An Introduction To Musical Notes (The Chromatic Scale)
In western music there are twelve notes, within which seven are natural in their tone. These notes are as follows…A B C D E F G
The remaining five notes of the twelve are… A# C# D# F# G#
The # symbol indicates the note is sharpened.
You may also be familiar with this symbol ♭ which indicates the note is flattened. B♭ D♭ E♭ G♭ A♭
Within a piece of music the notation will either be in sharp or flat depending upon what key the song is written in. This is due to sharps and flats sharing the same note value.
- A# is also B♭
- C# is also D♭
- D# is also E♭
- F# is also G♭
- G# is also A♭
Therefore if we were to place all our notes in chromatic order (the chromatic scale) it would look like this… A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#
Alternatively it could look like this… A B♭ B C D♭ D E♭ E F G♭ G A♭
Please note that there is no sharp or flat notes between B and C or E and F.
In relation to a piano, the natural notes would be the white keys and the sharp / flat notes are the black keys. Upon examination of the keyboard layout you’ll notice a group of three white keys with two black keys within, and a group of four white keys with three within. Then the pattern will repeat. These are the same notes over and over, but changing octaves.
An octave is the same note played higher. If we use our above example of the chromatic scale, the note following G# (or A♭) would be A. Finding your notes on a piano is a little easier than on a guitar, as when you see two white keys together you can tell it’s either B C or E F.