I've been looking around the internet for this. Surprisingly, I can't understand exactly what pitch spelling is. I know what a pitch in the musical sense means, but I can't understand what do we do exactly when we pitch-spell?


Spelling a pitch relates to the system of naming notes by letters (A-G) and sharp(#) and flat (♭) signs - and sometimes double sharp and flat signs, resulting in names or 'spellings' like 'A♭', 'D#', 'F♭♭'.

Translating between frequencies in Hz and such names is non-trivial. You need to consider :

If translating between, say, MIDI note numbers and 'spelled' names, the first two steps can be skipped.

Spelled pitch names often have an octave number appended for disambiguation - e.g. 'A♭3', 'D#5'.

  • Part of the problem are national differences for note names or even the Do/Re/Mi-system. Octave numbering is also far from universal according my experience. – guidot Jun 20 '16 at 13:04
  • @guidot yes, I'm currently doing some sample library conversions and finding octave numbering to vary. All good fun! – topo Reinstate Monica Jun 20 '16 at 13:31

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