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  • Writer's pictureАлександр Васильев

Pitch

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Each sound has a certain frequency of vibration, which is called pitch.

Example: the sound A has a frequency of 440 Hz


It is logically convenient for us to divide sounds into groups by height, each of which begins with a sound 2 times higher (or lower) than the original one. Each such group is called an octave.

The note A an octave higher has a frequency of 880 Hz, and an octave lower has a frequency of 220 Hz.


Construction of the scale, names of notes and alteration signs

Each octave is divided into 12 pitch intervals.

Each such interval is called a halftone. Two halftones make up a whole tone.

Each fret on the guitar fretboard changes the pitch of the sound by a halftone.



The construction of a scale and its division into octaves can be conveniently visualized using a piano keyboard

White keys (and their corresponding notes in musical notation) have their own names and letter symbols.

Names of Notes

Letters

Do

C

Re

D

Mi

E

Fa

F

Sol

G

La

A

Si

B

Black keys (and their corresponding notes in notation) are indicated by the name of the adjacent note and an alteration sign.

Example: the black key to the right of G is called G sharp


Alteration Signs


Alteration sign

Name

Action

sharp

raises pitch by halftone

𝄪

double sharp

raises pitch by whole tone

flat

lowers pitch by halftone

𝄫

double flat

lowers pitch by whole tone

natural

cancels the effect of the previous alteration sign


  • The same sound can be designated both as raised from the one next to it below and as lowered from the one next to it above. Example: F-sharp (raised F) and G-flat (lowered G) actually the same sound.

  • Alteration signs on the staff are written before the note, but when written in letters, and also when pronounced, they come after. Example: first notes on the next three staffs are: C sharp (C♯), C flat (C♭), C natural (C♮).




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