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What Is 432 Hz In Music and How Can It Help You?

Do you ever think about the songs you hear on the radio? I do quite a lot, if I’m honest. I’m curious about whether or not people like the kind of music that is played, and if they don’t, what are they listening to in their basements? What do they play at parties, and when no one is around? These are the kinds of questions I ask myself when I am tuning into my local radio stations because I have so many thoughts about other people, myself, and the world around me. I wonder about my place in the world, and if I am contributing enough in life. I reflect on if I’ve impacted anyone in a positive way, what I mean to other people. Basically, music allows me an escape into another world like writing, or painting, or some other creative outlet. It allows me to (as Charlie Puth put it) “turn my brain off,” and just be still. 

Music is especially unique in that it has the power to influence. It can make a person feel joy, or recall deep heartache. It can dredge up a trauma long forgotten, or it can bury something that needed closure. It’s all up to the mind’s perception of the sounds you’re hearing. Popular (or pop for short) music today is heard at 440 Hz. This is the frequency at which the sound waves vibrate of the music we hear most often today. The healing frequency, however, drops the decimal down to 432 Hz. Hz is short for Hertz named after German physicist Heinrich Rudolph Hertz, and it works in times per second (like beats per minute does). The number of Hz indicates how many times in one second the full cycle of vibration occurs. For instance, 1 Hz means once per second. 432 Hz means 432 times per second, and so on, and so forth. The standard pitch makes it so that musicians can play together set to a certain pitch standard, otherwise the entire production is thrown off. The industry standard is 440 Hz per second, which means that all other instruments are tuned in accordance with that frequency. Making music requires the arrangement of certain sounds and tones together overlapping, creating a combination of two notes known as intervals. Chords are then created or not based on the harmony of each note together. 

“It appears like all things that vibrate, a resonance that is harmonic with perfect numbers is more pleasing to our ears, and why not? Like a number system based in 12 versus 10, there are more perfect divisions without fractions occuring in the 432 Hz based system than 440 Hz. It translates into a tangible, physical, sense of wellness, wholeness, and healing through sound waves; sound moves into, through, and within our bodies as whole perfect numbers.” 

””Harry Duane Hudson of Snow on Water

 Image courtesy Bruce Emerson/Central Oregon Community College, Dept. of Physics 

Assaf Dar Sagol, founder and CEO of Polyverse Music explains, “Before standardization, the pitch of A fluctuated heavily between 400 Hz and 460 Hz.”

Simone Vitale, the creator of Sound of Golden Light adds, “If we think in terms of resonance, we can picture how the frequencies we emit will resonate with everything they encounter. If the frequencies of the music we create are attuned with their higher and lower octaves in the space around us, then there is a reason to think that we are creating consonant flows of energy.”

German-American violinist Maria Renold conducted a number of experiments comparing the difference heard and felt at 432 Hz vs. the standard 440 Hz following Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner’s findings about anthroposophy. Anthroposophy is the ‘spiritual philosophy’ that promotes the knowledge of the existence of an objective spiritual reality that can be experienced directly through personal inner development. When asked about the correct pitch to standardize the industry, Steiner responded saying, “C = 128 Hz = Sun” was the correct pitch for modern human minds and spirits, and the pitch at which our inner ears are tuned to.”

Renold findings concluded that of 2000 people tested (over the course of 20 years), more than 90% consistently preferred that of the lower pitch. The notes were given in different order, on different instruments, with various means to avoid prejudicing the listener. Renold’s book Intervals, Scales, Tones, and the Concert Pitch seems to suggest that 440 Hz and raising pitch above that creates a disconnect from the consciousness of one’s body and creates chaos in humans. Anything higher than 440 seems to warp instruments including the voice, and can seriously damage the vocal cords, according to professional opera singers. Using 440 Hz as an example in the media and television, there is room for chaotic behavior in raising the pitch above the standard. The results of Renold’s experiment were found to be that the higher pitch was “irritating, unpleasant, aggressive, making one stressed and nervous.” The lower pitched sound to participants felt and sounded “peaceful, harmonious, and heartfelt.” 

Conscious recording artist Aureliaslight wrote “I Surrender” in 432 Hz, so you can see for yourself. Which sounds better to you – 432 Hz or 440 Hz? 

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Music made in 432 Hz is intended for meditation, relaxation, studying, productivity playlists, and more. It plays in the background while you’re doing other things, and there are a ton of great examples of this on Youtube alone. Some TikTokers will even go live titling the video “Study with Me” while a productivity playlist of ambient music plays in the background.

According to the Nature Healing Society, music made at 528 Hz is used for clarity, peace, and healing at the cellular level. This is not to mean that it can remove, say, a disability that one has but it can significantly improve health by clearing away emotional blockages – that cause internal stress, aches, and pains – when used in meditation regularly. It is not a replacement for medical or mental health treatment but a supplement to an otherwise healthy lifestyle. 

