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The following table summarizes some basic information about the notes across the audible spectrum, the physical properties of their corresponding sound waves, and some related meta-data you might find handy.

(It's a useful reference for me anyway. To be honest it includes some data that I've needed to look-up in a few recent occasions. I thought I might as well compile it all in one well-known place.)

In the table you will find:

  • The name of each note for the full range of pitches that are typically considered "audible" in the Scientific Pitch Notation (pitch class plus octave) - from C0 to B9.
  • The MIDI note number that corresponds to each note.
  • Acoustical (science of sound) properties of each pitch such as wavelength and frequency of oscillation.
  • Related abstractions derived from these data, such as octave and pitch class.
  • A mapping of these notes to where they can be found on a typical piano, guitar, bass guitar and ukulele, where appropriate.
  • Some other trivia about the notes.

See the notes below the table for more detailed technical information about these data.

Note + Octave
(SPN)
MIDI
Note
Frequency Wavelength Octave
(SPN)
Pitch Class Piano
Key
Guitar Fret Bass Fret Ukulele Fret Comments
hz cm in Name # E A D G B e E A D G g C E A
C-108.1764195.3091651.696-1C0               Lowest note in standard MIDI range
C♯-1 / D♭-118.6623959.8441558.994-1C♯ / D♭1                
D-129.1773737.5951471.494-1D2                
D♯-1 / E♭-139.7233527.8201388.906-1D♯ / E♭3                
E-1410.3013329.8191310.952-1E4                
F-1510.9133142.9301237.374-1F5                
F♯-1 / G♭-1611.5622966.5311167.926-1F♯ / G♭6                
G-1712.2502800.0331102.375-1G7                
G♯-1 / A♭-1812.9782642.8791040.504-1G♯ / A♭8                
A-1913.7502494.545982.105-1A9                
A♯-1 / B♭-11014.5682354.537926.983-1A♯ / B♭10                
B-11115.4342222.387874.956-1B11                
C01216.3522097.654825.8480C0               Roughly the lowest frequency that humans can typically "hear" (as opposed to "feel").
C♯0 / D♭01317.3241979.922779.4970C♯ / D♭1                
D01418.3541868.798735.7470D2                
D♯0 / E♭01519.4451763.910694.4530D♯ / E♭3                
E01620.6021664.909655.4760E4                
F01721.8271571.465618.6870F5                
F♯0 / G♭01823.1251483.266583.9630F♯ / G♭6                
G01924.5001400.016551.1880G7                
G♯0 / A♭02025.9571321.439520.2520G♯ / A♭8p               
A02127.5001247.273491.0520A91              Lowest note on 88 key piano
A♯0 / B♭02229.1351177.269463.4920A♯ / B♭102               
B02330.8681111.194437.4780B113               
C12432.7031048.827412.9241C04               
C♯1 / D♭12534.648989.961389.7481C♯ / D♭15               
D12636.708934.399367.8741D26               
D♯1 / E♭12738.891881.955347.2261D♯ / E♭37      EADG     
E12841.203832.455327.7381E48      0       Lowest note on bass guitar in standard tuning
F12943.654785.733309.3441F59      1        
F♯1 / G♭13046.249741.633291.9811F♯ / G♭610      2        
G13148.999700.008275.5941G711      3        
G♯1 / A♭13251.913660.720260.1261G♯ / A♭812      4        
A13355.000623.636245.5261A913      50       
A♯1 / B♭13458.270588.634231.7461A♯ / B♭1014      61       
B13561.735555.597218.7391B1115      72       
C23665.406524.414206.4622C016      83       
C♯2 / D♭23769.296494.981194.8742C♯ / D♭117      94       
D23873.416467.199183.9372D218      1050      
D♯2 / E♭23977.782440.978173.6132D♯ / E♭319EADGBe1161      
E24082.407416.227163.8692E4200     1272     Lowest note on guitar in standard tuning
F24187.307392.866154.6722F5211     1383      
F♯2 / G♭24292.499370.816145.9912F♯ / G♭6222     1494      
G24397.999350.004137.7972G7233     151050     
G♯2 / A♭244103.826330.360130.0632G♯ / A♭8244     161161     
A245110.000311.818122.7632A92550    171272     
A♯2 / B♭246116.541294.317115.8732A♯ / B♭102661    181383     
B247123.471277.798109.3692B112772    191494     
C348130.813262.207103.2313C02883    2015105     
C♯3 / D♭349138.591247.49097.4373C♯ / D♭12994    2116116     
D350146.832233.60091.9683D2301050   2217127     
D♯3 / E♭351155.563220.48986.8073D♯ / E♭3311161   2318138     
E352164.814208.11481.9353E4321272   2419149     
F353174.614196.43377.3363F5331383    201510     
F♯3 / G♭354184.997185.40872.9953F♯ / G♭6341494    211611     
