Question about 432hz

August 25, 2016 at 09:38 AM · I have read up on tuning the Violin to 432 and want to give it a try. But I have a question.


A (440) -> 432,

then what does

E -> ???

D -> ???

G -> ???

go to?

I would assume they don't stay the same. So what do they go to?

Replies (65)

August 25, 2016 at 10:35 AM · Why are you looking at A=432? And why do you feel the need to know the frequencies of the other notes?

If you tune A=432, then you can get the other strings in tune with it in the normal way. You can also calculate values for E, D and G in the normal way if you really need to.

However, if you are aiming for a Baroque period performance then you should read up on the tuning methods - I think Judy Tarling's book has a useful way of doing it.

August 25, 2016 at 11:46 AM · The frequency ratio of a perfect fifth is 3:2

So if A=432 Hz:

E=648 Hz

D=288 Hz

G=192 Hz

Why do you want to tune to 432 Hz

August 25, 2016 at 02:31 PM · Why not? It is called the Verdi pitch. He allegedly preferred it over others because of his opera singers. The only challenge is to find other players willing to tune down.

August 25, 2016 at 03:48 PM · For A440, middle C on the piano is 262Hz.

For A432, that middle C is 256Hz (an integral power of 2).

My piano, a Rippen made in Holland in the 1960s, is tuned to C256 (A432).

A432, the "Verdi pitch", may not be all that uncommon in continental Europe if a piano manufacturer in Holland uses it.

Tuning a violin down to A432 shouldn't be a problem if the pegs or other tuning devices work efficiently. The instrument will be less stressed at that lower pitch and, if anything, may sound a little more resonant.

August 25, 2016 at 03:53 PM · “It is called the Verdi pitch.”

Yes. Singer Renata Tebaldi had it written into her contract that the A-tuning was not to go above 440. It would be a challenge, though, these days to find players willing to tune lower than that -- e.g., 432. See:

Search on the page for 440 -- it’s in the paragraph that begins with “What worries me more and more ….”

August 25, 2016 at 06:43 PM · The "Verdi pitch" is a bit of a can of worms-- Stefan Zucker has argued that rather than anointing 432, Verdi was more interested in standardizing something, anything, across Italy so he could get down to writing without worrying about his singers. And at least one of today's more obvious advocates for 432 has some odd political biases built into the argument.

Pitch varies a lot across Europe these days. The Vienna Phil will go a quarter-tone, maybe even a semi-tone above 440. I heard the Marriage of Figaro sound fairly normal at the State Opera, but they might have been deliberately tuning down to show respect for Mozart. (I don't have perfect pitch, luckily.)

August 25, 2016 at 08:47 PM · Bo gave you your answer, but even if you choose something other than 440, I would still tune by ear for perfect 5ths. Maybe certain ensembles types tune narrower or differently.

Anyway, not to condescend, because I don't know your level of knowledge, but you should be able to tune your other strings by ear to your A. If you want to know the hz because you are tuning to a tuner, then you are missing the point, and should be developing your ear in order to hear a perfect 5th.

August 25, 2016 at 08:50 PM · Following on from the hint in Stephen's post, I've searched on the Web for "432Hz", being unaware that there was a bit more to the subject than as a choice for Middle C on the piano. Looking at the links arising from the search there are evidently some strange ideas floating around that are well off the beaten track, one being that 432Hz is a fundamental frequency of the Universe - whatever that may mean.

An antidote to some of this nonsense is in this one of the links:

August 26, 2016 at 08:59 AM · I thought the argument made in the article was very flawed. Much of it was based upon the idea that the term "Hertz" is a recent one - the authors argue e.g. that ancient Tibetan bowls could not be deliberately tuned to this frequency because they were made before the scientific notation for it was defined.

This doesn't make any sense - the makers of these bowls could have tuned to this frequency by ear, even without having any scientific apparatus to measure it.

That's not to say that I believe any of the mystical statements around A=432Hz though.

