Are There Really Only 12 Notes?

Why is C the middle note?

The most intuitive answer is that “middle C” (or C4 in scientific pitch notation) is in the middle of the great staff.

It’s also on the middle line of the alto clef.

As to why musicians most commonly refer to the letter C, that’s because C is the starting note of the major scale which has no sharps or flats..

What note is H in music?

However, in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, the label B is used for what, above, is called B-flat, and the note a semitone below C is called H.

Is do middle C?

In English the term Do is used interchangeably with C only by adherents of fixed-Do solfège; in the movable Do system Do refers to the tonic of the prevailing key.

Is an octave 7 or 8 notes?

An octave is the interval comprised of 12 half steps up from a starting note. … A 7-note scale has 8 notes technically, but there are 7 different note names in the scale, since the 8th note is the same as the first note. The name octave refers to the interval between the first note and 8th note of such a scale.

Why does an octave start on C?

So those octaves do start on C: As I understand it, when letters were first assigned to notes, A was simply the lowest of the range of notes being used. Sharps and flats were gradually added so that scales could be transposed, but C became the “tonic” of the natural notes. …

How many chords are there?

They are the five Major chords mention earlier: E, G, C, A, and D. Major is a word that describes the quality of the chord. The spacing between the notes in music is what gives the chord their quality. Other types of chords include Minor, Dominant 7th, Augmented, Diminished, and many more.

Why does music only have 12 notes?

7/5 tritone 10/7 also called a tritone. The idea behind twelve is to build up a collection of notes using just one ratio. The advantage to doing so is that it allows a uniformity that makes modulating between keys possible.

What are the 12 notes?

There are 12 different notes that we can play in music. A, B, C, D, E, F, G (7 of the 12 notes) which are played on the white keys of the piano in addition to 5 other notes played on the black keys.

Why are there 7 notes in an octave?

The next pitch is called the octave because it’s the eighth note (just as an octopus has eight legs). More than a thousand years ago the letters of the Roman alphabet were adopted to refer to these, and since there were only seven the letters ran A, B, C, D, E, F, G.

Is C the lowest note?

The highest note of a piano is a C, while lowest is an A. If you play C major, you are likely to play the highest note of a piano.

Why are notes named after letters?

The letter names are sometimes called the “Boethian notation” after Boethius, a Roman writer and statesman who lived in the 5th century. He was in the service of Emperor Theodoric, was accused of treason and executed in the year 524 A.D. He was the first to document the use of letters as names for notes.

What are white keys on a piano called?

The white piano keys are known as the natural keys, because they sound a natural note as opposed to the sharps and flats of the black notes, which we’ll explain in the next section.

Are there 7 or 12 notes?

The notation we have is actually pretty natural and logical, for a simple reason: there are twelve different notes in the Western system, but only a subset of these — seven, in fact — are used in a given scale such as the major scale.

Are there 12 notes in an octave?

The twelve notes of the octave—all the black and white keys in one octave on the piano—form the chromatic scale. The tones of the chromatic scale (unlike those of the major or minor scale) are all the same distance apart, one half step.

Why is C the first note?

Rather, it represents the music of the people that created music notation: Monks. An ‘Aeolian-like’ sound was the their preferred mode of music making. The notes of that “Aeoloian-like” sound would have been a minor scale. That is the sound they liked to sing- and the first note of it they named ‘A’.

What is a 7 note scale called?

Heptatonic scaleHeptatonic scale, also called Seven-note Scale, or Seven-tone Scale, musical scale made up of seven different tones. The major and minor scales of Western art music are the most commonly known heptatonic scales, but different forms of seven-tone scales exist.

Why do notes an octave apart sound the same?

The reason that shifting up one octave “sounds the same” is that the overtone pattern of a tone and the same tone one octave higher (all frequencies doubled) is nearly identical. … The tones sound almost the same because they activate mostly the same combination of frequency-sensitive neurons in the brain.

Why is an octave 12 notes?

By dividing each octave into 12 intervals, you maximize the number of pleasingly sounding pairs of notes. That is because the number 12 is divisible by more small numbers than any other number less than 60. It is divisible by 1,2,3,4,and 6. … So in modern western music they use 12 intervals.

What are the 12 semitones?

A chromatic scale defines 12 semitones as the 12 intervals between the 13 adjacent notes forming a full octave (e.g. from C4 to C5).

How many notes are there in total?

seven notesWestern music. Scales in traditional Western music generally consist of seven notes and repeat at the octave. Notes in the commonly used scales (see just below) are separated by whole and half step intervals of tones and semitones.

Why is it called an octave?

The word “octave” comes from a Latin root meaning “eight”. It seems an odd name for a frequency that is two times, not eight times, higher. The octave was named by musicians who were more interested in how octaves are divided into scales, than in how their frequencies are related.