G355195.998175.00268.8983G735151050   221712     
G♯3 / A♭356207.652165.18065.0313G♯ / A♭836161161   231813     
A357220.000155.90961.3823A937171272   241914     
A♯3 / B♭358233.082147.15957.9363A♯ / B♭1038181383    2015     
B359246.942138.89954.6853B11391914940   2116gCEA 
C460261.626131.10351.6164C04020151051   2217 0  Middle C (C4) / Lowest note on ukulele in gCEA (reentrant C6 or "high G") tuning
C♯4 / D♭461277.183123.74548.7194C♯ / D♭14121161162   2318 1   
D462293.665116.80045.9844D24222171273   2419 2   
D♯4 / E♭463311.127110.24443.4034D♯ / E♭34323181384    20 3   
E464329.628104.05740.9674E444241914950   21 40  
F465349.22898.21738.6684F545 20151061   22 51  
F♯4 / G♭466369.99492.70436.4984F♯ / G♭646 21161172   23 62  
G467391.99587.50134.4494G747 22171283   24073 Highest note on 24-fret bass guitar in standard tuning
G♯4 / A♭468415.30582.59032.5164G♯ / A♭848 23181394EADG184  
A469440.00077.95530.6914A949 241914105    2950Concert Pitch (A4=440hz)
A♯4 / B♭470466.16473.57928.9684A♯ / B♭1050  2015116    31061 
B471493.88369.45027.3424B1151  2116127    41172 
C572523.25165.55225.8085C052  2217138    51283 
C♯5 / D♭573554.36561.87324.3595C♯ / D♭153  2318149    61394 
D574587.33058.40022.9925D254  24191510    714105 
D♯5 / E♭575622.25455.12221.7025D♯ / E♭355   201611    815116 
E576659.25552.02820.4845E456   211712    9 127 
F577698.45649.10819.3345F557   221813    10 138 
F♯5 / G♭578739.98946.35218.2495F♯ / G♭658   231914    11 149 
G579783.99143.75117.2255G759   242015    12 1510 
G♯5 / A♭580830.60941.29516.2585G♯ / A♭860    2116    13  11 
A581880.00038.97715.3455A961    2217    14  12 
A♯5 / B♭582932.32836.79014.4845A♯ / B♭1062    2318    15  13 
B583987.76734.72513.6715B1163    2419       14 
C6841046.50232.77612.9046C064     20       15Highest note on 15-fret ukulele in gCEA (reentrant C6 or "high G") tuning
C♯6 / D♭6851108.73130.93612.1806C♯ / D♭165     21     gCEA 
D6861174.65929.20011.4966D266     22         
D♯6 / E♭6871244.50827.56110.8516D♯ / E♭367     23         
E6881318.51026.01410.2426E468     24        Highest note on 24-fret guitar in standard tuning
F6891396.91324.5549.6676F569EADGBe         
F♯6 / G♭6901479.97823.1769.1246F♯ / G♭670               
G6911567.98221.8758.6126G771               
G♯6 / A♭6921661.21920.6478.1296G♯ / A♭872               
A6931760.00019.4897.6736A973               
A♯6 / B♭6941864.65518.3957.2426A♯ / B♭1074               
B6951975.53317.3626.8366B1175               
C7962093.00516.3886.4527C076               
C♯7 / D♭7972217.46115.4686.0907C♯ / D♭177               
D7982349.31814.6005.7487D278               
D♯7 / E♭7992489.01613.7815.4257D♯ / E♭379               
E71002637.02013.0075.1217E480               
F71012793.82612.2774.8337F581               
F♯7 / G♭71022959.95511.5884.5627F♯ / G♭682               
G71033135.96310.9384.3067G783               
G♯7 / A♭71043322.43810.3244.0647G♯ / A♭884               
A71053520.0009.7443.8367A985               
A♯7 / B♭71063729.3109.1973.6217A♯ / B♭1086               
B71073951.0668.6813.4187B1187               
C81084186.0098.1943.2268C088              Highest note on 88 key piano
C♯8 / D♭81094434.9227.7343.0458C♯ / D♭1p               
D81104698.6367.3002.8748D2                
D♯8 / E♭81114978.0326.8902.7138D♯ / E♭3                
E81125274.0416.5042.5608E4                
F81135587.6526.1392.4178F5                
F♯8 / G♭81145919.9115.7942.2818F♯ / G♭6                
G81156271.9275.4692.1538G7                
G♯8 / A♭81166644.8755.1622.0328G♯ / A♭8                
A81177040.0004.8721.9188A9                
A♯8 / B♭81187458.6204.5991.8118A♯ / B♭10                
B81197902.1334.3411.7098B11                
C91208372.0184.0971.6139C0                
C♯9 / D♭91218869.8443.8671.5229C♯ / D♭1                
D91229397.2733.6501.4379D2                
D♯9 / E♭91239956.0633.4451.3569D♯ / E♭3                
E912410548.0823.2521.2809E4                
F912511175.3033.0691.2089F5                
F♯9 / G♭912611839.8222.8971.1419F♯ / G♭6                
G912712543.8542.7341.0779G7               Highest note in standard MIDI range
G♯9 / A♭9(128)13289.7502.5811.0169G♯ / A♭8                
A9(129)14080.0002.4360.9599A9                
A♯9 / B♭9(130)14917.2402.2990.9059A♯ / B♭10               Roughly the upper-range of frequencies that are typically audible to adult humans (conventionally ~15 kHz)
B9(131)15804.2662.1700.8549B11                