August 26, 2016 at 10:56 AM · If anyone wants a laugh, have a read of this wonderful explanation of why 432Hz is harmonious with the natural patterns of the universe. A=432 also corresponds with the chakra system, apparently. And by playing at a=432 I can accomplish a more serene, inward-looking sound which doesn't suffer from linear sound propagation.

In any case, I recommend tuning perfect 5ths by ear.

August 26, 2016 at 03:44 PM · Even if one note, C 256 is in tune with the universe, that still leaves 11 notes that are not tuned to the universe.

August 26, 2016 at 03:59 PM · Your not factoring in parallel universes, Lyndon. What's up with that?

August 26, 2016 at 08:54 PM · A = 432 hz blends too well with the world around us, but as musicians we have to push forth, to be active and MOVE the matter around us.

The reveberation we create in the world is the slight tension that "speaks," if you would. If you just barely match the frequency of objects in your space, it'll be absorbed by the environment and won't be near as brilliant.

Plus, it doesn't work as well with inorganic compounds. listen to some brassy bell tones at 432; its weak.

Metal is slightly higher frequency. And Bbs and Ebs really don't match many overtones in nature.

Playing in a tuning that doesn't slightly speed up the world around you is moot.

August 26, 2016 at 09:02 PM · We seem to have opened up a parallel universe in the comments section!!

August 26, 2016 at 09:09 PM · I put on some new strings today, and can confirm that the Pirastro Passione D has a natural tendency to slip flat, presumably because it's pulled towards C=256 by a proclivity to resonate with the universe for the first few hours of playing. Well done Pirastro.

I also found that the G opened my Purple Heart chakra.

August 27, 2016 at 12:49 AM · E=mc^2

So, if C=256 then E=m65,536, relatively speaking of course...

August 27, 2016 at 12:12 PM · "Your not factoring in parallel universes, Lyndon. What's up with that? "

Parallel universes are allowed--but only in 3rds and 6ths. No 5ths.

However, I've heard that much of the theoretical stuff outlined above originated on a different planet: Uranus...

August 27, 2016 at 12:25 PM · Badda-bang!

Scott Cole nails it from downtown....ouch!



August 27, 2016 at 09:55 PM · What Christian said.

August 28, 2016 at 01:50 AM · In practical violin keyboard terms the difference between 432Hz and 440Hz is 1/3 of a semitone.

One of the first major composers of microtonal music, Alois Haba, composed a few 1/6 tone pieces in addition to his more numerous quarter tone works. The score and parts of one of Haba's earlier quarter-tone quartets, Quartet Nr 2 Op 7, is available from IMSLP. In the preface Haba explains the notation he uses, and usefully indicates preferred fingerings in the instrumental parts.

August 28, 2016 at 04:20 AM · "Tuning a violin down to A432 shouldn't be a problem if the pegs or other tuning devices work efficiently. The instrument will be less stressed at that lower pitch and, if anything, may sound a little more resonant".

If you want a different adventure try tuning to 415 hz, like the old baroque instruments. You may also change to gut strings. I recommend italian Aquila strings. It's a completely new and pleasant sound.

August 28, 2016 at 06:01 PM · 415 was not a standard pitch for baroque times, just one of many different pitches used. Its become a modern standard, but was hardly universal historically.

August 28, 2016 at 06:59 PM · I suspect 415 was chosen because it is a semitone below 440; which can be useful for pianists who are prepared to transpose when playing continuo.

August 28, 2016 at 07:20 PM · Lyndon is correct... and I find the whole history of standardization perplexing.

The HIP movement started as anti-establishment only to become its own nemesis. They picked 415Hz and simply by (blindly) sticking to it, it became contemporary Baroque "standard", which is misnomer.

During early music fares one can buy tuning fork for 415Hz and 430Hz but 432Hz is impossible to find.

It is entirely due to miracle of violin design that many more old violins did not succumb to higher tension already.

Personally, I find 432Hz very well suited for my instruments.

August 28, 2016 at 07:58 PM · If only we could persuade piano, harpsichord and organ makers to un-standardise their instruments, then we'd be able to fully reflect the diversity of Baroque tonality. ;)

August 28, 2016 at 08:35 PM · Lyndon/Trevor/Rocky - I recall reading that the use of A-415 by many during the Baroque period reflected the fact that it was a particularly good tuning for the harpsichord. Whether or not this is true, obviously, it was not universally adopted at that time.

