Cavanaugh, Lynn, “A brief history of the establishment of international standard pitch a=440 hertz”
“In physics, the pitch of a musical tone is a function of the speed at which air has been set in motion. The speed is measured as the number of complete vibrations – backwards and forwards – made by a particle of air in one second. A speed of one complete vibration per second (or cycle per second) is one Hertz. The greater the number of cycles per second, the higher the pitch perceived. When pitch is produced by a vibrating column of air, the pitch of the same length of pipe varies with temperature: for one degree Fahrenheit difference, pitch will vary by 1/1000 of the Hz. “International standard pitch,” in which the A above “middle” C (a’ in the British system of pitch designation, A4 in the American system) is tuned to 440 Hz, was adopted in the Western world for concert music only in the twentieth century, after a long history of unstandardized pitch.”
Lloyd, Llewelyn S., “International Standard Musical Pitch,” Journal of the Royal Society of Arts98 (16 Dec., 1949), 80-81
“Lloyd says that the B.S.I. endorsed A=440 as a result of an international conference for which the B.S.I. made the “business arrangements” held in London in May 1939 (“some three months before the declaration of war on Germany”), an article in the 1981 New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians says that the British Standards Institute endorsed A=440 Hz at a B.S.I. conference held in May 1938. [Mark Lindley et al.,”Pitch,” in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. 14 (London: Macmillan, 1980), 785]. It seems clear from Lloyd’s paper that the B.S.I. adopted A=440Hzafter the May 1939 international conference, and that the authors of the New Grovearticle are referring to the same conference with the correct month, but incorrect year. Unfortunately, probably as a result of the New Grove article, 1938 is now given as the year in which the B.S.I. adopted the present pitch standard in other articles about the history of pitch.”
Mendel, Arthur, “Studies in the History of Music Pitch”
“My own experience in tuning an electronic organ to be used as a continuo instrument with orchestra, in the late 1940s and early ’50s, showed me that New York orchestra musicians could with difficulty be induced to tune their instruments to a’=440Hz, but that if the organ were tuned to that pitch it would in the course of performance be flat as compared with the other instruments. If, on the other hand, I tuned the organ to a’=444Hz, this difficulty disappeared, and I take it that this latter pitch is approximately that at which New York orchestra musicians habitually play, and to which they involuntarily tend to return even if they have started out by tuning their instruments to a’=440Hz.”
Concert Pitch (Wikipedia)
“A = 440 Hz is the only official standard and is widely used around the world. Many orchestras in the United Kingdom adhere to this standard as concert pitch. In the United States some orchestras use A = 440 Hz, while others, such as the New York Philharmonic, use A = 442 Hz. The latter is also often used as a tuning frequency in Europe, especially in Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. Nearly all modern symphony orchestras in Germany and Austria and many in other countries in continental Europe (such as Russia, Sweden and Spain) tune to A = 443 Hz.”
Palmblad, Simon, “432: A Superior Tuning or Just a Different Intonation? How tuning standards affects emotional response, timbre and sound quality in music”
Your songs are great. Qs: How fo you tune the guitar to 444 Hz?
You can retune a guitar to 444 using a clip on tuning device called a Snark. The Super Snark will allow you to reset the standard 440hz tuning.
same thing happened to me, been playing for the last 40 years in 440 and couldn’t sing worth a damn, it always felt off and uncomfortable then just for fun I tried the others from 432-451 and was immediately drawn in by 444htz and for the first time I felt the chords completely and sang right on without trying and I stressed my vocal notes in different ways to songs that I never deviated from melody lines. IT sounds fresh and alive and clearer. After 40 darn years!!!