Linked Questions

1
vote
4answers
303 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 ...
40
votes
10answers
9k 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'...
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
52k 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
889 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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
169 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
587 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?