Musical Notation Question

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CharlesErickson
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:53 am

Musical Notation Question

Post by CharlesErickson » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:30 pm

I am a beginning student and I am trying to write something down that I was composing and was curious when you are notating... there are many different octaves of each note so I was trying to notate it and I was wondering how you would be able to tell which octave of a given note your hand starts on by looking at the musical sheet notation?.... Is there an easy way to look at the sheet of music and know ...ok for this piece it is not middle C I start on... but the C a few octaves up? , also I was wondering as a companion to learning notation while learning to play... Is there any great books on musical notation someone would recommend?

Lisasmith
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Re: Musical Notation Question

Post by Lisasmith » Mon May 14, 2018 2:58 am

Try this book Music Notation (Crescendo Book)

andrewwegierski
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Re: Musical Notation Question

Post by andrewwegierski » Mon May 14, 2018 9:58 am

All the keys on the piano are not only assigned a note (letter) name, but also an octave designation. Middle C, located in the middle of the keyboard under the logo, and also 1 line below the treble clef, is called C4.

If you find the C on the 3rd space of the treble clef, that's C5 - one octave up from the middle C - and so on, C6, C7, etc. Usually if there's a C7, you'll see it notated as a C6 with "8va" meaning, play it an octave higher than written. This is to avoid ledger lines.

In the bass clef, the C on the 2nd space is known as C3; the C two lines below the bass clef is known as C2. There exists a C1, but again, it is so low that it usually cause ledger line problems - so composers will often just write C2 with "8vb" meaning, play it an octave lower than written.

The best way to reference all the different octaves is to start at C4, middle C, 1 line below the treble clef, and then count up or down from there. Soon, you'll be able to recognize the octave designations without doing that! Good luck!

Best,
Andrew
Andrew Wegierski

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sw1tch73ch
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Re: Musical Notation Question

Post by sw1tch73ch » Fri May 18, 2018 3:56 pm

It seems appropriate to point out that despite "common sense" where the alphabet begins on "A" (and the 88 note piano keyboard also begins on "A") that the Octave number is partitioned on the "C" notes. So the Lowest "C" on the piano is C1 and the B below it is B0 and the A below that is A0. Another way to look at this is the A and B are in the same octave as the C immediately BELOW them.

It confused me until I found a chart with the Letter-Octave as assigned to the piano keys.
== Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Just keep playing, playing, playing! ==

-- jbs --

andrewwegierski
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Re: Musical Notation Question

Post by andrewwegierski » Sat May 19, 2018 1:36 pm

Exactly. While the octave designations are based on C, there exists an A0, Bb0, and B0 below the first C. Good stuff!
Andrew Wegierski

Support Tech & Music Arranger
andrew@playgroundsessions.com

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