Ok..If Zelus can blog, then HG can too! Seriously, I’ve been meaning to blog some stuff for ages, but recently have come across heaps of interesting info, that I think is too worthy ( and relevant to the High Knights cause ) not to share! Music and sound are a huge part of all our lives, some people even believe sound is connected to how consciousness converts to physical form. Music imprints on us emotionally and can be used to heal and control us etc…. So anyway, being a bit of a nerd on the sly, I’ve been doing a bit of research on some stuff that most of us take for granted and don’t question about music – beats me why I haven’t looked into this earlier because I think it’s fascinating ( been working with sound for 20 years! ) – but it seems now is the time. So if you listen to music, you should read on, this is important stuff! – let’s start with a brief chat about tuning……

Music could sound better? – Tuning

Having been a musician and a sound engineer for quite a while, it’s only recently that I have looked into the detail of how sound interacts with its environment, and more interestingly with our bodies. Some of the information I have come across in the last couple of weeks has amazed me. Today I want to talk about tuning, and how over time, different tuning standards have been adopted and rejected. The current standard in tuning that the world ( pretty much ) adheres to, is based on the concept of the note A=440hz. As a musician, for many years I have never questioned why I tune my guitar this way, or asked is there a better way to tune it, until now…..

Doing my research, the first thing I discovered was that there have been loads of different ideas about tuning over the centuries – if you want more detail, you can look at these websites :

http://www.piano-tuners.org/history/pitch.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concert_pitch

Next I found out that in 1939 a world tuning standard was advocated by Germany & England at  A=440hz (what we generally use today). The date seemed funny to me, and I then wondered who might be responsible for advocating this standard? Couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this (weird):

From:   http://www.schillerinstitute.org/music/rev_tuning_hist.html

The first effort to institutionalize A=440 in fact was a conference organized by Joseph Goebbels (propaganda Minister for nazi Germany) in 1939, who had standardized A=440 as the official German pitch. Professor Robert Dussaut of the National Conservatory of Paris told the French press that: “By September 1938, the Accoustic Committee of Radio Berlin requested the British Standard Association to organize a congress in London to adopt internationally the German Radio tuning of 440 periods. This congress did in fact occur in London, a very short time before the war, in May-June 1939. No French composer was invited. The decision to raise the pitch was thus taken without consulting French musicians, and against their will.” The Anglo-Nazi agreement, given the outbreak of war, did not last, so that still A=440 did not stick as a standard pitch.

A second congress in London of the International Standardizing Organization met in October 1953, to again attempt to impose A=440 internationally. This conference passed such a resolution; again no Continental musicians who opposed the rise in pitch were invited, and the resolution was widely ignored. Professor Dussaut of the Paris Conservatory wrote that British instrument makers catering to the U.S. jazz trade, which played at A=440 and above, had demanded the higher pitch, “and it is shocking to me that our orchestra members and singers should thus be dependent upon jazz players.” A referendum by Professor Dussaut of 23,000 French musicians voted overwhelmingly for A=432.

432 in tune with natural resonance?

Ok, so its just a number that french musicians seem to like……. Well, check out this page for some interesting facts about 432 :

http://www.carnaval.com/music432/

I verified some of the information independently, but not all. I think the general theme for picking a musical tuning based on natural resonances really makes sense though, and in this respect, A=432 appears to be the number people are jumping on. The fact that the “establishment” has standardized us away from this tuning, when it seems a very worthy contender for being the standard ( if a standard was needed at all ), intrigues me too.

Getting back to the notion of sound ( therefore musical tuning ) affecting the body, I found these youtube videos showing different sound frequencies resonating sand…… They both give a good visual image of different sound waves changing physical form. A context perhaps to why we should be aware of the frequencies we generate? Why not try and generate sound in harmony with our environment?

Anyway, having read and watched all this stuff, I was interested enough to try tuning my guitar to A=432 ( luckily my tuner does this, not all do ), and after playing through a few old favourites, I felt like things sounded generally, harmonically “sweeter”, all be it in a subtle way. It’s strange but true, that music may actually sound better just by altering the pitch we play at by a tiny amount. If we can hear it sounding better, imagine what it might be doing to our bodies! So watch out, the next High Knights track is going to be tuned in true knightly fashion, according to the wisdoms of sacred geometry, ancient knowledge and a bit of Jimi Hendrix – maybe you’ll notice, maybe you won’t!

Ok, next thing to look at ( if you’re digging this stuff ) should really be what are called “intervals” – that’s the space between the individual notes. Where it is best for them to be and why -It’s a bit the same as the idea of having a better master tuning ( in harmony with natural resonance ) that we have explored above. Similar themes too.. music, ancient knowledge, standardization ( conspiracy ) etc.. Ok, thats all for now though, hope you’ve enjoyed.

Cheers HG.

Thanks for taking the time for reading this blog…..If you have anything to contribute on this subject, would love to hear your thoughts, please drop a comment.

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