So, OK, this is NOT about the general (semi-philosophical) question on what the “correct” frequency of A4 is (or what the universe’s fundamental frequency is) - this is more about the consequence of using a certain tuning and what it means for playing along recordings…
OK, first things first: I tune my instruments with respect to A4 = 440 Hz as reference, mainly because that is the de facto standard (aka concert pitch) and most tuners are by default set to this tuning. At least, that is what I have been working from so far.
I had just mentioned Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” in a different thread, and as it actually is a very beautiful pop song, I took my bass and wanted to noodle/play along. Hm, OK, it probably has G as its tonal center, but it sounded clearly out of tune. Neither G# or Gb would sound better. So, I checked the tuning of the bass again, but all was as it should be. Then, I tried to use a tuner to get the general “tuning” of the song, and to me it’s about 30 to 40 cents flat.
Here is the version I am talking about:
If it doesn’t sound slightly out of tune when you play a G to most of the parts, then please let me know!
The relationship between Hz and cent isn’t strictly linear, but 1Hz is roughly 4 cent, so a difference of 30/35 cents puts it in the neighborhood of A4 = 432 Hz.
Hm, OK, why would they do that? For the singer? Perhaps… To be in tune with the universe?? I don’t know…
So, off I go and google about “Kiss from a Rose at 432 Hz” and find, among other things, these two links:
A recording that claims to present that song based on the 432 Hz tuning:
And the chords from Chordify for that song (also claimed to be with the 432 Hz tuning):
Now, both of these fit very nicely with my standard-tuned bass and the G’s sound very much in tune. Whereas, if I tune my bass according to A4 = 432 Hz, then both these version sound out of tune…
To summarize: the version I thought was in standard tuning is not - why? The two others that claim to be in 432 tuning are really not. Or are they? What am I missing??? This really has me non-plussed.