How Many Musical Alphabets Do We Have?

Posted by Mike Schuck

Music is a universal language that transcends culture, ethnicity, and genre. It is also a powerful tool to spark creativity, boost self-confidence, and motivate people. There are many ways to learn how to play music, but one of the most accessible is learning our alphabet!

Many children begin playing musical instruments at a young age by learning their first few letters of the musical alphabet. This can be done through teaching individual notes or chords, or both!

The term “alphabet” in relation to music refers to all of the different notes and chords we know. Some say this is limiting because there are more than just the major, minor, and seventh chord shapes.

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But this is not true! Technically speaking, this concept has already been covered. Only now, these new terms refer to other types of chords and notes beyond what we have seen before.

There are several online resources with large lists of music alphabets. But unfortunately, no two sites give the exact same list. This article will focus on a relatively short, easy to understand chart.

Musical notes

how many musical alphabet do we have

Let’s look at some examples!

The word “music” comes from the Greek words mousike, which means “the skill in producing sounds using lutes, drums, flutes, or other instruments,” and oudistes, which translates to “performer of music.”

Before there were written musical scores that we use today, musicians educated themselves through imitation. They would listen to how someone else performed a song and mimic those tones and melodies.

This is why artists like Leonardo Da Vinci are so richly talented — he learned how to imitate others by watching them perform and practicing his own versions of songs and pieces.

After Gutenberg invented the printing press in the early 1400s, people could now produce their own copies more efficiently and widely. This led to an explosion of artistic expression, including writing and music.

It took decades for people to figure out what made a melody interesting, engaging, and catchy. Some say that Mozart had special ear-shaped pillows that helped shape his unique style as a musician.

With all this knowledge, you can be totally creative with your sound experiments! Try experimenting with different pitches, frequencies, timing, and rhythm to see what works for you.

Musical chords

Chords are one of the most important building blocks in music. Almost every song is made at least partially of chord progressions!

Musical chords refer to notes that sound together, which make up specific songs or sequences. For example, the chord used as the main melody in The Beatles’s classic song Hey Jude is E major (with no sharps or flats).

The term “chord” comes from the Italian word for finger, gusset.

Musical scales

how many musical alphabet do we have

A scale is a collection of notes that make up your music. There are many types of musical scales, but you will probably learn the major (or white) scale, the blues scale, and maybe some modes or type of music.

The major scale has seven notes in it, which makes it be called an octave-seven scale. This name comes from the fact that when you start to count down from the note with number one, the first note is the same as the second tone of the original octave.

So, starting at the tonal root of B, the next note would be G, the third degree of the minor key. To play this note, go back up two steps to C, then drop down a half step to get to the G.

This sequence of three notes is what defines the major scale. You can use these three notes to create any melody or chord you want! The order of the notes does not matter. It can be done randomly or even slowly if you like.

By using the major scale for songs and chords, you will meet lots of people. Most musicians use the familiar major scale for this reason. Technically speaking, there are eight tones in a perfect Major Scale, but only seven unique notes.

The eighth tone is never needed unless you wanted to add more colors to your sound.

Popular songs that use the musical alphabet

how many musical alphabet do we have

The term ‘musical alphabet’ refers to all of the different notes in music, from one chord to three or more. Some musicians may also refer to it as the diatonic scale because it contains every note within the octave (the most familiar frequency range in music).

Many popular songs make frequent use of this tool for creating chords, melodies, and rhythms. It can be helpful to know what each letter is called so you can better understand how music makes sense!

The five main letters used in music are:

A B C D E G# A natural second degree (or flat)

These six notes form the chromatic scale, which is simply named after the word ‘chromosome�’ due to its similarity with the chemical components of DNA. You will often see this referred to as the white noise area of the keyboard.

Some people may instead refer to these notes as the octave, but this is not correct. The reason there is an eight-sided box surrounding the octave is because we count up by adding eight, not just seven. This is why there is a G8 instead of a normal G.

This set of six notes is very important as they give us the basis for many other scales. For instance, if you take any two adjacent notes that do not have a gap in between, you get another tone.

Popular songs that use the musical notes

how many musical alphabet do we have

The most common type of song structure is what music theorists call an ABA format, which means it has an introduction (A), a body (B) and a conclusion (C).

In the body of the song, the musician will sometimes repeat or rephrase things from the beginning to make the song more interesting. This is called an internal transition, because it moves within the song.

At the end of the body, the artist will usually say something new, creating an external transition. These are the parts of the song people remember.

The musicians’ tone, rhythm, and intensity vary greatly depending on the context and position in the song.

Popular songs that use the musical chords

how many musical alphabet do we have

The first letter of many popular songs is either A, B, or C. These are called chord tones, because they sound like a music chord.

A chord tone can be thought of as one part of a song’s melody that does not have any other notes attached to it. It is totally separate from the rest of the melody!

When these three chords are played together, they create an authentic feeling for the song. This type of chord progression is very common in music.

It is what people learn how to play when they start learning piano, guitar, bass, or anything else.

Popular songs that use the musical scales

how many musical alphabet do we have

There are eight major musical scales in music, which all songs contain to some degree. These are called octave frequencies or notes. The reason why there are eight is because of how we count up numbers in math.

Octaves can be counted either as whole number multiples of two (e.g., 2, 4, 8, etc.) or half-integer multiples of one (1/2, 3/2, 5/2, etc.). An octave is the distance between one note and another note that is one step higher or lower than it.

The first note of the treble clef staff is one full octave above the middle C natural frequency. This is the A pure tone, or a sound with only fundamental components. All other sounds have overtones, or additional notes mixed into it.

Some people may get confused when they hear this information since they were probably not taught about tones in school. Tones are just part of what makes up a voice and what humans perceive as sounds.

Popular instruments in music

how many musical alphabet do we have

The next step is to learn how to play some of the most popular musical alphabet letters or notes. These include A, B, C, D, E, G, and (the tricky one) R!

A is the note that starts the octave. An octave is like a ladder with eight steps. Starting at the first rung, you climb up the octave until you reach the top where you start again.

The very first note we learned was A, which is the open position. This means your hand is just slightly raised, and you can use it as the base for other notes.

To play the second letter, B, push your hands down and make a lower tone. To go up an octave, repeat what we said before – climb up the octave by lifting your hands.

At this stage, you have played only two notes: the A and the B. You now need to know how to combine these two notes into another sound.

What are chords?

A chord is any combination of notes that sounds good together. There are many types of chords, but our basic chord building block will be done using thirds. That’s because each time through the song, three notes will be repeated.

Let us look at the example above again. Notice there were three beats per line so let’s say that each beat is one third of a bar.

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