Engineers and musicians both use routine signals. What engineers speak to the fundamental frequency of the signal, musicians contact the pitch. Engineers frequently measure frequency in units of cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz), and the frequency can be pretty a lot any real number from zero to infinity. Person ears deserve to detect frequencies from around 20 Hz to 20 kHz, so we will certainly restrict ourselves to that variety for acoustic signals. Never the much less, there are still an boundless variety of feasible frequencies in that range

Musicians typically confine themselves to simply a few pitches, on the order of 100. You can explain each of these 100 or so musical frequencies in regards to Hertz, yet musicians commonly prefer to give them names. This nlinux.org page is to aid you understand also the names musicians offer to their pitches, and also just how these names relate to the frequency in Hz that designers use.

You are watching: We refer to specific pitches or tones with letter names using the letters a through g


In among the most prevalent pitch-naming schemes, each pitch is described as among the first 7 personalities in the Latin / Roguy / English / etc. alphabet - namely A, B, C, D, E, F and G. The pitch called "A" is the lowest frequency, and the pitch named "G" is the highest possible. The white secrets on a piano key-board are assigned these letters, as presented listed below. A typical piano has actually 52 white tricks, so the drawing below is just a portion of the keyboard.


*

In in between some, yet not all, of the white secrets is a black crucial. The babsence secrets produce a frequency a tiny little bit better than the white key on their immediate left, and also a tiny lower than the white key on their prompt appropriate. In reality, that is just how the black keys are called. In music the term sharp indicates to go up in frequency, and the term level means to go down in frequency. The babsence vital in between the A and B white keys deserve to be referred to as either A-sharp or B-level. Musicians have actually a single character to recurrent sharp and level, and also they look choose ♯ and ♭ respectively. Some internet browsers and also computer programs won’t easily display screen the correct symbol for sharp and also flat, so it is occasionally simpler to replace them via the hash tag/number/pound symbol # for sharp and also a lower instance b for flat.


As you can see in the figure above, the names A via G are resupplied on the piano. As you are functioning your way up in frequency, as soon as you hit the G essential, the next higher pitched white essential is A. Any set of consecutive tricks starting from C and extending up the keyboard to the following B key is referred to as on octave. Kind of a goofy means to name things if you ask me. I would certainly have liked to go from A to G♯ for an octave, not C to B. Not only that, the term octave starts via the presolve "oct", which commonly indicates eight of something (as in octagon, octect, octal, octopus, October, ...). So it would seem to me an engineer wouldn’t speak to this an octave, but would contact it a septive or heptive (for 7 keys) or a duodectave (for 12 keys). But I digress...


If someone asks you to press the C essential on a piano, which one have to you press? It turns out the C closest to the middle of the piano keyboard is offered the name .... wait for it ... middle C. Some, however not all, of the other C keys on a piano have names. The C notes instantly listed below and above middle C are referred to as Bass C and Treble C respectively. The following lower and also better C secrets are called low C and also high C. The C tricks after that don’t have a name.

Each octave variety on a piano has a name. The middle-C crucial is the lowest note in the one-lined octave. The following better octaves are called the two-lined, three-lined, and so on. octaves. If you occupational your method down from middle-C, you will uncover the following sequence of octaves: small, great, contra, subcontra, subsubcontra.

See more: How Many Centimeters In A Cubic Centimeter, Cubic Centimeter (Cm³) Volume Unit Conversions

Engineering students that are not musicians tend to roll their eyes about currently, reasoning how silly and also arbitrary musical frequency range names sound. I use this as an possibility to point out the names supplied by radio designers to describe frequency bands. Frequency Range abbreviation Name
No Name 0 - 3 Hz
Extremely Low Frequencies ELF 3 - 30 Hz
Supremely Low Frequencies SLF 30 - 300 Hz
Ultra Low Frequencies ULF 300 Hz - 3 kHz
Very Low Frequencies VLF 3 - 30 kHz
Low Frequencies LF 30 - 300 kHz
Medium Frequencies MF 300 kHz - 3 MHz
High Frequencies HF 3 - 30 MHz
Very High Frequencies VHF 30 - 300 MHz
Ultra High Frequencies UHF 300 MHz - 3 GHz
Supremely High Frequencies SHF 3 - 30 GHz
Extremely High Frequencies EHF 30 - 300 GHz
Tremendously High Frequencies THF 300 GHz - 3 THz
After looking at Very/Ultra/Supremely/Extremely/Tremendously names, it is difficult to give musicians grief over the subsubcontra name.

