09:48 AM

... give or take a bit of the fog of memory...

.. but I'm sure 35 years or so ago the humming buzzing noise of my first Braun shaver
was so close to "G" I could tune my guitar to it...


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 09:55 AM

British electricity is in A flat. Any mains-powered gizmo will hum at a multiple of 50Hz. You must have been playing a semitone sharp, unless it was battery-powered (were they, that long ago?).

I use a manual twin-blade. No musical implications that I can think of.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:37 AM

G -> A flat... close enough for punk rock when you're a 19 year old....

Yeah.. it was a mains shaver...

Thinking about it a bit more.. wasn't one of the tones on late 70s telephones
a constant do-able guitar tuning note ???

maybe sort of close enough to G again ???

Well it was either that or tuning all the band's guitars to the knackered old piano
in me nan's front room...

Not so long afterwards I invested in an A tuning fork.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:50 AM

From now on, all instruments will tune to my Omega f300 "Constellation" wrist watch - the one with the tuning fork - which hums merrily along at 300Hz. In pitch, a tad over the D above middle C, and a tad under the Eb.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 10:49 PM

Here's link to an enjoyable essay on why orchestras use the oboe to tune. I found it fun to read.

http://www.rockfordsymphony.com/faqs/why-does-the-orchestra-always-tune-to-the-oboe/

I was surprised to see that so many people have asked Google this question that all I had to do was type "Why is the oboe...", and Google filled in "used to tune an orchestra?" for me.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 12:55 AM

I once heard the oboe described as "an ill woodwind that nobody blows good."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 04:57 AM

.. but I'm sure 35 years or so ago the humming buzzing noise of my first Braun shaver
was so close to "G" I could tune my guitar to it...


Pete Castle at the Long Wittenham Folk Club (1989) held a razor held next to his (electric) guitar strings and did a number by fretting with the other hand. He was using the pick-up to pick up the magnetic fields produced I think. It was not tuneful.

And yes, I remember a battery razor - a Milward Currier - in the 70's. Made by a compnany in Redditch that made needles. It was a very good little device. And even mains razors had commutator motors, so speed was not linked to mains frequency, it was linked to the dirt accumulated and the number of poles on the motor, and the number of blades in the cutter. Modern battery razors would use rare earth magnets and Hall effect devices to commutate. But speeds are governed in exactly the same way.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 05:27 AM

Pete Castle at the Long Wittenham Folk Club (1989) held a razor held next to his (electric) guitar strings and did a number by fretting with the other hand. He was using the pick-up to pick up the magnetic fields produced I think.

That's basically an Ebow, isn't it? He could have patented it.

Lindsay Porteous invented the electric jew's harp. The back half of a battery-powered toy motorboat with the propeller twanging the jew's harp tine.


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Subject: RE: 440hz? 432hz?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 11:58 AM

Harmonious Triads is an excellent book about the standardisation of tuning (among many other musical topics). Change of tuning was sometimes used as a scam by 19th century military bandmasters to force the bandsmen to buy new instruments. They got a rake-off from the instrument makers.

431, 433, 439 and 443Hz would all be good choices for A as they are prime, which makes them magic. 439.823Hz is 140 time pi, and that's near enough 440 for folk, but 436.681Hz would be better as that's 139 times pi, and 139 is prime, making it a doubly magic frequency. I shall retune my kazoo forthwith.


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