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Search for “432 Hz” in YouTube and you’ll find plenty of examples where people have applied a pitch shifter to alter music ranging from a Mozart Requiem to Oasis’ Wonderwall.

But some claim that there is more to this than just preference. There are several blogs that claim that using a normal concert tuning of 440 Hz is bad for our health, but then what do you expect from something first promoted by the Nazis?

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 … There is a theory that the change from 432 Hz to 440 Hz was dictated by Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. [Source: Zen Gardner.]


432 Hz is said to be mathematically consistent with the patterns of the universe. Studies reveal that 432hz tuning vibrates with the universe’s golden mean PHI and unifies the properties of light, time, space, matter, gravity and magnetism with biology, the DNA code and consciousness. When our atoms and DNA start to resonate in harmony with the spiraling pattern of nature, our sense of connection to nature is said to be magnified. The number 432 is also reflected in ratios of the Sun, Earth, and the moon as well as the precession of the equinoxes, the Great Pyramid of Egypt, Stonehenge, the Sri Yantra among many other sacred sites.

“From my own observations, some of the harmonic overtone partials of A=432hz 12T5 appear to line up to natural patterns and also the resonance of solitons. Solitons need a specific range to form into the realm of density and span from the micro to the macro cosmos. Solitons are not only found in water mechanics, but also in the ion-acoustic breath between electrons and protons.”

– Brian T. Collins

Another blog wrote that,

The noticeable difference music lovers and musicians have noticed with music tuned in A=432 Hz is that it is not only more beautiful and harmonious to the ears, but it also induces a more inward experience that is felt inside the body at the spine and heart. Music tuned in A=440 Hz was felt as a more outward and mental experience, and was felt at the side of the head which projected outwards. Audiophiles have also stated that A=432hz music seems to be non-local and can fill an entire room, whereas A=440hz can be perceived as directional or linear in sound propagation.

Also, there is a group on SoundCloud where people everyday shares different sound tracks based on 432 Hz frequencies.

It is still kind of ambiguous and unclear to me. Does it really work to tune your music to 432 Hz, or it is just a hoax? Does it really effect your sub-conscious state and your health?

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I like your background search, however, none of the cited posts point out any blind experimental setups, which should be really straightforward to do. I'm looking forward to seeing some studies on this, which at least from a subjective perspective prove that one hz is preferred over the other. You most likely won't find any resources on the effects on health. That would take a longitudinal study of people constantly listening to 432 hz only vs 440 hz, without them being aware what they are listening to. –  Steven Jeuris Feb 10 '14 at 13:39
The standard concert pitch of 440 Hz was set in a conference of the International Federation fo the National Standardizing Associations in London in 1939. This standard was taken up by the German standardization organization, where it was included as a recommendation only. This recommendation is not binding and each orchestra (in Germany) may set their concert pitch as they wish. The Nazis had nothing to do with this international standardization. –  what Feb 10 '14 at 14:56
We've got a couple related, upvoted questions here already (see 1. Is there psychoactive music?, and 2. Is there evidence to suggest that music can trigger release of a particular kind of neurotransmitter?), and not much in the way of answers. Good opportunity for anyone with a background in this sort of study to contribute usefully here! –  Nick Stauner Feb 10 '14 at 19:01
"432 Hz is said to be mathematically consistent with the patterns of the universe..." Where is that from? –  draks ... Feb 11 '14 at 22:13
@Memming I think it's important to consider if there is a root-article that is able to be considered scientifically, regardless of what kind of colloquial verbiage that has grown up around it. Sometimes untrained people can be inspired by worthwhile observations - we shouldn't be turned away because of their ability to consistently convey the observation by learned standards. –  New Alexandria Mar 17 '14 at 13:18

2 Answers 2

One of the claims that is somewhat easy to validate empirically is that "432 Hz sounds better than 440 Hz." This informal experiment tests this in a straightforward way. People listen to pitch-shifted versions of songs at a variety of different frequencies and rate their preference for the song. Importantly, they don't know which frequency the song has been shifted to.

The results pretty clearly debunk the claim that 432 "sounds better" than 440:


The preference ratings were highest at 440, and there was no statistical difference between 432 and 440.

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I am an experienced musician, and am "encoded" to 440. If something was shifted down this much, the whole would sound out of tune to me and would be torture. –  rmayer06 Jan 13 at 22:53
Really? The baroque A was even lower than that, and musicians routinely tune to A's 'off' by 8 cents. I'm not defending the OP, though. –  dwn Jan 14 at 0:50
@dwn - I'm not a baroque musician, I play in a concert band which tunes to A 440, but I play the trombone and we have to know what "in tune" is or we would never achieve it! If you play any pitch for me, I can tell you if it's sharp, flat, or on-pitch instantly. –  rmayer06 Jan 14 at 3:52
I said '8 cents', actually meant '8 Hz' (in this case, more like 30 cents) –  dwn Jan 14 at 13:56

The opinion (as with rmayer06 above) that the difference between 432 and 440 is a tone is popular. Actually it is 31.77 cents, making it roughly a 6th tone. My experience is that perfect pitch at 440 is not so accurate to know, without hearing a reference tone before hand, that 432 is not 440... As for a 440 sounding better than 432 there are many reasons for 440, one being the fact that instruments today are made specifically for 440 so they resonant better there. Another is that we are very used to 440. One of my observations with 432 though has been the effect it has on my breathing, making it deeper, although the resonance of the instrument sounds bland

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