Tuning forked

Some time during the last century, I was trying to create the illusion that I could play piano, and the poor woman tasked with Making It So immediately noticed that the family instrument was tuned a hair differently. “The current standard calls for the A above middle C to be tuned to 440 Hz.”

Compulsive math whiz that I was at the time, I immediately found something wrong with this, based on my devotion to C Major: should not middle C, the anchor of the entire keyboard, be a nice binary multiple like 256 Hz? Tune to A=440, and middle C becomes 261 point something, which seems inelegant. She reassured me that the Pitch Police were not on the way, and I went back to fumbling with scales.

And I didn’t think about it for at least fifty years, until an image was dropped into my Facebook timeline:

Conspiracy theory on musical tuning

I note for reference the following:

I decided to flush this from my mind with the playing of Deep Purple’s “A’ 200,” from the Burn album, but I could not find my cassette, and none of the proffered versions on YouTube would play at all.

I blame the Rothschilds.


  1. fillyjonk »

    19 January 2017 · 7:11 am

    I’m surprised that conspiracy dude didn’t try to make a “420” reference there. (It’s rumored overuse of pot can make a person paranoid)

    I need to get *my* piano tuned; I’m beginning to hear that it’s slightly off.

  2. Francis W. Porretto »

    19 January 2017 · 8:47 am

    That article broke my brain. All it lacks is a connection to Dr. Gene Ray and his “Time Cube.”

  3. McG »

    19 January 2017 · 1:42 pm

    I’ve just spent some considerable amount of time listening to music on what is, for now at least, the new default music player on my phone. I do find the sound quality vastly improved on most tracks so far. Lyrics I would have needed a lyrics sheet in front of me to understand were surprisingly clear to my ear.

  4. Notes on the perception of imaginary differences – Zoopraxiscope »

    20 January 2017 · 2:06 pm

    […] (Via Dustbury.) […]

  5. nightfly »

    20 January 2017 · 3:59 pm

    McG – the idea intrigues me. I have a lot of very favorite music that I’m interested to hear again to see if it makes a noticeable difference. Also, I tend to sing a bit off-key myself – it would be funny if I was actually on-key the whole time.

    (No, but seriously, I’m terrible.)

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