Footnotes

Note + Octave

The Scientific Pitch Notation (SPN) label for each note, which combines the note name (C, C♯/D♭, D, D♯/E♭, E, F, F♯/G♭, G, G♯/A♭, A, A♯/B♭, B) with the octave number (on scale of -1 to 9). Scientific Pitch Notation is also know as American Standard Notation (ASPN) and Internation Pitch Notation (IPN).

Note that the range of human hearing is conventionally described as ranging from approximately 20 Hz (roughly C0) to approximately 15 kHz (roughly A♯9/B♭9) although children (and people with exceptionally good hearing) can perceive frequencies as low as ~12 Hz (roughly G-1) and as high as ~28 kHz (roughly A10, which is about 10 semitones beyond the range listed in the table).

MIDI Note

The MIDI note number assigned to each note in the MIDI, ranging from MIDI 0 (SPN C-1) to MIDI 127 (SPN G9). For completeness this numbering is extended to the index 131 (SPN B9), but only the range 0 to 127 is considered valid in the actual MIDI standard.

Frequency

The frequency of an oscillator that generates a sound wave with the corresponding pitch, in hertz (hz) - i.e., cycles per second. That is, when the string on a guitar (or the diaphragm in a speaker cone) vibrates at the specified frequency a sound of the corresponding pitch is generated.

