Why did musical instrument tuners change their tuning from 432 hz to 440 hz, and why is that controversial?

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Why did musical instrument tuners change their tuning from 432 hz to 440 hz, and why is that controversial?

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I’m not aware that they ever did change, but the typical tuning note is an A at 440hz. The reason it matters is that the frequency relates to a certain pitch, so if you change the frequency (in this case down by 8hz) it won’t be the correct pitch for whatever you are trying to tune and sound wrong.

There wasn’t a standard frequency with which to tune the tuning A at, originally, so each region had a specific one they chose to tune relative to. Eventually, and I can’t remember exactly why or how, it was set to 432 Hz, and then later, to 440 Hz, which is what we used today. Altering *all* of the frequencies in a scale by the same amount of hertz doesn’t really make it sound off-pitch, as they’re still the same relative to each other. It just makes the music sound “shifted down” or “shifted up” by a bit. It’s not necessarily even a very perceptible difference, either. If you hear one or the other, by itself, you wouldn’t typically have any reference with which to decide whether it was tuned with A at 432 Hz or at 440 Hz.

Basically it comes down to math. There are twelve notes in an octave, and they are defined by ratios to each other. So for example, one note could be defined as vibrating at a 3:2 ratio of another note. The problem comes because it gets tricky to divide a frequency such as 440 (or 432) into whole numbers of frequencies that sound right. Thus each note might be off by a few Hz from what it “should” be. Changing the base frequency that all the other notes are based off of may make some notes sound better together, but others sound worse.