August 28, 2016 at 10:39 PM · its only a particularly good tuning for some harpsichords, others are closer to A392, or A440 or almost anywhere in between, even above A 440, same is true for clavichords. Many harpsichords are supplied today transposing three pitches, A392, A415, and A 440. Of course the in betweens is another story involving a complete retuning of all the strings, and transposing only works ideally with equal temperament.

The recommended tuning of a keyboard has to do with the scale of c2 whether brass or iron wire was used, If 415 was standard one would expect all iron strung harpsichords to have the same scale, nothing could be further from the case.

August 29, 2016 at 06:15 AM ·

April 14, 2017 at 02:01 PM · The 432hz, also called the Verdian-pitch, is the frequency of the universe; you can have more info at

April 14, 2017 at 05:05 PM · You really don't want to try the 432Hz.

I did it once, many years ago, and confused by the vibrations my violin started to create, seeing all the walls and objects rotating and moving all around, knowing that the whole city, the country, the universe was fully vibrating due to my playing, I missed the very first note of this cadenza col legno violin concert I was practicing and by mistake I opened the red sacred heart of my inner chakra WHILE I had my rosewood eye closed. Yeah, I know it was so foolish of myself, but this damned pitch... I couldn't control the melody anymore, it was the melody that controlled me. Each time I hit a perfect A 432Hz, a bunch of my molecules where shattered into pieces because of the crazy vibrations. I was dying, note by note, bar by bar, up bow by down bow...

I screamed for help, and luckily the tuba player next door noticed and came immediately. He blew a fortissimo A 440Hz right in front of me to create chaos and stop the wild resonance of the Universe. All the waves collapsed, creating a blue chaim trail force to counter the 432 Hz A notes. The violin started to get very hot and suddenly it exploded, and my bow, which was all crazy about this new 432 Hz A, bent itself 360º.

I was banned from the Conservatoire and I was told to never play any tunable instrument again. Now not even music stores can sell me a triangle because they say I can hack the length of the bent metal stick to tune it to 432 Hz and destroy the galaxy.

April 14, 2017 at 05:10 PM · LOL

April 14, 2017 at 05:24 PM · You can try to be funny, but I suggest you to do it AFTER having some doubts about the 440, and especially AFTER trying for real the 432hz, otherwise you're just making fun of yourself for not knowing a lot of scientific proved facts.

April 14, 2017 at 06:37 PM · Just to clearify about the European orchestras. No orchestra I know ever tuned a demi tone higher than 440s-1.

In europe 443 is the happen to be standard.

April 14, 2017 at 07:23 PM · Hello Gian and welcome to Tim always likes to greet new members with a humorous post.

I tune high, my A to 444-445 because it seems to help me compete with banjo usually next to me.

April 15, 2017 at 03:17 PM · 1) I doubt (seriously) if playing with numbers can be considered as "science". Fun, yes..

2) Snowflakes are all different even if we don't talk to them.

3) Shouldn't we convert all our numbers from base 10 to base 8 before drawing any "mystic" conclusions?

No sneering intended!

April 15, 2017 at 03:35 PM · No listen son, you did not listen!

It is base 431 that meanining you get 432=1000.

Also we badly defined the second. We just call it vibe. 1v is the time you live longer if playing 1v tuned at a =1000. OFC the recursive definition works as live expand grows exponentally to playing time. So deathing (the opposite force) is logarithm naturalis to v/vplayed.

All natural, see?

April 15, 2017 at 03:35 PM · No listen son, you did not listen!

It is base 431 that meanining you get 432=1000.

Also we badly defined the second. We just call it vibe. 1v is the time you live longer if playing 1v tuned at a =1000Hz. OFC the recursive definition works as live expand grows exponentally to playing time. So deathing (the opposite force) is logarithm naturalis to v/vplayed.

All natural, see?

April 15, 2017 at 04:36 PM · Have you been smoking something naughty?

