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Pitch Notation

There are several schemes for describing the range of notes of the western chromatic scale over several octaves. This is called the notation of pitch. For example, 'C' is a note characterised by a certain fingering on your instrument. There is also very likely a 'C' an octave above and a 'C' an octave below unless your instrument is at the end of the range. How are these different 'C's distinguished?

Scientific Pitch Notation

C0 is the lowest possible audible note up to C9 which is possible the highest.

Middle C is C4.

C0 C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9

Helmholtz Pitch Notation

Uses lower and uppercase letters and commas or apostrophes after the note.

Middle C is c'

 C,, C, C c c' c c c' c'''

Multiple C Octave Naming

C, is written as CC, C'' as CCC etc.


Some MIDI instruments refer to C3 as middle C