Linked Questions

1
vote
4answers
400 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
5answers
148 views

How to make sense of music theory? [duplicate]

I am trying to get into music theory as a beginner, but I always get stuck right at the beginning. What I'm looking for in music theory is a set of tools to understand the composition of musical ...
45
votes
10answers
11k views

The major scale - why and how?

background: I am an amateur guitarist. I was trained in Indian classical music as a kid. Most of what I know in music theory is from books or Google. So please feel free to correct me or tell me if I'...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is a doubling of frequency called an octave?

I understand that when two frequencies have a ratio of 2^n:1 for any natural number n, they are said to be n octaves apart. Moreover, they sound "essentially the same" to our ear. However, why do we ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do we need note names like B♭, D♭ etc.? Why not use only A♯, C♯ and so on? [duplicate]

The very same sharp/flat tones can be written in two ways: C♯ is the same as D♭ D♯ is the same as E♭ …and so on This is so confusing. What is the reason for it? ...
28
votes
4answers
64k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the theory behind scales?

My question is the following: Scales are The backbone of quite everything in western music. Does anybody know if there is some sort of backbone behind scales? A number, something like that? Or do some ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why Seven Principal Tones?

Why are there seven principal tones (A-G)? Just tradition? In the same vein, why are various sounds (of differing pitches) said to represent the same principal tone?
4
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did they choose the diatonic scale?

I have many questions, but all related to the necessity (if any) of the diatonic scale and the consequences of this choice. First: what are the reasons behind the choice of the Western Music diatonic ...
0
votes
2answers
744 views

Why is Western music based on the 12 tone, 7 note octave? Is this purely a cultural/historical phenomenon, or is there an objective basis? [duplicate]

Any resources in this are welcome. I know Pythagoras is often brought up, but where and why did he develop this?
3
votes
3answers
179 views

Are some scales more instinctive than others?

Thanks to this answer here, I now know the commonly accepted definition of a scale. However, from my experience, not all scales feel instinctive. For instance, I think major and minor scales feel ...