April 15, 2017 at 04:56 PM · I think he lives off some weird incense, but that's just my opininon... :D

Realistically, 392 seems fine, though I keep thinkong that 430 sounds like the perfect pitch for A, since 440 always seems a bit too edgy for such a singing instrument.

Maybe I should play everything at 430. ;p

April 15, 2017 at 05:12 PM · Maybe I should also state the obvious. Hz will be replaced by H (heart) [1/v].

Making a=42H and the ultimate answer

April 15, 2017 at 08:29 PM · You guys are all missing the point.

After reading so many books about the resonance of the Universe isotopes, I've come to the conclusion that we should totally tune our violins this way in order to take advantage of all the forces around us, so our sound projection really shatters those sound barriers and go all the way to the roof of the Auditorium, where it can fully resonate with the walls and building structure and then come back all the way to the public with even more kinetic force we initially sent them. Here:

The A-440 must be changed, it should be the new G, so you take your G string and place it where your A string is right now. You tune your G to 432/2 = 216 Hz because you break it if you go higher. Then your new A string goes where the streets have no name, and you tune it to 432*2 = 864Hz. Now my friend you will say I'm fake news because the A string would break with such tension. Mate, no worries, you just forgot you're in the streets, the string won't break, trust me. Then just tune your D and E strings as high as you can, but the Hz must be a multiplier of 432 Hz. So basically you have 4 A strings in different octaves.

You now just imagine the vibes, waves and resonances that will emanating from your strad. All the molecules of the public going crazy, resonating all together. I'm telling you, you will be remembered.

April 15, 2017 at 08:40 PM · Uhhh....

Edit to above post: wrote 390, meant to say that 430 sounds like the perfect A (and hey, it's perfect for Beethoven too!)

the best way to emanate waves, vibrations and molecules from your Strad is to blow it up into molecular dust with a big bang.


What, what did I say? :D

April 15, 2017 at 08:48 PM · I've long been under the impression that the second is defined by 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. But hey, what do I know?

While I'm about it, in a few weeks time I'll be playing in a performance of Verdi's Requiem. Rehearsals start shortly, so I'll suggest to our conductor that we all tune down to A432, which was beloved of Verdi by all accounts. I know the conductor well enough to know his sense of humour.

April 15, 2017 at 09:37 PM · What happens to our souls when the pitch rises as the woodwind warm up? 432.01Hz will bring the universe scream? Never mind all those semitones..

April 15, 2017 at 10:35 PM · A.O.

I am not familiar with Baroque tuning and was wondering what you hd first meant by A 390 and thought that was very low. So 430 is the magic number, aha. Maybe Laurie can start an interesting poll as to most popular A tuning.

April 15, 2017 at 10:45 PM · Baroque tuning varied from a low 370 in France to 492 (!) elsewhere.

Trying 370, the instrument became very twitchy and colourful, while 492 made it very edgy and powerful, but reduced the dynamic range.

PS: This was done on all pure gut with a wound G, please don't try tuning synthetics up (since many will snap).

April 15, 2017 at 11:57 PM · Some synthetic strings can reach up to a P4 above their intended pitch before snapping. Don't ask me how I know.

April 16, 2017 at 08:43 AM · 370 was not the bottom end

April 16, 2017 at 01:05 PM · Well I believe that if all orchestras tune to A430 Hz, Verdi would be able to come back from the dead to life. It's well known a fact indeed that Verdi was less dense than the rest of human beings, so A432 Hz won't resonate his body at all. It's A430 Hz what really hits the spot.

Spread the truth, my fellas!


April 16, 2017 at 02:22 PM · @Ireme: A plain gut G can be tuned up to D for a Biber sonata scordatura without breaking, but how dod you manage it on a synthetic.

Was it a light dominant? :)

@Marschall: so, what was the lowest baroque tuning ever? I have found no mention of anything below 370.

@Tim: haha, thanks for keeping the 430 alive.

Should we take it further down to 420, to really get us into mysticism (via nice skunky fumes)... :D

April 16, 2017 at 04:51 PM · I deffinatly know about 365 but there might be even lower. Also for some areas its simply unknown.

