Octave Numbering

In order to talk about some of the more advanced music theory topics, we need to be able to distinguish between pitches that are in different octaves. So, instead of talking about pitch classes (ex. A, B♭, G♯) where the octave is not considered, we will be referring to absolute pitches. In order to do this, we must have a system for numbering the octaves. There are several systems for octave numbering, but this website uses the Scientific Pitch Notation System where middle C is C4 and octave numbers are incremented on C as in the image below. The C below C1 is C0, and the octave below that is C-1, but many of these pitches are below the typical range of human hearing (which is approximately 20 to 20,000 Hz), so they will not play a role in our discussions.

scientific pitch notation system on the keyboard
Scientific Pitch Notation System for Octave Numbering

"Music is nothing else but wild sounds civilized into time and tune." - Thomas Fuller

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe." - Lao Tzu

"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

"Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue." - Plato

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." - Victor Hugo

"Music is nothing else but wild sounds civilized into time and tune." - Thomas Fuller

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