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I have recently purchased a violin and I am beginning to practice it. I am new to music and I do not understand the language and nomenclature of it. I am looking to answer some questions before moving forward. Here they are -

  1. What is a note?
  2. What is a pitch?
  3. How are pitch and note related?
  4. What is a scale? What is the difference between major and minor scale?

These questions might sound quite silly but if someone can help me understand it in very simple terms with perhaps an example, it would be really grateful.

Thanks in advance.

closed as too broad by Carl Witthoft, user45266, Tim H, ex nihilo, Doktor Mayhem Sep 15 at 14:51

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    None of this has anything specific to do with violin. further, a Google search will find you hundreds of pages which provide the basics of musical terms and notations. Please try that first. – Carl Witthoft Sep 10 at 18:51
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    @CarlWitthoft Poor tagging, now that I think about it. – user45266 Sep 11 at 2:39
  • Please read our How to Ask pages - they will give you guidance, including limiting posts to just one question, reading existing posts in case the answer is already here etc. – Doktor Mayhem Sep 15 at 14:51
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I think you need more than just an answer in a topic like this in order to get a good understanding of your questions, but I can give you some idea as follows:

Regarding your first three questions:

  1. What is a note?

  2. What is a pitch?

  3. How are pitch and note related?

Pitch is a particular frequency of a sound. When playing melodies you are playing sounds at different pitches.

The term note can have two meanings:

A) As a symbol: A note is a musical symbol which tells the duration of the pitch you are playing and when that symbol is placed in a musical staff it tells you which pitch to play.

B) As a sound: In this case a note is the name of the pitch you are playing. If you are playing an A you can say you are playing the note A, which means you are playing a sound that has that particular pitch named A.

And question number four:

  1. What is a scale? What is the difference between major and minor scale?

The term scale literally means ladder or stairs. A scale in music is a series of notes ordered in steps just like a ladder has steps, the notes are arranged by ascending or descending order of pitch. A musical scale has whole steps and half steps. The difference between major and minor scales is that the half steps are located at different places in the scales, like a major scale is a scale that starts with two whole steps while a minor scale is a scale that starts with a whole step followed by a half step. I think you better Google the subject in order to find out more about scales.

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My strong recommendation to you is to get a violin teacher. All your questions will be answered and also, you will learn from the start how best to hold your violin and bow and how to position your hands and fingers, etc. Any bad habits you might pick up from self teaching will have to be broken and re-learnt in the future.

  • A thousand times yes. I wasn't new to music when I started, but I'd never be able to learn without someone who knows telling me what to do and what not to do. – marcellothearcane Sep 11 at 8:37
  • seems like i will need a new teacher then. I already am learning from a Violin teacher and i am learning to hold my bow and violin and other technicalities. The only thing I am not able to understand is the differences in note, pitch and stuff. but like everyone else mentioned I will need to find more stuff online. – Regressor Sep 11 at 13:44
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Learning the basics of music theory by simultaneously learning the subtle muscular control to make a violin sound tolerable is a recipe for discouragement.
Connect theoretical concepts to what you hear via something more forgiving, like a piano, or even a freebie app that shows a piano keyboard on your phone.

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