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Guitar Lessons

Musical notes

Figure 1 illustrates note names on a keyboard octave. The keyboard is based on intervallic patterns of diatonic scale.

pic

Fig. 1 Note names on piano keys

C D E F G A B - white keys, the C major scale (7)
C# D# F# G# A# - black keys (5)
12 notes

# - sharp, raises a note by semitone up
b - flat, lowers a note by semitone down

It's easy to remember the musical alphabet when you think of it this way:

  • it's very much like the alphabet that you use everyday but its last letter is G - A B C D E F G
  • there additional semitones between with the exception of E-F and B-C (there are two black keys missing, take a look at the keyboard illustration above)

Musical notes have unique frequencies. The unit of frequency in Hertz.

1 Hz = 1/s

1 Hertz means one per second. With a string instrument it's one string oscillation per second.

Table 1 represents musical notes and their frequencies divided into octaves.

Octave Note Frequency [Hz] Octave Note Frequency [Hz]
Twice marked contra C2 16,351598 Twice marked c2 523,251136
(32-foot) Cis2 17,323915 cis2 554,365268
D2 18,354048 d2 587,329542
Dis2 19,445437 dis2 622,253974
E2 20,601723 e2 659,255121
F2 21,826765 f2 698,456470
Fis2 23,124652 fis2 739,988853
G2 24,499715 g2 783,990880
Gis2 25,956544 gis2 830,609404
A2 27,500000 a2 880,000009
Ais2 29,135235 ais2 932,327533
B2 30,867707 b2 987,766613
Contra C1 32,703196 Thrice marked c3 1046,502272
(16-foot) Cis1 34,647829 cis3 1108,730535
D1 36,708096 d3 1174,659084
Dis1 38,890873 dis3 1244,507948
E1 41,203445 e3 1318,510241
F1 43,653529 f3 1396,912940
Fis1 46,249303 fis3 1479,977706
G1 48,999430 g3 1567,981760
Gis1 51,913088 gis3 1661,218807
A1 55,000001 a3 1760,000018
Ais1 58,270471 ais3 1864,655065
B1 61,735413 b3 1975,533225
Large C 65,406392 Fourfold marked c4 2093,004544
(8-foot) Cis 69,295658 cis4 2217,461071
D 73,416193 d4 2349,318168
Dis 77,781747 dis4 2489,015895
E 82,406890 e4 2637,020483
F 87,307059 f4 2793,825880
Fis 92,498607 fis4 2959,955412
G 97,998860 g4 3135,963520
Gis 103,826175 gis4 3322,437615
A 110,000001 a4 3520,000036
Ais 116,540942 ais4 3729,310131
B 123,470827 b4 3951,066451
Small c 130,812784 Fivefold marked c5 4186,009088
(4-foot) cis 138,591317 cis5 4434,922141
d 146,832385 d5 4698,636335
dis 155,563493 dis5 4978,031791
e 164,813780 e5 5274,040965
f 174,614118 f5 5587,651761
fis 184,997213 fis5 5919,910824
g 195,997720 g5 6271,927040
gis 207,652351 gis5 6644,875230
a 220,000002 a5 7040,000073
ais 233,081883 ais5 7458,620261
b 246,941653 b5 7902,132902
Once marked c1 261,625568 Sixfold marked c6 8372,018176
(2-foot) cis1 277,182634 cis6 8869,844283
d1 293,664771 d6 9397,272670
dis1 311,126987 dis6 9956,063582
e1 329,627560 e6 10548,081930
f1 349,228235 f6 11175,303521
fis1 369,994427 fis6 11839,821649
g1 391,995440 g6 12543,854081
gis1 415,304702 gis6 13289,750460
a1 440,000005 a6 14080,000145
ais1 466,163766 ais6 14917,240522
b1 493,883306 b6 15804,265803

Table 1 Musical notes and their frequencies divided into octaves

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