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The octave numbering was done on the piano keyboard, starting with middle C, which divides the keyboard into left and right sides. Middle C is also the 4th C on the piano, so middle C is C4, and the notes to the right are also numbered 4 up to C5 and then the cycle repeats. Notes to the left of middle C are numbered 3 down to C3 and that cycle repeats. My ...


History. For centuries people just sang, and then somebody came up with a method of writing it down. Our system comes from the Western tradition. In the medieval period, most Western song was in the minor mode. The major key hadn't come into widespread usage. So the first scale they wrote down started with the note "A" and spelled out the A minor scale. ...


We base most of our notation off of C. Let's put this in the context of the piano. The first scale you learn would be C and most of the first songs you would play would be in C. In terms of keys, C is made of all the natural letter named notes so it makes sense to base the notation off this especially when it comes to notation.

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