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A440




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A standard method of tuning in which the note A above middle C (A4 in scientific pitch notation) has a frequency of 440 Hz (cycles per second). This is sometimes referred to as concert pitch.

In 1936, ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) adopted the standard establishing 440 Hz for the pitch of A above middle C. Prior to that, a variety of tuning methods were in existence, with A having frequencies from 373 Hz to 457 Hz. ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) adopted this standard in 1955.

A440 is widely used as concert pitch in the United Kingdom and the United States. In continental Europe the frequency of the A is commonly 442 Hz or 443 Hz. In the period instrument movement, a consensus has arisen around a modern baroque pitch of 415 Hz (currently, A flat), baroque for some special church music (Chorton pitch) at 466 Hz (A sharp), and classical pitch at 432 Hz.

The A above middle C is sometimes referred to as Concert A. (The C above Concert A is called Concert C.)


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   • MUSIC THEORY