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Music notation numbers

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isoc
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Music notation numbers

Postby isoc » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:15 pm

I can read the music notation for my flute OK, although once I get above the F in the third octave, I have to do a double take the first time or so. But I don't spend that much time up there anyhow.

My question is about the numbers going with the notes.

I understand the flute goes from "C4" to "C7" (and for some, even higher), but I am not so sure about where the levels of the number notation start.

Does the A in that first octave above C4 start the "5" level? :?: I think so, but can't quite tell from reading comments on line.

Thanks, Ted
Yamaha 677HCT; Emerson sterling silver flute, open hole, B foot, with an "8" on the body.

SylvreKat
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby SylvreKat » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:28 am

Gosh, I must say that I've never considered the numbers that go with the notes, outside of handbells where it helps you set them up and lets you know which notes are yours to play. Only with bells, the middle-C bell is C5 (bells transpose up an octave).

It goes from C up to B before changing. So the A above middle-C (C4) would be A4 for a piano or flute. Same with the B. The next note up, the C, is when it changes to 5. And before you ask me, no. I have no idea why it doesn't go A->G, why they didn't just start the octave on the first note rather than the third.

All right, I did some Googling for you. Here's the best answer I found so far--
The octave numbering was done on the piano keyboard, starting with middle C, which divides the keyboard into left and right sides. Middle C is also the 4th C on the piano, so middle C is C4, and the notes to the right are also numbered 4 up to C5 and then the cycle repeats. Notes to the left of middle C are numbered 3 down to C3 and that cycle repeats.
--that middle=C split makes sense to me. If you want to read more, here's that site--
https://music.stackexchange.com/questio ... en-b-and-c
--and my Googling--
https://www.google.com/search?ei=vDuiWu ... QRPvvCsnhQ

That help you, Ted?

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

isoc
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby isoc » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:03 am

Thanks for that clarification, Kat.

I guess, to be logical, C4 should actually be C1 for the flute. But it isn't logical.

I'm familiar enough with a keyboard to now understand the notation, I just didn't run into it before taking up the flute again.

Best regards, Ted
Yamaha 677HCT; Emerson sterling silver flute, open hole, B foot, with an "8" on the body.

SylvreKat
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby SylvreKat » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:04 pm


I guess, to be logical, C4 should actually be C1 for the flute. But it isn't logical.
Heh, now you're just asking for trouble. Imagine if they did that for every instrument...on its own C. Egads! :shock: What a mess in, say, and orchestra with all the extra instruments, if the director for some reason preferred to refer to the notes by name/number. And then imagine my confusion if you talk about C1 meaning flute meaning middle-C, but I'm thinking piano, oh but wait maybe it's bells? And then there's the doublers (triplets? quadruplets????) on Sax on the Web, who'd have to know C1 on sax and flute and Lord only knows what-all else they play (besides $20k flutes based on some of the posts I've seen--totally not fair that a saxist has a flute so much better than me a flutist grumble)

And you are certainly welcome. Glad I could help clear things up. Although I still wonder now why they started on C when pianos originally didn't have the lowest three keys. I couldn't seem to find a good answer to that one.

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

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pied_piper
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Location: Virginia

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby pied_piper » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:32 pm

Let me see if I can add a little context to this discussion. The piano is so ubiquitous that it is used as a reference point when discussing the octave numbers. So, the lowest C on the piano is designated C1. When playing a C flute, the lowest C for that instrument can also be designated C1 from the perspective of the player.

But, to put that into context, with the flute C1 sounding in the same octave as middle C on the piano, we get that flute C1= piano C4. Now to confuse things even more, a bass flute is an octave below the C flute. So, on bass flute the lowest C can also be designated C1 from the flutist point of view and the bass flute C1 = piano C3. And just to confuse things a bit more, a C flute C1 = bass flute C2 = piano C4.

If we consider a transposing instrument like an Eb alto sax, its lowest C can also be designated C1 from the saxophonist's perspective. However, because it is a transposing instrument, alto sax C1 = piano Eb3. And the piano middle C means piano C4 = alto sax A2.

So, if we consider the piano as the reference point, the bottom line is that the octave designations of various instruments are all relative to the piano octaves. That means the flute's low C is four octaves above the piano's lowest C. The alto sax's low C is three octaves + a major 6th above the piano low C.

Have I confused everyone enough? :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

SylvreKat
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby SylvreKat » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:19 pm

...
Have I confused everyone enough? :shock: :shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:
No, because you didn't explain why they ever started with C in the first place, rather than A. Did they plan to always add those three bottom notes to a piano, hence the C? Or what? :P

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

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pied_piper
Posts: 1735
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby pied_piper » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:26 pm

It's because the key of C has no flats or sharps. :mrgreen:
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

SylvreKat
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:15 am

It's because the key of C has no flats or sharps. :mrgreen:
:roll: I cry uncle. :)

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

isoc
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby isoc » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:24 am

On my organ I only go down to C2 on the manual, unless I use the 16' coupler to go to C1. I go to C7 on the manual, unless I use the 2' coupler, and go to C9.

Middle C=C4. I understand it, I will recall my first piano lesson: I am C, Middle C, left hand, right hand, Middle C.

Ted
Yamaha 677HCT; Emerson sterling silver flute, open hole, B foot, with an "8" on the body.

SylvreKat
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby SylvreKat » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Oo, you have an organ, too? What kind?

We had Pappa's old Wurlitzer spinet, which now lives with my big bro'. We had upgraded to a Conn with almost-full pedals. And rhythm section! That's where I first met the glory that is a Leslie speaker.

Sadly, my skill at playing said Conn is merely private level. There's one too many limbs involved for public infliction of my playing.

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins

isoc
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby isoc » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:16 am

The organ is a Wurlitzer. It has 2 full manuals, a small solo manual and two octave pedalboard. Not AGO pedalboard because it stops at C. I got it for my first wife, Gemma, who was a Church organist but needed an instrument for practice at home. She died 14 years ago after 32 years of marriage. I have tried to play the organ and have had limited success. But I hate to see it just be a piece of furniture, so I keep trying. Gemma thought I was pretty good with the flute, and I think I'm better with it than the organ. I just stopped practicing when she got sick, but want to take up music again.

- Ted
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Yamaha 677HCT; Emerson sterling silver flute, open hole, B foot, with an "8" on the body.

SylvreKat
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:56 am
Location: KC metro

Re: Music notation numbers

Postby SylvreKat » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:37 pm

Ted, sounds like your organing is right down there near mine. :D When I first started, Mom made a deal with our church--they let me take lessons there, and I would play organ for service some time. They never asked me to fulfill my end of the deal. And through college, my professor would invariably tell the other professor at my organ trial that this wasn't easy for me. Thanks, Dr Sutton, I appreciate the vote of confidence there (actually, I really did appreciate that she knew I'd never really be an organist for anyone except her and myself)

I did manage to practice up Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones to an almost-acceptable level.

You've inspired me. I'm gonna clear off the old Conn tomorrow and see what I remember, besides that I'm really not very good at all....

>'Kat
Flutes:1975 Gemeinhardt M2 in chrome nickel;1982 Armstrong 80;2006 Yamaha 584

Piccs:1978 Artley piece of crap 15 P;1982 Gemeinhardt 4S;1980s? Armstrong all wood (no model)

Bass:2006 Jupiter di Medici G0199
Treble:2009 Guo New Voice

+ many flute-cousins


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