Linked Questions

0
votes
2answers
513 views

What is the origin behind the 1-1-1/2-1-1-1-1/2 tones intervals in the diatonic scale? [duplicate]

In the diatonic scale of C, the progression is 1, 1, 1/2, 1, 1, 1/2 tones. What is the origin behind this progression and why is this made that way and not any other form such as 1-1/2-1-1-1-1-1/2? ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

Where did the diatonic scales come from? [duplicate]

I was wondering how the diatonic scales came about? Like the major scale for instance, what is the reasoning of chosig just those notes? I've heard that the pentatonik scale comes from the overtone ...
107
votes
9answers
39k 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?
55
votes
20answers
34k views

Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
38
votes
14answers
15k views

Why does the scale have seven (or five) notes? Why not six?

I'm a programmer by trade, and I have always felt that music was arbitrarily difficult. Please forgive my inexperience with musical notation. I had a little thought experiment with my wife today, and ...
37
votes
5answers
8k views

Why do notes have multiple names?

I've seen the same note called different names for example the note F# can also be written as Gb. Why is this the case and are there times to use one name over another?
45
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
10k views

Origin of the asymmetrical keyboard layout of a piano

The piano keyboard has white keys based on the C Diatonic scale plus black keys, which add the remaining notes used in western music. The asymmetrical way in which the black and white keys are placed ...
15
votes
3answers
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
896 views

Can the harmonic series explain the origin of the major scale?

This Wikipedia article is the source for two overtone series charts... The numbers above the harmonic indicate the number of cents' difference from equal temperament (rounded to the nearest cent). ...
6
votes
2answers
787 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
4answers
1k views

How do you identify whole-step and half-step between notes on sheet music?

Why is the first bar a whole step? To me, it seems like both the first and second bar would be half steps since both notes are as close as possible to each other without them being in the same height ...
1
vote
3answers
126 views

When was the Ionian scale invented?

The Ionian scale is the major scale, which is one of the two most commonly used scales. (As the remaining five are rare compared to) It is far the most commonly known, and it is being even used in ...
-1
votes
2answers
106 views

How to understand the keyboard of a piano (or any such instrument)? [closed]

I would like to ask about something like theoretical foundations or fundamentals of an 88 piano keyboard. My thinking is a) there is a range of pitch a human can hear (lets assume that there is no ...