Tbelow is a simple and also organized way to specify any vital on the piano, and also also pitches that go exterior the selection of a piano, the strategy is called the scientific pitch notation (SPN). In SPN you add a number after the pitch name, to represent which octave it is in. The lowest octave in SPN is octave number 0, and the highest possible is octave number 10. As on a piano, the splitting lines between octaves occur between the B and C notes. So the notes in SPN selection from C0 with B10. A typical piano with 88 secrets does not use the complete array of pitches characterized by SPN, it only offers pitches from A0 via C8. In SPN the middle-C vital is dubbed C4, tenor C is C5 and also high C is C6.


Picking the exact frequency of each essential on a piano is as much an art, as it is a science. And choose any kind of art, tright here are human being who carry out it different methods, and also feel passionately that their method is best. Other parts of these internet peras will obtain right into selecting vital frequencies in a lot even more detail

One of the the majority of commonly used ways of assigning frequencies to pitch names is dubbed equal temperament tuning. This method is appealing to designers, bereason tbelow is an easy mathematical formula that specifies the frequency of each pitch. We start by assigning the A4 vital to be specifically 440 Hz. To find the frequency of any type of other pitch, count just how many type of secrets on a piano you have to action on to go from A4 to the one you are interested in. Each step is dubbed a semitone, half tone or half action. Count both babsence and also white tricks. The table listed below reflects the number of semitones between any kind of of the typical keys, and A4 Semitones between A4 and Other Keys (S) Semitones in between A4 and Other Keys (S) Octave 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C C♯/ D♭ D D# / Eb E F F# / Gb G G# Abdominal A A# / Bb B
-57 -45 -33 -21 -9 3 15 27 39 51 63
-56 -44 -32 -20 -8 4 16 28 40 52 64
-55 -43 -31 -19 -7 5 17 29 41 53 65
-54 -42 -30 -18 -6 6 18 30 42 54 66
-53 -41 -29 -17 -5 7 19 31 43 55 67
-52 -40 -28 -16 -4 8 20 32 44 56 68
-51 -39 -27 -15 -3 9 21 33 45 57 69
-50 -38 -26 -14 -2 10 22 34 46 58 70
-49 -37 -25 -13 -1 11 23 35 47 59 71
-48 -36 -24 -12 0 12 24 36 48 60 72
-47 -35 -23 -11 1 13 25 37 49 61 73
-46 -34 -22 -10 2 14 26 38 50 62 74
If you contact the variety of semitones noted in the table above S, then the frequency of the note can be uncovered from the equation: The frequency of each note, in Hz, and also to 3 considerable digits, is offered in the table listed below Octave 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C C# / Db D D# / Eb E F F# / Gb G G# / Ab A A# / Bb B
16.4 32.7 65.4 131 262 523 1050 2090 4190 8370 16700
17.3 34.6 69.3 139 277 554 1110 2220 4430 8870 17700
18.4 36.7 73.4 147 294 587 1170 2350 4700 9400 18800
19.4 38.9 77.8 156 311 622 1240 2490 4980 9960 19900
20.6 41.2 82.4 165 330 659 1320 2640 5270 10500 21100
21.8 43.7 87.3 175 349 698 1400 2790 5590 11200 22400
23.1 46.2 92.5 185 370 740 1480 2960 5920 11800 23700
24.5 49 98 196 392 784 1570 3140 6270 12500 25100
26 51.9 104 208 415 831 1660 3320 6640 13300 26600
27.5 55 110 220 440 880 1760 3520 7040 14100 28200
29.1 58.3 117 233 466 932 1860 3730 7460 14900 29800
30.9 61.7 123 247 494 988 1980 3950 7900 15800 31600


Students finding out to sing are regularly taught utilizing solfεge. In this device the A, B, C, D, E, F and also G names of the notes are replaced by single syllable sounds. This system, just prefer clinical pitch notation, tends to start on the note C. So the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B are offered the names perform, re, me, fa, so la and also ti (pronounced prefer the words doe, ray, me, fa sew, la and tea). In Hindustani and Carnatic music the names are sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha and ni. Tbelow are names for the sharp and also flat notes stated over, however we will speak to it quits right here.