Helmholtz pitch notation

Helmholtz Pitch Notation

Helmholtz pitch notation

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Helmholtz pitch notation is a musical system for naming notes of the Western chromatic scale. Developed by the German scientist Hermann von Helmholtz, it uses a combination of upper and lower case letters (A to G),The letter B is used in Germany to designate a standard B flat, H is used for B natural. and the sub- and super-prime symbols ( ͵  ′ ) to describe 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.


Helmholtz developed 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).The Concise Grove Dictionary of Music: , Oxford University Press (1994), Answers.com. Retrieved 3 August 2007. The system is widely used by musicians across Europe. 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 largely been replaced in scientific and medical contexts by scientific pitch notation.


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