Sadly, largely due to the lack of enthusiasm and narrow-mindedness with which they are taught, for the majority of people, Mathematics and Physics are simply big, boring problems to be solved before June. Yet, in actual fact, their figures and rules are at the base of the dynamics of the world in which we live. Whether we like it or not, sooner or later we end up meeting them along our path. As far as I was concerned, they were marks which had to be high enough to take home. That is, until the day that I discovered music. They suddenly became fascinating things which redefined my interest and my curiosity in them. Music, ‚Äúemotional‚ÄĚ mathematics and physics ‚Äúin movement‚ÄĚ, stole me away with its laws and numbers and even now I remain a willing hostage and a satisfied lover. Even if I was at first quite surprised, on second thoughts there is little to be astonished at in what I learnt or what I am going to write about. What follows, if it holds true, is nothing other than a confirmation of the inexhaustible mystery surrounding the numbers that govern our space and time. They act as our backdrop and their rules never cease to amaze.
Almost everyone is probably familiar with the note to which all modern music is tuned. Raise your hand anyone who has never heard someone ask a musician: ‚ÄúGive me an ‚ÄėA‚Äô!‚ÄĚ. It is likely that the frequency of this note (i.e. 440Hz) is also common knowledge. This is the frequency used as a reference which allows all instruments in circulation to be tuned in the same way. Unfortunately, however, many people are ignorant of the origins of this practice: that this frequency is none other than a relatively recent convention, that is to say that it was arbitrarily decided that ‚ÄėA‚Äô at 440Hz would be the world-wide reference frequency. The decision was taken in London in 1953 (following a previous attempt in 1939 by the Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels to the same effect). Verdi too had campaigned to make the frequency of the ‚Äúchorister‚ÄĚ tuning-fork the same for everyone, given the wide oscillation from 435Hz up to as high as 450 Hz, creating a difference of up to a semitone amongst orchestras of his time. Below is an extract from a letter he wrote in 1884, addressed to the Music Commission of the Italian Government.
¬ęSince the standardised tuning-fork [at that time tuned to 435 Hz] has been adopted in France, I recommend that we follow their example, and I formally ask the orchestras of the various cities in Italy, especially that of the Scala, to lower the value of the tuning fork in line with French standards. If the Musical Commission instated by our Government believes that for mathematical needs we should reduce the 435 vibrations of the French tuning-fork to 432, the difference is so slight as to be imperceptible to the ear, and I would readily agree with their decision. It would be a serious error indeed to adopt the proposal which comes from Rome of a tuning-fork of 450 vibrations. I am of the same opinion as you, that lowering the tuning-fork does not detract at all from the sonority or the liveliness of the musical execution. On the contrary, it makes it the more noble, the richer and the more majestic. This could not be achieved with the shrill sounds of an over-acute chorister (tuning-fork). As far as I am concerned, I would like to see a single tuning-fork adopted throughout the music world. The language of music is universal and so why should the note which is known as ‚ÄėA‚Äô in Paris or Milan become a B flat in Rome?¬Ľ.
In his letter (which was unsuccessful in its attempt), Verdi speaks of a reduction in the value of the tuning fork from the normal 435 Hz to 432 Hz, saying that he would readily agree with such a decision. Furthermore, he makes a most important comment: ‚Äúfor mathematical needs‚ÄĚ. What exactly does he mean? To understand this more fully and with greater clarity, we must first introduce another frequency of 8 Hz. It would be possible to write a lot of pertinent points about oscillations at 8 cycles per second, all of which would definitely be of great interest, but for the purposes of this article it suffices to draw attention to three facts amongst the many I took into consideration arising from the vast amount of material consulted.
1) The ‚Äėordinary‚Äô thought waves created by the human brain range from 14Hz to 40 Hz. This range only includes certain types of dendrites (fibres projecting from a neurone responsible for sending the electrical signal) belonging to brain-cells, predominantly within the left (the more rational) hemisphere of the brain which is the centre of this activity. If the two hemispheres of our brain were synchronised with each other at 8Hz, they would work more harmoniously and with a maximum flow of information.
2) 8Hz is the frequency of the double helix in DNA replication.
3) 8Hz is the fundamental beat of the planet. It has become famous as ‚ÄúSchumann‚Äôs fundamental cavity resonance‚ÄĚ: global electromagnetic resonances which have their origin in electrical discharges of lightning within the cavity existing between the Earth‚Äôs surface and the ionosphere.
