Category: Music

Swallows return to San Juan Capistrano


Image: 1939 NBC Radio National Broadcast of St. Joseph’s Day & Return of the
Swallows Celebration with Father Hutchinson, Mission’s resident priest from 1933-1951 via

“The annual swallow migration has received a lot of attention over the years. For instance, Leon Rene’s 1939 hit, When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano song lyrics are a tribute to the long migration.

“The amazing journey takes the swallows over 12,000 miles round-trip. They abandon their winter haven in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina and travel to southern California, arriving on St Joseph’s Day (March 19th)…”

Excerpt from .


Swing music will be forgotten


Image: unsourced, apparently taken December 31, 1940.

“In a few months, or a year at the outside, swing music will be forgotten by everybody except a few orchestras. You can notice the swing back to musical sanity everywhere. A year ago, most of the music on the air was swing, but now there’s a better balance. The sweet stuff’s coming back, with emphasis on melody.” – Irving Berlin in 1939.

Source: Columnist Paul Harrison via . Click on the link to see an eight-minute video about Irving Berlin.

Berlin wrote, among many other songs, “God Bless America” in 1938 that singer Kate Smith became known for.


“A” note influence?


What people are doing is tuning old violins to new musical fashion. A more passionate view might be that musical treasures are being dangerously souped up to keep pace with unreasonable demands [for a stronger, more brilliant orchestral sound].

“The problem begins at A. In fact, that’s pretty much the whole problem. When the first Cremonese masters were making their violins, violas and cellos, everybody agreed that the pitch of A above middle C was around 420 cycles per second, or 420 hertz. Since A is the tuning note on which other notes–up and down– are based, first A is tuned in, then all strings are tightened accordingly. With A at 420 hertz, these instruments, which many say are unequaled for their tone quality, sounded warm and rich among the few other strings in a small chamber orchestra.

“But as orchestras and concert halls got bigger, musicians started to tune their instruments sharper, raising the pitch of A and thus all the other notes. The more brilliant, more piercing sound could be heard above other players and delight listeners even at the top of the third balcony.

“The more that violinists tightened their strings, the more pressure they put on their violin bodies. Singers had to reach for higher notes, putting more pressure on their bodies, too. By the time Giuseppe Verdi was writing his operas in the mid-19th century, A had sharpened to 435 hertz. That, Verdi thought, was enough for both man and machine. He got an international meeting in Vienna in 1885 to fix A at that level.

It didn’t last. In 1939 another international meeting set A at 440 hertz…”

“Excerpt from “Violin Makers Fret As Musicians Fiddle With Their A-Strings,” by Philip Revzin, The Wall Street Journal, July 1988 from .

The “international meeting” mentioned above was apparently the Rockefeller Foundation meeting referenced below.

Here’s a conspiracy theory about it:

“Imagine that he [an incredibly powerful, wealthy person who secretly prospers from conflict, disease and war] bases the entire scale of musical artistic creation upon a frequency which would skew vibrations towards discord.

“It sounds like science fiction.  Yet this is exactly what transpired in September 1939 when Rockefeller (Illuminati) financial interests dictated that the standard tuning for the note of “A” above middle C would henceforth be said to vibrate at precisely 440 cycles per second.

“This unnatural standard tuning frequency, removed from the symmetry of sacred vibrations and overtones, has declared war on the subconscious mind of Western Man.”

Excerpt from .


Here is more:

“The arguments can get pretty technical with proponents of 432 claiming that it resonates with the Heart Chakra, repairs DNA and restores both spiritual and mental health. There is even the suggestion that 432 tuned music stimulates the right brain, responsible for our most desirable human traits.”

“The research conducted with grants from the Rockefeller Foundation (referenced earlier) determined that 440 Hz music was good at making people work harder and fostered personality traits more in tune with Startrek’s Vulcan character, Spock. These are pure left brain traits which stifle creative thought and null the emotions. It is clear why these traits were desirable in the Third Reich. It also might explain why modern music, which changed to the 440 Hz standard in 1939, has had such a negative effect on today’s culture.”

Excerpt from .

1939 image of Albert Einstein playing the violin from .