I'm trying to learn about musical notes and their names in the American system. I'm not entirely sure what a "note" is. I would appreciate if you use the notes highlighted here as an example. What is the names of the notes in the picture?

closed as too broad by Tim, Carl Witthoft, Matthew Read Mar 22 '17 at 16:11

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    That's a key signature. It's the same in the US and France – Shevliaskovic Mar 22 '17 at 7:37
  • I'm sorry for the lack of question clarity and specificity. I'm just starting a music course, all that stuff up there look Greek to me. I would appreciate if you give me some links videos or tutorials to learn more about 'notes', 'key','names'...etc or at least give me some keywords because I wouldn't even know what to search for. – Ahmad Abdelzaher Mar 22 '17 at 8:09
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    @AhmadAbdelzaher There are lessons at musictheory.net that will cover these basics. Start from the beginning. – user37496 Mar 22 '17 at 8:14
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    Use this site, with its existing questions and answers. It will take a while to trawl through, but cherry pick and it will help a lot. Also the old answer of 'get a teacher' is always the best. As a complete beginner, the music you have started with is inappropriate - it's way too advanced. – Tim Mar 22 '17 at 8:15
  • The 'links' you ask for are all available via Google, and you'll learn far more by looking through stuff there. Mainly because you know you level better than we do, and you keep looking until you find stuff that makes sense. When it doesn't, come back and ask a specific question. – Tim Mar 22 '17 at 8:22

I may be answering the wrong question, but the main difference between American and French music note names is that US uses a moveable do system, where do is always the root note of a particular key, and French uses a fixed do where it is always C, regardless of the key a piece is in.

  • Then why do they even have solfege? Is it even practical then? Or are all french born with perfect pitch? ;-P – General Nuisance Mar 26 '17 at 14:43
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    @GeneralNuisance - a good question! Perhaps needs asking. No, none of the guys I play with have absolute pitch, that I know of, but they all speak with each other in this strange tongue. I don't mean French, i mean solfege. And the orchs are designated with things like Si bemoll trompette ( Bb trumpet). – Tim Mar 26 '17 at 15:31

I think I know what you're asking. If I do know what you're talking about, I know both systems. In the French system, the scale goes,

Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si Do

enter image description here

In the American system, it goes:


enter image description here

If this wasn't what you were looking for, drop a comment. :)

  • No, that's not even correct. Note letter-names are universal. Doremi are relative to the tonic note. – Carl Witthoft Mar 22 '17 at 12:47
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    @CarlWitthoft, hmm, I beg to differ... At any rate if that's the case, my violin teacher for the first 6 years of my career knew nothing of it. Do was always C, Re was always D; we never even used C D E F G A B C. I learned those from my piano teacher. – anonymous2 Mar 22 '17 at 12:49
  • Apologies - I meant to write "In the USA,..." And most certainly in a certain horrible song from a horrible musical :-) – Carl Witthoft Mar 22 '17 at 12:53
  • @CarlWitthoft, Ah, gotcha. Thanks for clarifying, I was just a bit worried. :) – anonymous2 Mar 22 '17 at 12:53
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    @CarlWitthoft - that song happens to be written in C, so no clues there. However - the French use a 'fixed do' system, where do is always C. The tonic sol-fa system that is far more universally followed says that do is the tonic/root of any key. And of course, the letter naming is (almost) universal, and works well for most of the Western world. Teaching music in France is not the easiest, as I found out, because of this anomaly. – Tim Mar 22 '17 at 13:36

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