Tuning and Temperament

I had previously named this page as ‘Request for 432hz tuning’. I still would like everyone to consider A=432hz tuning and I continue to consider this frequency as my preference but I would like to expand this page to the question of Tuning and Temperament. I cannot say that I enjoy all music tuned to 432hz and I must say that there is music musically played in higher frequencies that I enjoy. My personal opinion at this time is that the intent behind the music makes the music valuable. The exact tuning for me, should be as close as posible to sounds in nature, which as far as I have explored are mostly related to 432hz but just tuning to 432hz is not quite enough to make a piece of music valuable.

This page will continue to explore A=432hz tuning but will discuss as well music in different temperaments which I have explored in my music and am interested in. Linking this to mindfulness, I believe that when we listen to music we should also be mindful of the tuning and temperament and not just blindly (deafly?) accept everything we hear.

Coreen Morsink August 14, 2020

Previous posts:

The world premiere of my Symphony No. 1 for strings, the “Agreekment” by the 432 Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ivan Yanakiev as part of a contemporary music concerts of Bulgarian composers (and myself kindly included) which took place July 13, 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria.  The link to the recording of the concert is:

Agreekment Symphony, 432 Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ivan Yanakiev

I have written quite a bit already in my PhD Thesis which can be found at:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/9149/

Some of my recordings are available at A=432hz (or as close as I could make them with my level of technology) and can heard on Youtube and bandcamp.

My sincere thanks to Ivan K. Yanakiev who gave an excellent paper on October 27, 2016 at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, Bulgaria:

Иван Янакиев (Институт на изследване на изкуствата, БАН) – Звукови трансфери. Песните на птиците и „There was a time“ (“Едно време”) от Корийн Морсинк

on the subject of my composition There Was a Time for flute ensemble and the importance of A=432hz in relation to the bird songs quoted in the piece.  Details can be found at: http://artstudies.bg/?p=5397&lang=en  and http://artstudies.bg/?p=5391 where the programme can be downloaded.

This is what I originally wrote in 2011

My own personal views on Frequency 432hz 

When I first read about frequency 432 on Brian T. Collin’s website I was very upset and angry.  I had just spent the afternoon with the Junior Orchestra, tuning about 40-50 violins and cellos to 440 and had a very bad headache.  My first thought was that it was nuts to change to another frequency and impossible after tuning continuously to 440.  I felt like no one classically trained would want to change because of the enormous effort we spend in learning how to play in 440.

Now, I don’t have perfect pitch and I grew up playing on a piano that was under 440 (I don’t know how much, but almost a semi-tone).  This never bothered me until one of my classmates at the Performing Arts school I started attending at the age of 16 told me I was in the wrong frequency and that it was useless for her to rehearse her song with me on my piano.  This made a big impression on me, the small town girl, being told off by the big Torontonian city girl from the Arts school.  And I never questioned 440 frequency again although at university I learned that Baroque orchestras often used a lower frequency to suit the original Baroque Instruments.

After a few days of raging against 432 I thought, maybe I should give it a try.  And so my experiment began.  I tuned my guitar at work to 432 and taught all my reception, year 1 and year 2 classes singing at 432.  I played music at 432 to the children and asked their opinions of the music.  My 75 member ‘sing-a-long’ choir of 6 and 7 year olds gave an informal concert of songs sung at 432.  And suddenly, I started to be able to pitch A432 about 90% of the time accurately.

Perhaps there is something to this after all…

If you are like me, classically trained, and have doubts, try it.  It works.  I feel calmer, happier and more relaxed when I play music at 432.

If you would like to have examples of music at 440 and the same sample at 432 to compare, I would be happy to share them with you, but the best way is to sing and feel the pitch yourself.  Give it a try: I was the most suspicious, now I am the most enthusiastic.

Coreen Morsink, Athens, July 21, 2011

Continuing onwards, here is my bandcamp site with music at A=432hz

https://coreenmorsink.bandcamp.com/

The CARisMA Guitar duo is a wonderful musical group that plays at 432hz:

http://www.carismaguitarduo.com/

Andrea Bocelli and his support of 432hz