This App Makes You Happier by Retuning All of Your Music
Interested in listening to all of your favorite music while simultaneously improving your overall mood? Duh!
Enter Retuned. It’s an app that, just like the name suggests, retunes all of the music on your phone to the frequency of 432 Hz. This adjustment is imperceptible to your ears, but according to its creators and other scientific folk, the tweak might increase your personal happiness factor and make the world at large more harmonious.
Proceed with us down the rabbit hole.
Four or five years ago, this was all very woo-woo… Now hard science is proving frequencies through light, sound and electromagnetics are altering the way we feel, think and act.
According to many new-agers, different frequencies correspond with different emotions. For example, 528 Hz is said to be the love frequency. 432 Hz is supposed to be correlated with serenity and happiness. It was standard tuning for composers including Mozart and Verdi, as well as in ancient societies where music was largely used in ceremonial contexts intended to connect people with higher powers, vibrations and states of consciousness.
According to science that our pedestrian minds can only sort of comprehend, 432 Hz is said to be mathematically consistent with the Fibonacci sequence and the most well aligned with nature in general. (For what it’s worth, 432 squared is also supposed to be the closest number you can get to the speed of light.) All of this is said to be why listening to music tuned to 432 Hz is supposed to make you feel like you just got a massage and a good night’s rest.
In 1939, however, 440 Hz became international standard pitch. This switch, some theorize, might be a cause of the general malaise of modern culture. No joke. Music experts say 440 Hz is fundamentally disharmonious to humans, as it is out of sync with the innate tones of nature and the universe at large. Thus, listening to sounds tuned to 440Hz (as in, the bulk of modern music) increases feelings of stress and discontent.
But why would the world’s standard tone be one that makes us all feel sad and crazy? Well, some conspiracy theorists say that during the years preceding World War II, people interested in hyping the war machine (banks, powerful families, Nazis, etc.) explored various ways to create mass hysteria in large populations. Enter 440 Hz. The rumor is that notorious Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels campaigned to change the world’s standard tuning to 440 Hz in an effort to promote population control, cultural programming, and the suppression of spirituality. Others say the Nazis had nothing to do with it and that the switch was simply because 440 Hz is an easier tone for musicians to play on a wide range of instruments.
Whatever the case, there are many who believe 432 Hz and its positive effects on the subconscious mind makes it fundamentally superior to standard tuning. Among them are programmers (and brothers) Derek and Neil Jones, who began developing Retuned in 2011. With it, you can organize the music on your phone into a playlist (the app doesn’t work with streaming services like Spotify), which the app then changes to 432 Hz. It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to Skrillex or Four Tet, the music will simply be retuned to a tone that’s supposed make you feel calmer, happier and more connected to the music. Retuned will also add a binaural beat of your choice to the background of the song.
“Four or five years ago, this was all very woo-woo and something people didn’t think had any backing to it, like a snake oil,” says Derek Jones. “Now, hard science is proving frequencies through light, sound and electromagnetics are altering the way we feel, think and act. Using that base principle, we made this app to counterbalance and give people more control of what they’re listening to and how it’s affecting them.”
Want to see how it’s affecting you? Cymatics is the science that gives shape to sound via vibrations. When 440 Hz is played through a plate of sand, the shapes produced are largey linear and rigid. When 432Hz is played, the shapes are more dynamic and, you know, cooler and prettier. Consider that those are the same vibrations happening inside your body, since we’re all made up of roughly 70% water.
The hardcore EDM dubstep is hard, and it’s still going to sound hard even after it’s retuned.
While it would be difficult for traditional musicians to retune their music to 432 Hz, since most instruments are made in 440 Hz, making this shift in tuning is easy for people working on computers—ahem, every electronic music producer out there.
“The hardcore EDM dubstep is hard, and it’s still going to sound hard even after it’s retuned,” Neil Jones says. “But it’s also going to be more harmonious to you.”
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