View Full Version : Globalism and Concert Pitch

09-04-2010, 12:26 PM
The first effort to standardise and enforce across the whole music industry a tuning frequency of A=440 was the result of a conference organized by the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in 1939, who insisted on it as the official German tuning pitch. Professor Robert Dussaut of the National Conservatory of Paris reacted to the news of it and told the French press that: ``By September 1938, the Accoustic Committee of Radio Berlin requested the British Standard Association to organize a congress in London to adopt internationally that tuning in broadcasts of music pitched at 440. This congress did in fact occur in London, a very short time before the war, in May/June 1939. No French composer was actually invited. So the decision to raise the pitch was thus taken without consulting French musicians, and completely against their will.''

The Anglo-Nazi agreement, given the outbreak of war, did not last.

So musical globalists tried again. A second congress in London of the International Standardizing Organization met in October 1953, to again attempt to impose A=440 as the enforceable tuning pitch, internationally. This conference also passed the idea as a resolution; again without the agreement of Continental and other musicians who strongly opposed the rise in pitch and who were not invited. So the resolution was again widely ignored. Professor Dussaut of the Paris Conservatory wrote that British instrument makers catering to the U.S. jazz trade, played at A=440 and above, and had demanded the higher pitch, ``and it is really shocking to me our orchestra members and singers should thus be dependent upon jazz players.'' A referendum by Professor Dussaut collected the signatures of over 23,000 French musicians who voted overwhelmingly for the natural tuning of A=432 and for rejection of 440.

In 1971, the European Community got hold of the issue and even passed a recommendation calling for the still non-existent international pitch standard of 440 to be globally enforced ! The action was reported in ``The Pitch Game,'' in Time magazine, Aug. 9, 1971. The article admits A=440, ``this supposedly international standard, is still being widely ignored.''

But lower tuning remains common in reality, Time reported, ``where orchestras revel in a plushy, warm tone achieved by a larynx-relaxing A=435 cycles,'' and at a performance in London ``a few years ago,'' British church organs were still tuned a half-tone lower, about A=425, than the visiting Vienna Philharmonic, at A=450.

In short, the almost unanimous verdict of musicians is a tuning frequency for musical performance of A-440 is too high, that it places too great a stress of human voices and is wrong for hundreds of other technical reasons.

Here is a Bach Prelude. Played on a keyboard tuned to natural pitch where the tuning note A is 432. Each note has a depth in such a tuning system that is completely lost when A is tuned higher to 440.