For other uses, see A440 (disambiguation).
The International Organization for Standardization classifies it as ISO 16. Before standardization on 440 Hz, other frequencies were standardized upon. Although not universally accepted, it serves as the audio frequency reference to calibrate acoustic equipment and to tune pianos, violins, and other musical instruments.
Before standardization on 440 Hz, many countries and organizations followed the French standard since the 1860s of 435 Hz, which had also been the Austrian government's 1885 recommendation. Johann Heinrich Scheibler recommended A440 as a standard in 1834 after inventing the "tonometer" to measure pitch, and it was approved by the German Natural History Society the same year.
The American music industry reached an informal standard of 440 Hz in 1926, and some began using it in instrument manufacturing.
A440 is widely used as concert pitch in the United Kingdom and the United States. In continental Europe the frequency of A4 commonly varies between 440 Hz and 444 Hz. In the period instrument movement, a consensus has arisen around a modern baroque pitch of 415 Hz (with 440 Hz corresponding to A♯), a 'baroque' pitch for some special church music (in particular, some German church music, e.g. the Pre-Leipzig period cantatas of Bach) known as (Chorton pitch) at 466 Hz (with 440 Hz corresponding to A♭), and classical pitch at 430 Hz.