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



Asked by: Shannon Alexander

Why do some notes have two names?





The reason there are multiple names for notes is that the same note may function differently in different contexts. If you just play a single note with no context, then it could have a multitude of different names.

What do you call the letter names for notes?

In Western music, especially in English-speaking countries, notes are named in order of ascending pitch after a repeating series of the first seven letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F and G. In addition, there are five more pitches sandwiched between the notes A & B, C & D, F & G and G & A.

Why do we have 7 notes?

The tradition from which western music derives began with filling in the most obvious stopping places in one octave. And if you go by that process it’s easy to end up with seven, but no more. The next pitch is called the octave because it’s the eighth note (just as an octopus has eight legs).

Why do we use B flat instead of a sharp?

With the whole. Idea of saying that a sharp is the same as b flat in modern. Terms it is it's exactly the same sounding note but the way it's written on the page is completely.

Why are notes named after letters?





This was the logical thing to do, as Boethius was not thinking in terms of major and minor scales we have today, but was trying to describe each pitch in his entire range of possible notes. So A, the first letter of the alphabet, was, quite intuitively, just a name he used to label the lowest tone in this range.

Where do the names of notes come from?

The first Western system of functional names for the musical notes was introduced by Guido of Arezzo (c. 991 – after 1033), using the beginning syllables of the first six musical lines of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis. The original sequence was Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La, where each verse started a scale note higher.

What are the three ways to named the notes?

We call them Whole Notes, Half Notes, and Quarter Notes. In order to read music comfortably at the piano, you will need to be able to understand how these three different rhythms work together.

Why are letters used in music?

The notes used in music are named with a system of letters and symbols called the musical alphabet. We need the musical alphabet so everyone can describe the exact same notes when talking about music. These musical note names are the same for bass, guitar, piano, violin and all other musical instruments.

How do you name notes on a keyboard?

This is an f sharp. This is an a this is an a sharp similarly the black key to the left of a white key is given the name flat signified by a small b next to its name so if this is g this is g flat.



Why do we need both sharps and flats?

Flats and sharps are necessary to allow every version of the diatonic scale to start at any point on the chromatic scale without repeating a note letter name, or assigning different notes in our chosen diatonic scale to the same line on the musical stave.

Why is there no black note between E and F?

So, the reason that there are no B/C and E/F black keys on the piano is because when you map the C major scale onto the 12-tone series above, sometimes you skip a note, and sometimes you don’t. Now, the reason for that is that musical keys are based on what culturally and historically sounds good.

Why do some notes have sharps and flats?

They just tell you that flats and sharps are used to “correct” the structure when you start from a different note, and then give you a list of scales ordered by the number of flats and sharps, usually depicted as what they call “the circle of fifths”. You are supposed to memorize it without really knowing why.



Why is C the first note and not a?

The C major scale has no sharps or flats, this scale was created before the piano. When they created the piano (or whatever similar instrument before) they wanted all the sharps and flats to be on the black keys. Since there are no sharps or flats in CM it became the one with no black keys.

Why do is called C?

Do is C because C is the base note. In a parallel quirk of history, the first drive on a Windows computer is usually C: rather than A:. A different reason of course but in both cases, it is too hard to change now and we live with the situation. The first floppy drive was A:.

Is B note higher than C?

On a C scale, the notes from low to high would be C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. But in a scale, some steps are larger than others.

Why is B note called H?

There are a few possible reasons for this: the ‘H’ might stand for ‘hart’ (German for ‘hard’) or, it could have just been a mistake in early sheet music, owing to the fact that the B flat symbol (♭) looks a bit like a ‘b’, and the sharp symbol (♯) looks a bit like an ‘H’.



Is there a note called H?

However, in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, the label B is sometimes used for what, above, is called B-flat, and the note a semitone below C is called H.