Jaden Smith wrote an EP surrounding the power of said healing frequencies. He explains,

“If you take a vibrating metal sheet and you put sand on it and you vibrate it at 440, it will make a different shape than it does at 432. The shape that it makes at 432 is a bit more coherent with geometry and Phi ratio, which is 1.618, which is what everything is based off in nature: how your hair knows how to grow, how your body knows how to grow proportionally so you look like a human, how trees know how to grow so that every leaf gets the maximum amount of water and sunlight. There’s a ratio to that. Supposedly the divine proportion, the perfect proportion, that we’re trying to get close to every single day of our lives or with whatever we do.”

Daisy Jones, Staff Writer for Vibe conducted her own experiment after a few bad things started to pile on one after another for her, to the point that she had two weeks to find somewhere else to live, and her laptop which she used for work was out of service. In essence, she meditated using the 432 Hz miracle tone. Jones explains, “At first I felt antsy, resisting the urge to check my phone or get up and make toast. But after a while, I gave into the soft, generous lull. Gradually, all the angst from the past few days started to feel less acute. And by the time I got up from my bed, limbs like spaghetti, it was barely there at all.”

Liz Cooper has run the British Academy of Sound Therapy for over 25 years. She says, “There is a lot of pseudoscience out there. But it’s important to have different approaches and to be open-minded, but also to be grounded.”

Repetitions Fitness in Canada recommends listening to healing frequencies for at least 21 days in order to reap the benefits. Studies conducted by the University of Wisconsin (UW Health) show just how beneficial it can be to listen to this particular type of music.

Health psychologist Shilaigh Mirgain weighs in on the matter:

“Music therapy is an established form of therapy to help individuals address physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs,” said Mirgain. “Music helps reduce heart rate, and lower blood pressure and cortisol in the body. It eases anxiety and can help improve mood.”

Listening to relaxing music (like classical or jazz) has been shown to improve sleep patterns when used an hour before bedtime. 

Music is everywhere you turn, whether you’re in line at the grocery store, or going out for dinner and a movie with friends. Ever notice how stores like Hollister dim their lighting, only play certain kinds of music, and dress their employees in their clothes? That’s by design. They’re selling a mood, influencing a lifestyle. In that case, it’s promoting the lifestyle of a happy-go-lucky person who lives or is often at the beach and doesn’t worry about financial struggles. 

Scent and visual memory is very powerful, and the memory can associate scents with very specific events in our lives. Similarly, in a store like Best Buy you might see an animated show or movie come on one of the screens near where the video game buyers are. That’s not by accident, either. They’re wanting to attract the gamer customer who probably is spending a lot more time at home, possibly eating T.V. dinners with little to no social interaction. The point is that all of it is marketing. Music is no different, and what is heard on the radio today is not of the 432 Hz but more of 440 Hz. 

Alan Cross published an article for Global News in 2018 stating, “there may be good reasons to prefer music that is tuned at 432 Hz and it is not outrageous to think that to a certain extent, it may be beneficial. My advice is to keep enjoying your classics as they are, and to find new music that has been originally recorded at 432 Hz. The specific frequency of tuning is only one of the factors that contribute to the magic of music and even to its healing qualities.” Cross mentioned how going back in history, the Music Commission of the Italian Government declared that all instruments and orchestras should use a tuning fork that vibrates at 440 Hz, which was different from the original standard of 435 Hz and the competing 432 Hz used in France. 440 Hz then became the standard practice as early as 1815. This was mainly done so that musical performances would sound the same all over the world. It’s been said that propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels insisted that on 440 Hz tuning in Germany because he believed it made people think and feel in specific ways, making them “a prisoner of a certain consciousness.”

One double-blind crossover pilot study conducted by Diletta Calamassi and Gian Paolo Pomponi on patients not suffering from any acute and/or chronic diseases show that music played at the frequency of 432 Hz slowed heart rate in comparison to that of the same music played at 440 Hz. Blood pressure was also slightly decreased, and breathing was made more regular.

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Connor McCoy of iZotope, a music production software company, weighed in on the topic.

“Heinrich Hertz, who had successfully proven the existence of electromagnetic waves in 1830, the unit of “Hz” measures a cycle per second. Famous composers like Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven all tuned their orchestras to a different pitch, and even when the tuning fork was invented, the note it produced differed depending on whose tuning fork was used. Joseph Sauveur was a French physicist who, in 1713, came up with the concept of a scientific or philosophical pitch. The system used doesn’t follow the A440 tuning reference, and instead places A4 at 430.54 Hz and middle C””C4””at 256 Hz. He explained that, by placing middle C at 256 Hz, you can create a system where each octave””or factor””of C lands on an even integer, instead of containing “dreadful” decimals. Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian composer of the 19th century, advocated heavily for the use of this tuning, as does the Schiller Institute. I, for one, really enjoy the way that 432 Hz sounds to my ears. I definitely can’t confirm the underlying, “universal” properties circling the subject of 432 Hz, but I can’t deny that it makes me smile when I hear it compared to 440 Hz.”

