Over The Top: Music and Conspiracy Theories
The danger of mystical music systems is that they can degenerate into a belief that certain kinds of music or even pitches are ”good,” and others “evil.” David Tame’s 1984 book, The Secret Power of Music, has some very useful information in it, and I have used him as a source for some of the historical information I share in this book. But he considers jazz and blues to be evil, and favorably quotes some 1920s-era racist newspaper accounts of jazz causing the ruination of 1000 girls in two years in Chicago, as just one example. The Chinese believed that their entire empire would fall if they didn’t tune their instruments correctly. The tritone (C to F#) was considered the devil’s interval in the European Middle Ages. In many cultures, the seventh harmonic was believed to be the entryway to the land of the dead and therefore to be avoided. Jazz, rock, blues, and other musicians have all been accused of being tools of the devil. In 1991, record label CEOs and rich “decision makers” supposedly met behind closed doors to invent and promote Gangster Rap. According to the conspiracists, the goal was to encourage drug dealing and street violence through music to enrich the coffers of privately-owned corporate prisons. Even the practice of 12-eq tuning has been on the receiving end of accusations of evil intent.
There is a website ascribing evil intent to the A=440 pitch we tune almost all our instruments to: https://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/08/440hz-music-conspiracy-to-detune-good-vibrations-from-natural-432hz.html . The anonymous author claims that the switch from 432 Hz to 440 Hz was ordered by “Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels. He used it to make people think and feel a certain manner, and to make them a prisoner of a certain consciousness.” He then throws the Rockefeller Foundation into the mix for good measure. Interestingly, he shows what happens to grains of sand as they are subjected to the two different vibrations, and indeed, 432 Hz creates a more pleasing pattern! So while there is no harm in searching for an ideal pitch to tune A to, I again caution you that if you consider 53-eq or pure just intonation to mean All That is Good, then your mind may imagine that other systems are All That Is Evil.
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