note names naming pitches with letters

Letter Notes

Since ancient Rome, letters have been used to represent musical pitches. The modern convention is to use the letters A through G, centered around the C major scale (so that A and B are higher than G):

play "CDEFGABC'"

Here we are using "ABC" notation, which is a specific technical notation for typing music on the internet. It adopts the convention of capital C for middle C, a frequency of about 261.62 Hertz.

Notes can be changed by octaves, sharps, and flats.

Did You Know?

Composers for centuries have tried to place messages in their music by spelling out names of people (usually themselves) in a repeating melody. This is sometimes called musical cryptography. Johann Sebastian Bach (spelled out “B A C” and then used another note to represent the H of his last name in a number of pieces. Because most music was written down by hand before internet and television were available, it was a sign of musical mastery to hide words in the music and for musicians to notice the code in the work of their peers.

Does this work for your name? What about a nickname or favorite place?