432 Hz or 440 ? Which is Better ? What's the Deal ?Oct 27, 2021
I get asked this question a lot by my clients and students and I wanted to address some of my opinions on this subject in this article, and possibly shed some light on this subject. My intention is to not judge things in terms of right or wrong, or tell others what they should think or how they should be seeing this question.
I'm not going to talk about the Rothschilds the Nazi's or Nikola Tesla or Rife, just a simple perspective as I see it. Ultimately if tuning your music to 432 Hz is beneficial and good for you then with no hint of sarcasm - good for you ! that's great.
My simple answer is neither are better. What I think or for that matter anyone else's opinion is largely irrelevant. For who gets to tell who what's better music, what is more healing to listen to, what even is that ? Better than who or what ? Without avoiding to answer more thoroughly, to me they are just particular frequencies. Cycles per second of sound, one tiny fragment in an entire universe, within an entire spectrum of sound. In relation to their particular infamy they are tuning systems, a standard around which we can make differing instruments sound good together and '' work'' musically. So whatever we choose to tune to and with is entirely up to us.
Human hearing on average ranges from about 20 Hz to about 20,000 Khz. If you take a tone generator you can test this for yourself by dialling through the tones and seeing how low you can go or how high before you can't hear anything. By doing this you can notice how its possible to dial in frequencies that are playing but we cant actually hear them.
Dolphins in comparison as an estimate, have a hearing range from anything starting at 40hz to almost 200,000 Khz. This illustrates the extent of the world of sound that we cant hear. So within a spectrum of hearing 432 Hz or 440 Hz, are tones that exist as a tiny fraction compared to the music of the earth. All the sounds of our world the elements, the animals and plants and trees. All beings all atoms, infinitely and dynamically orchestrating and participating in the symphony of existence. The mind can be seen as our own personal conductor, the heart like a synthesis generator of pulses and melodies.
Deaf people for example can experience sound, they cant hear it but they can feel it. If I play a tuning fork on a bone structure that resonates well, they will feel the vibrations in their body. So sound is affecting, influencing and changing our beings every moment. Sound waves collide and merge mingle and create new combinations, some might say the harmonics rippling and dancing into eternity. A fundamental tone of a man's voice on average occupies a frequency range of between 85 - 155 Hz a woman's 165- 255 Hz. This is perceived by us as the main tone, however a harmonic series is generated out from that basic fundamental.
This image above shows us the first 32 harmonics of a string, across five octaves. The point of me saying all this is every time we speak its possible 432 Hz and 440 Hz are playing as a harmonic. If my man's voice has a fundamental frequency of 110 Hz well within the spectrum of the male adult average, then ill be hitting 440 Hz every time I speak as it is 2 octaves up from the fundamental baseline. Does that mean I am wrong or not healing or causing harm ? Of course not unless that is my intention.
So perhaps one of the most obvious pointers and one of the most important factors here is intentionality. Attitude and perspective. The attention and the intention we apply to sound, listening and playing. For example with a new band - have we already made up our minds that we will not like it ? or are we listening with an open perspective ? Or perhaps we have already decided we are going to love it. Are we encoding by holding an intention, that by doing this we are going to heal or feel better ?
Our intentionality is what encodes the fabric of sound which acts as it's carrier wave. Carrying forward the emanations of our will. Some might call it magic or alchemy or just the vibe the musicians are trying to get across or communicate. What are we saying ? is a sound. The thoughts and emotions are music.
If like me you have explored and checked out many pure tones, listen to anything long enough and something that was medicinal can and does become harmful. The balance of frequencies is what in sound healing we are aiming for - a heart centred musical coherence , and each person has a unique array/ display which dynamically shifts through each moment, each season and each year. So for me highlighting and arguing over tuning references or singular frequencies is as useful as a chocolate teapot (although I would love one). It's needlessly limiting reality to focus on one tiny segment that with respect clouds the totality of togetherness.
Assigning letters to sounds is arbitrary, we use them to quantify. The sound is still the sound no matter what note/letter we assign it too, no matter what tuning reference or standard we call it or refer to. Listen to three hours a day seven days a week 432 Hz pure tone, and it will likely damage your hearing and possibly have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing. From 440 Hz to 432 Hz we are talking about dropping our reference pitch for A by a semitone. Our ancestors most probably did not know what a second was nor Hz. The first time cycles per second was measured was 1834 as far as we know. This image below illustrates in just recent history how much tuning standards have altered and changed that are documented in just a small handful of countries.
So I would suggest that of much more relevancy than individual frequencies, of much greater importance are the relationships, the dynamic interplay and the ratios of frequencies. This is what we look at in music and sound healing. People perceive scales and modes like emotions, intervals produce physiological and psychological changes and effects. When we say we are moved by a piece of music, that movement is e-motion-al, we are literally dancing in and with an emotion created by the music itself, the emotion also creates music of its own. Like a interconnected self generating spiral dance.
An entire industry is devoted to the production of 432 Hz music and instruments, and I have to be honest it makes me recoil reading some of the things people write about it all. I wonder who that first person was to put out on the internet that went viral about 432 Hz being better. They created a sound that through the entrainment of the internet has propagated its harmonics sufficiently so that you have so many people selling instruments tuned to 432 Hz that are '' better''. I appeal with respect to all Sound healers especially, please stop feeding people misinformation about frequency and 432 Hz, in a world filled with sound to me it is abhorrent to hyper focus on just one noise and label others as bad or wrong. In my humble opinion it displays a complete lack of understanding of our art and work. We work to bring balance using sound, you cannot bring balance to the spectrum that is us by ignoring individual components - its togetherness and wholeness or oneness we are after !
In conclusion there is much that I haven't delved into here, and some concepts and information perhaps over simplified. This article represents my views on this subject and I do not present them as fact or absolute reality - if tuning to 432 Hz makes you feel better or improves your health then of course that's a good thing. I would just urge people to focus on completeness and togetherness in terms of their relationship with sound (internal and external) and not single out frequencies as good or bad is the basic message and my answer.
Image of Harmonics : User Hyacinth
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