Medical Mysteries of Music

Here’s an interesting musical treatment for insomnia: 432 Hz music

Having a hard time falling asleep? There may be a special set of musical frequencies that can help.

Several years ago, I wrote a piece for Global News entitled “The great 440 Hz conspiracy, and why all of our music is wrong.” There’s a theory backed by research that says our Western musical scale is tuned incorrectly. Middle A on a piano keyboard–and thus ever other standard middle A on every instrument–is standardized at 440 Hz. That’s wrong. Mathematical ratios related to tuning, something first discovered by Pythagoras, say that the “natural” frequency of middle A should be 432 Hz.

That seems like a tiny difference–it’s almost an A-flat versus a contemporary natural A–but the effect on the human brain is apparently huge.

Music tuned and performed with 432 Hz as its middle A foundation is sometimes called “Verdi’s A” after Giuseppe Verdi, the Italian composer who insisted that his orchestras be tuned this way, believing it was somehow more powerful and pleasing. He wasn’t wrong.

Researchers found that listening to music tuned to Verdi’s A helps insomniacs finally drift off to sleep. Anxiety and cortisol levels were also reduced. Beneficial results were also reported for those suffering from brain fog as a result of long COVID

It works no drugs and no side effects. Why? No clue, really. It could be that flatter notes are easier on the ears somehow. And it all somehow relates to the natural tuning ratios discovered by Pythagoras.

Let’s conduct a brief experiment with two versions of “The Scientist” from Coldplay. Listen to both, asking yourself if one or the other somehow feels better.

Here’s the standard version.

Now here’s a version detuned slightly to 432 Hz.

If you want to go deeper–and maybe get a deeper, more restful sleep–there are a much of YouTube channels that you may want to try. Sweet dreams.

(Via Woman’s World)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38138 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Here’s an interesting musical treatment for insomnia: 432 Hz music

  • What an amazing difference 8 Hz makes!

    Reply
  • Interesting, I believe frequency has alot to do with other aspects of life , everything is frequency

    Reply

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