These frequencies are based on an equal tempered scale derived from the A440 reference frequency. I.e., the pitch of the note A4 is defined as exactly 440 Hz, and the frequency of all other notes are derived from that value based on the formula:

Fn = F0 * (2^(1/12))^n

where:

  • Fn is the frequency of the note we're trying to calculate
  • F0 is the reference frequency (in this case, A4 at 440 Hz)
  • 2^(1/12) is the twelfth root of 2 (the value that when multiplied by itself 12 times yields the result 2), which is approximately 1.05946.
  • n is the number of semitones (half-steps, i.e. frets on a guitar) between Fn and the reference frequency F0.

For example, middle C (C4) is 9 semi-tones below our reference pitch of A4, hence the frequency of C4 is given by:

freq(C4) = 440 Hz * 2^(1/12)^(-9) ≈ 440 Hz * 1.05946^(-9) ≈ 440 Hz * 0.594604 ≈ 261.626 Hz

The base frequency of A4=440 Hz is certainly not the only possible reference frequency you might encounter, but it is the exceedingly common modern standard.

Wavelength

Wavelength is another way of describing the physical characteristics of a sound wave at a given pitch.

Wavelength is a sort of "inverse" to frequency. While frequency counts the number of "full waves" that cross a fixed point per unit time - e.g. counting the number of peaks that cross a specific point per second - the wavelength measures the distance between peaks.

The length of a wave can be calculated from its frequency, but it's not quite a fixed relationship. The ratio between wavelength and frequency depends on the speed at which the wave is moving - in our case the speed of sound.

In the general case the relationship between wavelength and frequency is given by the following formula:

L = S / F

where:

  • L is the wavelength we're trying to calculate
  • S is the speed of the wave as is propagates through the medium (in our case, the speed of sound in air)
  • F is the frequency of the wave

But the speed of sound isn't a fixed value. It depends on density of the medium (usually air) through which the wave is propagating.

The wavelengths listed in the table are based on relatively conservative assumptions - the speed of sound at one atmosphere of air pressure (roughly sea-level) at a moderate temperature of 20°C (68°F) - which yields approximately 343 meters per second. Hence the values in the table are based on a formula like:

L = 343 m/s / F

for each frequency value F. Since our frequencies are measured in Hertz - essentially a unit of 1/s - the seconds units in this formula cancel out, yielding a wavelength (L) value that is measured in meters. The table provides wavelengths in both metric units (cm) and US/imperial units (inches) however. To convert from meters to centimeters, multiply the value in meters by 100. To convert from meters to inches, multiply the value in meters by ~39.37.

Note that the lowest pitch in the table - C-1 with frequency of ~8.2 Hz - is quite long: more than 41 meters or 137 feet; while the highest pitch in the table - B9 at ~15 kHz - has a wavelength of a little more than 2 cm (roughly 4/5 of an inch).

TIP: Please make a note of the assumptions used in the formula described above when comparing the wavelengths listed in the table with other reference sources. Minor variations in the wavelength reported for a given frequency are likely to be explained by minor differences in the speed of sound that was assumed in the original computation.

Octave

The octave column lists the Scientific Pitch Notation identifier for the octave of the note, independent of the specific note name (pitch class). Note that by convention the octave number rolls over at the note C. In other words, the note one half-step above Bn (for a given octave number n) is C(n+1).

The frequencies that are typically audible to humans span roughly 9 or 10 octaves. In the Scientific Pitch Notation these are numbered from octave -1 (a little below the frequencies humans can generally hear, but they aren't quite inperceptable - when played at a high enough volume they can definitely be "felt" if not quite "heard") to octave 9.