A study conducted by Pedro Christian Aravena, Camila Almonacid, and Marcelo Ignacio Mancilla was published by the National normal for Biotechnology Information. The study was regarding the effect of music made in 432 Hz and 440 Hz, vs. no music on dental anxiety and salivary cortisol levels in patients undergoing tooth extraction. The results were that anxiety levels were lowered significantly at 432 Hz and 440 Hz. The salivary control level was significantly lower than at 440 Hz. In other words, the change in frequency had an immense impact on the patients studied.

Grace Meadows, a senior music therapist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Program Director of Music For Dementia explains, “Music cannot cure people, but the benefits are undeniable. You can’t cure cerebral palsy through music as that is a disability.” She also runs Music For Dementia 2020, a campaign that ensures those with dementia have access to music. “What you can do is to help them achieve a better quality of life. There’s a chance they’ll have better motor functioning, a stronger sense of self, and more confidence.”


Image courtesy of Louis Mayhew/Fundamental Courtesy

Another study was conducted in India by Pramita Dubey, Yogesh Kumar, Ramji Singh, Kamlesh Jha, and Rajesh Kumar. The study was to weigh the effects of music of specific frequency upon the sleep architecture and electroencephalographic pattern of individuals with delayed sleep latency. In layman’s terms, the group conducted a study on napping in the daytime. The outcome resulted in the decrease in the mean sleep latency (P > 0.05) with significant increase in the energy of alpha waves (P < 0.01) at the sleep onset. As reported in their findings, it was concluded that 432 Hz music has some significant calming effect as reflected by increased alpha activities without any significant effect upon the sleep latency in the daytime naps. 

In an article published by Gage Gorman, he claimed “432 Hz seems to work at the heart chakra, “the feeling”, and therefore could have a good influence on the spiritual development of the listener. Some people who are not able to distinguish the 8hz difference claim they can feel the music warmer due to the longer wavelength.” He adds, “Tuning an instrument to 432 Hz results in a more relaxing sound while 440 Hz slightly tenses up the body. This is because 440 Hz is out of tune with both macrocosm and microcosm. However 432 Hz is in tune and resonates in a natural way. Macrocosm would be nature, our planet and how it blends with the universe. Microcosm is individual; me or you. It is our energetic body, and physical body.”

WIRED’s Peter Rubin dives deep in exploration to discover how music can affect the neural pathways in our brain:

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Assal Habibi, who is Assistant Research Professor of Psychology at USC, Brain and Creativity Institute explains, “Music training over the course of five years has benefitted the cognitive skills, decision-making, social behavior, and changes in associated brain structures.”  

Neuroscientist Theodore Zanto of UC San Francisco, who studies how our perception of rhythm relates to memory and attention, explains that there is an understanding in the neuroscience community about binaural beats. “I don’t want to take it off the table as a possibility but I am really skeptical.” 

David Gibson, founder of Globe Institute of Sound and Consciousness “I’ve seen in myself and in hundreds of people where chronic pains were gone after sound therapy sessions.”

Psychologist Michael Posner of the University of Oregon adds, “There’s pretty good evidence that frontal theta [brainwave rhythm] is produced by meditation,” says Posner, so he sees a certain logic trying to entrain such rhythms to induce a meditative state. So far, there’s no evidence that playing external theta rhythms will prompt the brain to reproduce the benefits. He continues, “I don’t think it’s a crazy idea; you just have to do the experiments to see if it works.”

Zanto goes on to say, “Even when you’re passively listening to a rhythm, you’re engaging motor networks. It’s hard to say why it works. We haven’t done the science yet, but in the context of Parkinson’s disease, it’s not incredibly surprising that music therapy helps them, because music is effectively engaging the motor system.”

Cognitive neuroscientist Petr Janata of UC Davis chimes in, “new brain imaging technology has provided evidence that different areas of the brain prefer frequencies at which they oscillate.” Janata says music helps her understand how the brain categorizes and processes human behavior. The “brainwave oscillation bands,” or brain waves, range from gamma, to beta, to theta, to delta. 

Posner explains, “There’s pretty good evidence that frontal theta [brainwave rhythm] is produced by meditation.”

Chill Music Lab has released an atmospheric playlist of “Deep Work Music  for Programmers, Creators, and Designers” to cipher through.

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They say the playlist is inspired by Fox3r, Silent Hill, and dreampunk. It’s meant to “evoke the feeling of getting lost in a desolate city covered in fog.” The channel creator says it is perfect for those who are working on a creative project, lacking in inspiration, or crunching numbers. “It’s pretty universal for anybody who likes this kind of mood. This is a future garage/downtempo/chillstep mix meant for entrepreneurs, coders, designers, computer programmers, creators, and bloggers. No vocals, no lyrics, at least no prominent ones, to help you get focused and productive with your studying or working.”

As a listener myself of these playlists, I can definitely say they help me concentrate more. I am able to do a number of reports, essays, or articles without feeling it. Time gets away from me, to the point where I am able to work hours on end at my computer. I do enjoy ones with little to no vocals. I’ve noticed that when there is too much vocal in the song, I want to sing along, and I get instantly pulled out of my focused state. 

Robin Spielberg, chart topping pianist, composer, and recording artist tells her story and that of her loved ones on how music helped facilitate healing:

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Words by Megan Vineberg

Posted On 3 October, 2022