Linked Questions

7 votes
5 answers

Why have sharps and flats instead of twelve notes with distinct names? [duplicate]

I'm new to piano, and I'm new to music. 12 notes, 7 letters, and I'm mad at teacher. I tried looking up why there are only 7 letters for 12 notes, and I'm not satisfied. Why do we have sharps and ...
Love Muffin's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers

Music terminology - why are seven letters used to name scale tones [duplicate]

Since the scale is logarithmic with each interval (half-step) being a constant multiple of the previous frequency, why didn't they just name the pitches A to F with each note having a half-step #/b in ...
Henry Williams's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers

How did the notes of the Western musical scale get their letter names? [duplicate]

The first thing a brand-new piano student learns is the name, and location on the keyboard, of "middle C". I've always wondered, why is that note called "middle C" rather than, say, "middle A"? To ...
jdmc's user avatar
  • 101
131 votes
12 answers

Why are there twelve notes in an octave?

I know that one scale consists of 12 half-tones. But my question is still: Why? Why not 13 or 11?
Agares's user avatar
  • 1,471
70 votes
6 answers

What is the relationship between "do re mi" and note letter names?

When people sing the song, they use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, (si), etc, but sometimes I hear that the music people say A, B, C, D flat, etc. Is there a relationship or are they two different ...
Ted Wong's user avatar
  • 1,447
67 votes
7 answers

Why is C the base note of standard notation and keys?

Why is it that notes "start" with C? In key signatures, for example, C Major is the basis and accidentals are added for all other key signatures. I know that the musical alphabet starts with A and ...
skystar's user avatar
  • 1,051
40 votes
9 answers

Why is music theory built so tightly around the C Major scale?

Lately, I'm trying to study deeper into music theory, learning Intervals, key Signatures, Chords, Progressions etc. I can see that everything is built around the 'normal' notes that belong to the C ...
yannicuLar's user avatar
36 votes
5 answers

Why is note B marked with H in Scandinavia and Germany?

At least in Scandinavia and Germany two notes are marked differently than in most other countries: B -> H B♭ -> B I have heard that this is due to mistake in interpreting messy sheet notes, as ♭ is ...
Skrim's user avatar
  • 471
24 votes
8 answers

B -> C and E -> F, No Sharp?

The keyboard has these notes: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# Why do B and C and E and F not have a sharp note between them? If they did, the keyboard would look like this: A A# B B# C ...
Jacob Swanson's user avatar
22 votes
5 answers

If between E and F is a halftone, why can F not be an E♯

A ♯ raises a note by a semitone or halftone. I'm confused. If E and F are a halftone apart, why can't F be E♯?
LuisDavis's user avatar
  • 323
3 votes
8 answers

Is it fair to say the treble clef is optimized for piano?

When playing the piano, I find that staff notation with the treble clef makes sense. However when moving to string instruments, specifically the guitar and violin (in my case), I find the notation a ...
davetapley's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers

Am I going to be handicapped for attempting to study theory with a monophonic instrument?

The instrument that I intend to learn is the bass. The bass is what gets me excited to study theory in the first place. I've done a bit of reading on theory and I find it's fun to practice it on the ...
Kittie's user avatar
  • 59
3 votes
5 answers

Can I say all black keys are enharmonic equivalents?

I just started reading a piano book (Pinao Lessons by Mantius Cazaubon). In chapter 1 explaining about keys and notes in the sections of The Black Keys and The White Keys. It is very clear from first ...
SaRiGaMaPaDaNiSa's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers

How are note durations named in the British system?

This looks like a dupe of Why are notes named the way they are? but it isn't. I want to know about rhythm. I understand that in the international (British) system, a breve is what we Americans call a ...
Josiah's user avatar
  • 2,577
-2 votes
3 answers

How exactly the exact symbols (C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B) of 12 tone equal temperament with octave (2x) and perfect fifth (3/2) found?

How are the exact symbols (C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B) of 12 tone equal temperament with octave (2x) and (3/2) found? What is the math or formula used to find those specific symbols? Imagine a ...
agelo's user avatar
  • 9