Before humans could speak, they could sing.
It’s true. Anthropological research shows that the use of music amongst humans predates the invention of language by tens of thousands of years. And it’s not hard to see why.
At some level, we all know that listening to music is fundamental to the human experience. Some songs stir deep emotions within us in ways that words simply can’t.
But is listening to music at certain frequencies better for our emotional, physical, and spiritual health than others? There is more and more evidence to support this theory.
In the first part of this series, we shared how music is healing. It has been shown to also slow down our heart rate, blood pressure and reduce our stress levels.
The more we study this topic, the more we see one sound frequency in particular popping up time and time again: 432 Hz.
But what is the significance of 432 Hz frequency? Let’s explore the mystery behind 432 Hz music, what sets this sound frequency apart, and how listening to 432 Hz music can benefit our well-being.
Ancient History of 432 Hz Music
The healing power of music has been known to ancient cultures across the world. Over the years, each of them built a beautifully diverse repository of traditional music and musical instruments.
Interestingly, several of these instruments share a common quality. Artifacts unearthed from ancient sites like the Tibetan singing bowls, Greek Pythagorean monochord, and ancient Egyptian flutes were all found to be tuned at the 432 Hz frequency.
The phenomenon isn’t restricted to instruments, either. Ancient prayers and meditative chants, such as Tibetan prayers, Christian Gregorian chants, and the Hindu chanting mantra of ‘Om’ - all incorporated 432 Hz in their singing.
Even in the absence of a standardized global tuning pitch, all these cultures appear to gravitate towards 432 Hz as the norm for religious and meditative music. It points to the idea that they naturally recognized the calming and healing properties of 432 Hz.
What is 432 Hz Tuning?
Before getting into the history and significance of 432 Hz, let’s understand what 432 Hz music means. As you know, music is produced when singers and musicians produce sound waves with varying frequencies. But before they do that, these instruments have to be tuned to a common frequency for them to be able to make music together.
Tuning something at 432 Hz means that the frequency of the Note A in the middle scale is at 432 Hz. It means that the note 'A' is vibrating at 432 cycles per second.
How did this particular number come about?
The answer lies in ancient Greece, where philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras (of the Pythagoras theorem fame!) established the relationship between music and math. He discovered that a string half the length of another will produce a pitch that is one full octave higher. And that dividing it into thirds raised the pitch even higher.
Hundreds of years later, this concept progressed. In the classical period, 18th and 19th century Stradivarius violins were routinely tuned to 432 Hz. Composers like Giuseppe Verdi and Mozart were fierce supporters, who found that 432 Hz produced more pleasant-sounding, softer and beautiful music compared to when the instruments were tuned to other frequencies. In fact, Giuseppe Verdi was such a steadfast supporter of the 432 Hz tuning that this frequency is also known as ‘Verdi’s Pitch’.
Resonating With The Earth’s Frequency
Schumann Resonance refers to the natural frequencies at which our planet’s electromagnetic field resonates, which is approximately 8 Hz. Interestingly, the 432 Hz and the Schumann frequency resonate with each other.
It’s no wonder that listening to music at 432 Hz makes us feel more aligned, calm, and serene - we are literally tuned into the natural frequency of mother Earth!
440 Hz Vs. 432 Hz: The Great Debate
Pick any western instrument today and you’ll find that ALL of them are tuned to 440 Hz.
That’s because, in the early 20th century, the music community felt a need to standardize the tuning of musical instruments all over the world. The higher 440 Hz found favor since it was said to produce a louder and brighter sound - which was favorable at the time.
The UK and US threw their support behind the 440 Hz tuning, and other countries followed suit after a brief resistance. So, a worldwide agreement was signed into effect in 1953 to make 440 Hz the standardized tuning.
But lately, more and more listeners around the world claim that listening to music at 432 Hz is far more pleasing and relaxing than at 440 Hz. Why don’t we try out a little experiment ourselves? Check out this video from 4:30 onwards for a direct comparison, where the same song is played at both frequencies.
We definitely felt a difference when we listened to both - which version felt mellower, calming, and pleasant to you?
5 Benefits of Listening to Music Tuned to 432 Hz
1 - Reduces Stress Levels
Research has shown that listening to 432 Hz dramatically reduces our anxiety and stress levels. A 2020 study analyzed the effects of 440 Hz and 432 Hz music in reducing patient anxiety before a dental procedure. The results found that the cortisol levels (stress hormone) levels were significantly lower in the group exposed to 432 Hz music vs. the 440 Hz group before the medical procedure.
2 - Aligns one with nature
As we said, Verdi’s pitch resonates with the Earth’s natural frequency. Thus, 432 Hz has a grounding effect on our mind, helping us feel more connected to nature and all living beings around us. This can go a long way in restoring our precious vibrational balance with that of our world.
3 - Improves Sleep Quality
Scientific research published in 2019 saw that 432 Hz music put the participants in a significantly more relaxed state. This was due to an increase in their brain’s alpha wave activity, which is linked to a state of wakeful relaxedness - which is the first stage of the onset of sleep.
4 - Slows Down Breath, Heart Rate & Blood Pressure
A 2019 scientific study compared how 440 Hz and 432 Hz music affects our health indicators. The results were astounding - 432 Hz was linked to a decrease in blood pressure levels and heart rate by about 5 beats per minute!
The same study also found that 432 Hz music slowed down the breath of the participants as well.
Finally, the people in the 432 Hz were found to be more focused on listening to the music and were more satisfied after the listening session vs. the 440 Hz group.
5 - Preserves Hearing Ability
Because 432 Hz music is deeper, mellower, and softer in its frequency, you don’t need to turn the volume knob up too high for it to be audible. You can hear it just fine at lesser volume levels. In the long run, this can preserve our ability to hear much better than listening to music at a higher frequency.
Experience 432 Hz Music Yourself
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the saying goes. So why not experience 432 Hz and decide its benefits for yourself? Here are two gorgeous pieces of music, both of which have been originally recorded by their respective artists at 432 Hz tuning.
The first is from Leszek Możdżer & Holland Baroque, it's called Invocation
The second is called Internal Flight experience by Estas Tonne
Find a quiet and comfortable spot, put those headphones on, and lose yourself in their relaxing melodies.
Both Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla have said that the answer to the mysteries of life lies in vibrations and frequencies...and our tryst with 432 Hz only confirms what they believed.
As the world becomes more and more aware of the healing abilities of certain sound frequencies, we hope that it will usher in a new age of peace and harmony in the world - where all life and all hearts beating on our planet resonate as one.
The Sounds that Heal Series
References & Interesting Reads
- Music Tuned to 440 Hz Versus 432 Hz and the Health Effects: A Double-blind Cross-over Pilot Study
- Effect of music of specific frequency upon the sleep architecture and electroencephalographic pattern of individuals with delayed sleep latency: A daytime nap study
- Interesting Reddit thread about 440 vs 432
- Effect of music at 432 Hz and 440 Hz on dental anxiety and salivary cortisol levels