Linked Questions

5
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
1
vote
4answers
486 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
396 views

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 ...
125
votes
11answers
66k views

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?
70
votes
6answers
205k views

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 ...
60
votes
7answers
39k views

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 ...
39
votes
9answers
13k views

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 ...
23
votes
8answers
63k views

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 ...
21
votes
5answers
7k views

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♯?
33
votes
4answers
72k views

Why note B is 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 ...
1
vote
8answers
1k views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
-2
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...