Talk:A440 (pitch standard)

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Uh... the linked A440 file is actually playing D3? ~147Hz —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Most of this is really about tuning instruments rather than A440, but as I don't think we have an article on the subject, I'm not sure what best to do with it (there is already some stuff about A440 itself, incidentally, at pitch (music)). --Camembert

Agreed. I don't think the third and fourth paragraphs, which are fundamentally about the tuning of pianos, are necessary. Tagith 14:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Might want to take a look at Virtual piano, Twelfth root of two and other linking articles. 13:49, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC) (Quinobi)

I've got to agree that, indeed, there is really very little about Concert A itself. This needs to be fixed. Gingermint (talk) 20:32, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

"Tuning a piano [...] is actually done with the human ear"[edit]

Aren't all instruments tuned by ear? Unless you have on of those electronic tuners that tell you when you matched the pitch. But then, the piano could also be tuned using the electronic tuner.

The statement is misleading, in that it suggests that a piano is tuned to the even-tempered scale. This is actually not true, because the thickness of the pianos strings adds a quartic term to the dispersion relation. To ensure that the overtone series of the strings matches up properly, higher notes on the piano are tuned higher, whereas lower notes are tuned lower (up to a deviation of about 40 cents at the top and bottom.) See the page on piano tuning for details. That page should also be linked to. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:34, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Somebody, fix it then!!!:) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

There was some garbage about 440 used in the "calibration" of pianos, violins and other musical instruments. I fixed it. It is used as a general tuning for music instruments (a sort of generic A) but not the "calibration" (whatever that means! That could be a lot of things), of musical instruments. It IS though, used in the calibration of acoustic machinery of one kind or another, including amplifiers and microphones. Gingermint (talk) 20:30, 21 August 2010 (UTC)

"A440 is also the note most readily accessible [ those with] perfect pitch"[edit]

Sounds fishy. This may be because they are used to hearing this pitch a lot, but not because of any special feature of 440Hz itself. Could be misleading.

I can verify that. I don't claim to have perfect pitch, I can sing and recognize an in-tune A anytime. (talk) 18:01, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

A440 sound clip[edit]

Can we get one that's longer than 5 seconds? I constantly use this article when tuning my guitar, and have to pause and hit the "replay" button, as the clip is too short. How about 20 seconds of it, instead. 100DashSix 17:05, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you make one yourself, or better yet, go buy a pitch pipe or electronic tuner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

You can download Audacity, click Generate, then tone, then enter the frequency. Scy1192 (talk) 01:32, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Split merge with Pitch (music)#Standardized pitch (A440) and Piano tuning[edit]

This stub is about two topics, and can be split and merged with two other articles. I propose we incorporate the first two paragraphs and sound clip into the relevant section of the article on Pitch, and the third and fourth paragraphs (after verification and possible correction) be merged with Piano tuning (they might need a rewrite to incorporate them). What does everyone think of this proposition? --Jeeves (talk) 19:55, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Some merging would definitely be an improvement. I suggest a new article called "standard concert pitch" (or something like that), which can include info on:
256 C (talk) 22:20, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

"Concert A"?[edit]

AFAIK, "Concert A" doesn't refer to that particular "A" (440 Hz), but to any "A". I've only heard that term used to distinguish concert A from, say, the written note "A" for a transposing instrument. - Special-T (talk) 22:00, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Exactly. When a band director calls for a "concert B flat" tuning note, the trumpets, cornets, and clarinets play the note they see written as C. How about moving to [[A440 (pitch standard)]] or something similar? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 22:34, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I left [[A440 (Concert A)]] as a redirect to this article. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 22:20, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Seems more accurate this way. Thanks - I'm not real familiar with the world of redirecting and renaming articles. - Special-T (talk) 23:15, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

I think I fixed most of the incoming links. "What links here" shows a lot of links redirected from "A440 (Concert A)" that look bogus to me, things like British standard pipe thread. Wha?? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 00:14, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

A435, Austrian Pich?[edit]

The statement that "Prior to the standardization on 440 Hz, many countries and organizations followed the Austrian government's 1885 recommendation of 435 Hz" seems to result from a misunderstanding. Also, it is contradicted by information available in

So far as I think to know, the history goes as follows:

-- The French Commission that established the French "diapason normal" at A435 in 1859 asked Lissajous to make the official tuning fork (preserved today, I am told, in the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Paris). Lissajous built the fork and gave the somewhat superfluous precision that it was exact at a temperature of 15 degrees centigrade -- the precision was superfluous because a metal pitch fork hardly varies with temperature. (And modern measurements appear to have shown that the fork is wrong by about 0,5 Hz, but that is unimportant.)

-- When the Austrian government later (possibly in 1885) examined the French diapason normal, they considered that to have the musicians play at 15° was sadistic; they calculated a mean raise of the pitch of wind instruments from 15° to 19° or so, and came with an average of 5Hz, which gave a pitch of A=440 Hz.

If this story is true, then the Austrian pitch of 1885 would be A440, not A435, and the A435 pitch would be the French one of 1859. There must exist specialized litterature on the subject.

-- Hucbald.SaintAmand (talk) 12:34, 4 October 2013 (UTC)


Although this is a detailed article it seems short to me and almost a stub, am I right? Sbcloatitr (talk) 21:36, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

MIDI files?[edit]

Wow, so I clicked to see what it sounds like and I downloaded a MIDI file. Now what... How about a modern format that web browsers support. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 18 June 2016 (UTC)

See: Template:Listen. Hyacinth (talk) 20:37, 1 April 2017 (UTC)