In the older (and, frankly, more cumbersome) Helmholtz Pitch Notation (aka German Pitch Notation), SPN octaves are named as follows:

  • SPN Octave 0 - Helmholtz Sub-Contra Octave - C0 to B0
  • SPN Octave 1 - Helmholtz Contra Octave - C1 to B1
  • SPN Octave 2 - Helmholtz Great Octave - C2 to B2
  • SPN Octave 3 - Helmholtz Small Octave - C3 to B3
    • this is the first octave in Helmholtz notation that uses lower-case letters for note names, hence the name "Small Octave" for this and higher pitches
  • SPN Octave 4 - Helmholtz One-Line Octave (also Second Small Octave) - C4 to B4
  • SPN Octave 5 - Helmholtz Two-Line Octave (also Third Small Octave) - C5 to B5
  • SPN Octave 6 - Helmholtz Three-Line Octave (also Fourth Small Octave) - C6 to B6
  • SPN Octave 7 - Helmholtz Four-Line Octave (also Fifth Small Octave) - C7 to B7
  • SPN Octave 8 - Helmholtz Five-Line Octave (also Sixth Small Octave) - C8 to B8

Note that the named octaves in the Helmholtz Pitch Notation cover the range of pitches on a conventional 88 key piano (A0 to C8) but do not include any octaves outside that range. I believe this is by design.

Pitch Class

The pitch class is represents of the "name" of a note, independent of octave. I.e., there are 12 pitch classes - C, C♯/D♭, D, D♯/E♭, E, F, F♯/G♭, G, G♯/A♭, A, A♯/B♭, B - that repeat at each octave. The notes of a given "key" across all octaves belong to the same pitch class. For example, every instance of the note C, regardless of octave - C-1, C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, and so on - all share the same pitch class.

Pitch classes are listed in the table both under the conventional note names and as numeric values in the range 0 to 11 (where C=0, C#=2, ..., B=11).

Table cells in the pitch class columns are also color-coded to reflect the pitch-class categories. The color spectrum used here matches the one use in the in-app guitar fretboard diagram and related tools.

Instrument Layouts

These columns map the notes in the audible spectrum to positions on several common instruments — piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele — in their standard tunings. These can be used to locate the position on each instrument at which the given pitch can be played and also offer a comparative view of the different range of sounds that are available on each instrument.

Piano Key

This column indicates the position of each (relevant) note on a conventional 88-key piano keyboard, and helps give you a sense of the range of notes that can be played on a piano: namely A0 (piano key #1) to C8 (piano key #88).

Cells in this column are also color coded to reflect the pattern of "white" and "black" keys on the piano keyboard. For example, key #2 (A♯0 / B♭0) is a black key and is shaded with a darker color than key #3 (B0), which is a white key on the keyboard.

Guitar Fret

This group of 6 columns represents the 6 strings of guitar in the standard EADGBe tuning. Each column is marked with a collection of 25 fret numbers - from 0 (the open string) to 24 (indicating the note played on that string at the 24th fret).

Not every guitar has exactly 24 frets, of course, but this a relatively common size and most guitars are in the same general range.

NOTE: You can find a more conventional - and interactive! - representation of the notes on the guitar fretboard in the in-app fretboard chart and related tools or in the web-based fretboard diagram generator.

Bass Fret

This group of 4 columns represents the 4 strings of bass guitar in the standard EADG tuning. Each column is marked with a collection of 25 fret numbers - from 0 (the open string) to 24 (indicating the note played on that string at the 24th fret).

Many bass guitars have 24 frets, so that seemed like a reasonable range, but your bass might include a few more or a few less frets on the neck.

Bass guitar fretboards - in an arbitrary tuning - can also be viewed in the in-app fretboard and scale tools, and in the web-based fretboard diagram generator (e.g., here is a 22-fret bass tuned to EADG).

Ukulele Fret

This group of 4 columns represents the 4 strings of concert ukulele tuned to the "High G" tuning - g4 C4 E4 A4. Each column is marked with a collection of 16 fret numbers - from 0 (the open string) to 15 (indicating the note played on that string at the 15th fret).

Ukelele fretboards can also be viewed in the in-app fretboard and scale tools, and in the web-based fretboard diagram generator (e.g., here is a 15-fret uke tuned to gCEA).

Comments

This column contains some general observations or notes about the pitch, note or other information described by that row in the table.

FATpick
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