In this article I will be going over the basics of 432 tuning and a little history. This will get you rolling as a music producer and give you the tools for making music in 432. If you want to speed things up even more, grab the 432 Essentials Live Pack. It contains a bunch of presets in 432, e-book, and even micro-tonal instruments.
If you already got the theory down and just want to implement it in live, go to part two of the series on tuning to 432 in Ableton Live.
Beautifully Imperfect Tuning
There is a lot of information, and even misinformation around tuning. I don’t believe there is “one answer”, but there are a lot of questions worth asking. it is that endless search that brings us incrementally closer to understand the beautifully imperfect nature of reality. That is why I propose we continue the quests of our forefathers, and seek after unknown territory within music. And in this case, lets look at tuning.
The History of Modern Tuning
To start on this path lets discuss what tuning is. When you are building a scale for music, you must start with the root frequency. The first note is what the rest of the scale builds from. This very first note is called the Concert Pitch.
Concert pitch refers to the pitch reference to which a group of musical instruments are tuned for a performance. The most common modern tuning standard uses 440 Hz for A above middle C as a reference note, with other notes being set relative to it.” Wikipedia
In most western music, instruments are all tuned to 440 Hz at A. For hundreds, and thousands of years though there was no standard tuning. Each instrument, group, or culture had a wide range of tuning. Once orchestras became more popular all the instruments had to be tuned together and many orchestras started to standardize their own tuning. (more…)