On the musical scale where ‚ÄėA‚Äô has a frequency of 440Hz, the note ‚ÄėC‚Äô is at about 261.656 Hz. On the other hand, if we take 8Hz as our starting point and work upwards by five octaves (i.e. by the seven notes in the scale five times) we reach a frequency of 256 Hz in whose scale the note ‚ÄėA‚Äô has a frequency of 432 Hz and not 440Hz. According to the harmonic principle by which any produced sound automatically resonates all the other multiples of that frequency, when we play ‚ÄėC‚Äô at 256 Hz, the ‚ÄėC‚Äô of all other octaves also begins to vibrate in ‚Äėsympathy‚Äô, and so naturally the frequency of 8Hz is also sounded. And this is why (together with many other mathematical reasons) the ‚Äėchorister‚Äô tuned to 432 oscillations per second is known as the ‚Äúscientific tuning-fork‚ÄĚ. This tuning-fork was unanimously approved at the Congress of Italian Musicians in 1881 and recommended by the physicists Sauveur, Meerens, Savart as well as by the Italian scientists Montanelli and Grassi Landi. In contrast, the frequency chosen in London in 1953 as the world-wide reference frequency and which all music today has been tuned to, has come to be defined as ‚Äúdisharmony‚ÄĚ because it has no scientific relationship to the physical laws that govern our universe.
One thing to take into careful consideration is that everything in the universe is made up of vibrating energy. Every sub-atomic particle, atom, molecular structure, cell and bodily organ are all vibrating to a set frequency. This amazing harmony represents a unique and personal signature of vibrations. Many doctors and scholars believe that the reason why a certain part of the body becomes ill may lie in its relative frequency being altered. Consequently the body vibrates in a disharmonic way. According to these scientists, the healthy being vibrates in unison in a harmonic way. If we were to identify the correct frequency of resonance of a healthy organ and project this onto the diseased part, the organ could return to its normal frequency and heal itself. If, on the contrary, we were to project a disharmonic frequency onto a healthy body, the being would become ill.
Therefore, according to the information gathered up to now, playing and listening to music which has been tuned to 432 Hz would make our body, and the organic world which surrounds it, resonate in a natural way. This would fill us with a sense of peace and well-being regardless of the kind of music one had chosen to play or listen to. Furthermore, we should consider the fact that music is ‚Äėinformation‚Äô, given the quantity of data which an emitted sound creates. When we play at 440 Hz much of this information is lost between molecules of gas present in the air which carry the sound. On the other hand, at 432Hz the data which reaches our field of resonance would not be lost because it becomes incompatible with the gas‚Äôs molecular structure and so it would reach our field of resonance with all of its information in tact.
Thus, listening to music which has been tuned to the ‚Äėscientific‚Äô tuning frequency would benefit the entire planet and everyone who lives on it while listening to music tuned to the ‚Äėdisharmonic‚Äô frequency does harm, causing stress, negative behaviour and unstable emotions. Given the worrying side-effects of this theory (and the amount of music which we listen to today), I believe that the hypothesis should be given more than just the benefit of the doubt, especially since, if it holds true, a lot of things should be re-addressed, including music-therapy whose aim is exactly that of healing.
Many facts from the past would also seem to support the hypothesis. Several studies have demonstrated that archaic musical instruments used by the Egyptians, as well as those of Ancient Greece, were mostly tuned to the frequency of 432Hz. It would seem that even the original Stradivari violin was crafted to play at 432 Hz.
The “Omega Revolution”, or so it was named by the father of these theories, Ananda M. Bosman, is the attempt by a multitude of musicians and scholars to bring the ‚Äėchorister‚Äô tuning-fork back to 432 Hz and to a natural tuning standard. [Much of the material for this article has been taken from Bosman‚Äôs book ‚Äú432Hz ‚Äď Omega Revolution‚ÄĚ, together with extracts from studies made by the musician and scientist Andrea Doria. These may be viewed online at: www.automiribelli.org].
To be a faithful reporter, I should say that many supporters of the “Omega Revolution” are convinced that both past and present interference has been part of a conspiracy led by those in power, aimed at keeping the reference frequency distant from 432Hz so as to increase people‚Äôs emotional instability and render them more easily controllable. Leaving aside the question of conspiracy for the moment (about which I have mixed feelings), my view on the whole matter is deeply humble and full of curiosity. I have deep respect for the research which has been done, and which is still being done by scientists and musicians alike. For over a year now, I have been trying to play and compose music tuned to the frequency 432Hz and I must say that I can feel the difference. After the initial impact of light-headedness, I perceived a warmer and more pleasing sound, even though I can not declare with certainty that it has scientifically benefited either my body or nature in general. I believe that in cases such as this, having evaluated the scientific evidence which supports the theory, at the end of the day, it is a question of faith. Even so, I think it‚Äôs something worth taking seriously.