Helmholtz pitch notation is a system for naming musical notes of the Western chromatic scale. Fully described and normalized by the German scientist Hermann von Helmholtz, it uses a combination of upper and lower case letters (A to G), ′ or ⸜⸝) to denote each individual note of the scale. It is one of two formal systems for naming notes in a particular octave, the other being scientific pitch notation. [ unreliable source? ]and the sub- and super-prime symbols ( ͵
Helmholtz proposed this system in order to accurately define pitches in his classical work on acoustics Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen als physiologische Grundlage für die Theorie der Musik (1863) translated into English by A.J. Ellis as On the Sensations of Tone (1875).
Helmholtz based his notation on the practice of German organ builders for labelling their pipes, itself derived from the old German organ tablature in use from late medieval times until the early 18th century. His system is widely used by musicians across Europe and is the one used in the New Grove Dictionary. Once also widely used by scientists and doctors when discussing the scientific and medical aspects of sound in relation to the auditory system, it has now been replaced in the US in scientific and medical contexts by scientific pitch notation. [ unreliable source? ]
The accenting of the scale in Helmholtz notation always starts on the note C and ends at B (e.g. C D E F G A B). The note C is shown in different octaves by using upper-case letters for low notes, and lower-case letters for high notes, and adding sub-primes and primes in the following sequence: C͵͵C͵Ccc′c″c‴ (or ,,C,CCcc′c″c‴ or C⸜⸜C⸜Ccc⸝c⸝⸝c⸝⸝⸝) and so on.
Middle C is designated c′, therefore the octave from middle C upwards is c′–b′.
c,represent Helmholtz C͵͵ and C͵ and C respectively.
Whole octaves may also be given a name based on "English strokes notation". For example, the octave from c′–b′ is called the one-line octaveor (less common) once-accented octave. Correspondingly, the notes in the octave may be called one-linedC (for c′), etc.
This diagram gives examples of the lowest and highest note in each octave, giving their name in the Helmholtz system, and the "German method" of octave nomenclature. (The octave below the contra octave is known as the sub-contra octave).
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In music, just intonation or pure intonation is the tuning of musical intervals as whole number ratios of frequencies. An interval tuned in this way is said to be pure, and is called a just interval. Just intervals consist of tones from a single harmonic series of an implied fundamental. For example, in the diagram, if the notes G3 and C4 are tuned as members of the harmonic series of the lowest C, their frequencies will be 3 and 4 times the fundamental frequency. The interval ratio between C4 and G3 is therefore 4:3, a just fourth.
In music, a note is a musical sound.
In music, an octave or perfect octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with double its frequency. The octave relationship is a natural phenomenon that has been referred to as the "basic miracle of music," the use of which is "common in most musical systems." The interval between the first and second harmonics of the harmonic series is an octave.
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In music theory, the syntonic comma, also known as the chromatic diesis, the Didymean comma, the Ptolemaic comma, or the diatonic comma is a small comma type interval between two musical notes, equal to the frequency ratio 81:80. Two notes that differ by this interval would sound different from each other even to untrained ears, but would be close enough that they would be more likely interpreted as out-of-tune versions of the same note than as different notes. The comma is also referred to as a Didymean comma because it is the amount by which Didymus corrected the Pythagorean major third to a just major third.
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The prime symbol, double prime symbol , triple prime symbol , and quadruple prime symbol are used to designate units and for other purposes in mathematics, science, linguistics and music.
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