April 17, 2017 at 12:17 AM · Thank you Jeff, I understand Tim's situation; anyway, going back to the original frequency, I started this in 2012, and with it the Camerata Geminiani, first string chamber orchestra in the world (after WWII) at 432hz. We have been invited to Berlin, to play a concert for the world meeting about the 432hz, and they want us for few concerts in Italy. Now, we definitely are NOT a baroque ensemble, we just believe the 432hz is the right frequency, and not any higher one.

April 17, 2017 at 12:46 AM · Maybe I should lower my A to 432 for a week and see how it goes and my instrument sounds. It can't hurt, and try A.O.'s 430 perfect A for another week. 440 is the lowest a I have used, which was my standard tuning fork when first starting out.

All these different A frequencies can be so complicated the more I read and think about them.

I am glad you have a good sense of humor Gian.I will look at info on your website sometime.

April 17, 2017 at 08:42 AM · I did like 432 on my Stainer copy but on my modern instrument it feals unnecessary. Altough I try to keep 440 instead of 442/3 in my ensembles.

Its pretty much a personal thing. Surely the sound of violins is not the same that it was back 100+ years ago. But when I decided to learn the violin I only knew the modern sound, as most of us.

April 17, 2017 at 10:18 AM · Synthetics? I have found that the nylon/Perlon ones stretch easily, (and deteriorate much more slowly!), but the newer "composites" will have a damaged core if over-stretched (and in any case, they "go off" sooner.)

To find a substitute for Obligato's viola A, only available in wound steel, I tried their synthetic violin A. The extra tension (due to the extra string length) caused irregular stretching of th core, as shown by irregular opening of the outer winding. The tone and intonation were poor. I tied a "soft" version, with greater success: very sweet and violin-like. (In the end I chose the polyester-cored Aricore-Eudoxa viola A.)

April 17, 2017 at 10:35 AM · We are talking of "understretching".

Also that the winding gets irregular opening doesnt mean the core is strechted irregulary. Stretching anything beyond the elastic deformation will break it at different positions but never regulary. Not even in a perfect crystal structure, only if beeing in a very specific state at 0K.

But you are right, some modern cores dont like to much tuning, most times they have a pretty high tension already in normal pitch.

April 17, 2017 at 11:59 AM · If you just go all the way down to A = 288 Hz, then you can obviate the problem of damaging your strings because you can just play your violin music on the viola.

April 17, 2017 at 01:03 PM · Meh...

April 17, 2017 at 09:28 PM · To get a good sound from A288, would you need a thicker strings to get C,G,D,A ?

April 18, 2017 at 11:25 AM · Yes, but the tension would very odd because no string is designed for such a tuning (barring VERY ahistorically thick gut never meant for a violin/viola).

April 18, 2017 at 06:49 PM · I think A = 432 may not be nutty, or irrelevant. I think I saw somewhere a video (is it called Chymatics) of coherent shapes taken on by sand particles at different frequencies of sound . At 432 you had a beautiful coherent shape, but an ugly nothing at 444, and you had coherent shapes at notes corresponding to the partials giving notes where you take A = 432 . So there may be something in it , init.

April 18, 2017 at 09:24 PM · Fair enough. But our musical systems are rarely based only on partials of A, or C for that matter. In fact, starting from C-256Hz, A-432 will harmonise with F-from-C, not with D-from-G-from-C. As soon as We make the many and frequent adjustmaents to our tones, the perfection is totally lost.

Nutty, no; irrelevant, maybe?

April 18, 2017 at 09:50 PM · Sylvan, if you take sand with a different grain it is completly different. I spent years of my live simulating granular materials like sand, I know what I am talking about.

April 22, 2017 at 09:40 PM · ..and the water examples may well depend on the depth of the water?

April 23, 2017 at 05:19 PM · Also temperatur, air pressure, gtavitational force (it differs on different location as this is simple mass atraction force and the earth of course is not homogenious) and you can easily change it by adding something like salt or any other substance interacting with water.

That has nothing to do with science.

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