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musical note

n. a notation representing the pitch and duration of a musical sound; "the singer held the note too long" [syn: note, tone]

Musical note

In music, the term note has three primary meanings:

  1. A sign used in musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound (♪, ♫);
  2. A pitched sound itself.
  3. A pitch class.

Notes are the "atoms" of much written music: discretizations of musical phenomena that facilitate performance, comprehension, and analysis.

The term note can be used in both generic and specific senses: one might say either "the piece ' Happy Birthday to You' begins with two notes having the same pitch", or "the piece begins with two repetitions of the same note". In the former case, one uses note to refer to a specific musical event; in the latter, one uses the term to refer to a class of events sharing the same pitch. (See also: Key signature names and translations.)

Two notes with fundamental frequencies in a ratio equal to any integer power of two (e.g., half, twice, or four times) are perceived as very similar. Because of that, all notes with these kinds of relations can be grouped under the same pitch class.

In traditional music theory, most countries in the world use the naming convention Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Si, including for instance Italy, Spain, France, Romania, most Latin American countries, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Russia, and all the Arabic-speaking or Persian-speaking countries. However, within the English-speaking and Dutch-speaking world, pitch classes are typically represented by the first seven letters of the Latin alphabet (A, B, C, D, E, F and G). A few European countries, including Germany, adopt an almost identical notation, in which H substitutes for B (see below for details).

The eighth note, or octave, is given the same name as the first, but has double its frequency. The name octave is also used to indicate the span between a note and another with double frequency. To differentiate two notes that have the same pitch class but fall into different octaves, the system of scientific pitch notation combines a letter name with an Arabic numeral designating a specific octave. For example, the now-standard tuning pitch for most Western music, 440 Hz, is named a′ or A4.

There are two formal systems to define each note and octave, the Helmholtz pitch notation and the scientific pitch notation.

Usage examples of "musical note".

This was one of those seemingly impossible things that you intuitively knew were true the moment that you heard them: such as the recent report that none of the members of the hit rap-music group calling itself Sho Cop Ho Busters could read a musical note of music.

A great sound was forming, turning my bones to jelly, and it resolved itself into a musical note that quite literally hurled me against a wall.

A single musical note, a B-flat with a Hautish timbre, comes from the ship.

Desari cried out, a soft, musical note that reached inside his body and ignited a blazing inferno in him that began licking at her skin, his skin, her body, his, their very insides.