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10/22/07

What is a Note?

This lesson will cover some basic music theory.

Before we begin to dig into the heart of music theory and reading music, it is essential for us to first understand where all of these "notes" come from and how they are represented.

What is a Note?
A note is simply a way of representing a musical sound.

Symbols are used to represent these notes which tells us the duration (length) that the given note is held for and when placed on a staff, it will tell us the pitch of that sound.

Pitch is a way of describing how high or how low something sounds.

A great example of this is a high pitched scream a horror movie. It hurts our ears because it sounds extremely high.

An example of a low pitch would be a truck rumbling along on your street.

Notes can be compared to the road signs you see when driving along in your community.

They tell you what to do, or in this case play, and they will give you directions.

Notes have various shapes and stems coming from them but generally look like little round/oval dots. How is a note named? Notes are named after the first seven letters of the alphabet and are as follows:

A - B - C - D - E - F - G

..After the G, you will start again at A. The cycle will then begin to repeat itself from the beginning:

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A...

.. You may be wondering why we have two notes that are named A. The reason that they are both named A is that they sound alike, even though they are higher and lower than one another.

All of these notes have different pitches, meaning that some sound higher, while others sound lower. This is the glue that makes music work.

Thank you to Chris Elmore

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