What Is A Musical Alphabet?

Posted by Mike Schuck

Have you ever noticed that some songs contain very similar lyrics but with different music? These songs have something in common besides their rhyme scheme — they use the same notes! This is called an alphabet song, or a musical alphabet.

Most people are aware of this concept when it comes to children’s songs like “The Wheels On The Bus” or “This Little Rabbit Has No Muffin In Its Head.” But there are many more examples!

A few well-known songs feature several instances of the letter G. For example, the first instance uses the word “get” as a verb, while the second uses the noun form of the g– get out! Both verses begin with the sound of a soft ‘g�’ and then transition into the hard glottal stop – just like the way we say the word “good.”

Join the JA team and grab a cool t-shirt!

Check out our Jam Addict attire and become a part of the team that has been training drummers and musicians for years!
Jam Addict Course

Another popular example is the song “Happy Birthday To You.” While most versions do not include any E’s, all of the others end with the sounds of either an I (for “I love you”) or an O (for “Oh my goodness”). Some even add one at the beginning for “give me” or “take away.”

These similarities make it easy to identify which letters are used in each verse.

First letter of the musical alphabet

what is a musical alphabet

The first letter in our musical alphabet is the letter G. The name “G-mode” comes from the way this mode sounds when you play the note G. To play the G-mode, you must press the index finger onto the second fret on the A string (the lower most string) and then pull the pick up one half step to reach the next higher open position (first fret). This is called an ascending whole tone scale.

The other major shape is the descending minor third scale, which uses notes that are two frets down and one flat from the second fret A string. These notes combine to make the sound of B-. To play this note, you simply drop your thumb bar down two freets and hit the second fret with the pointer finger.

These two scales together form the gong-like pattern we call the guitar tonic chord or G-chord. Many musicians use these chords as the starting place for songs because they contain the root element of the song.

Second letter of the musical alphabet

what is a musical alphabet

The second letter in the musical alphabet is the syllable one. An example of this is the song “Happy Birthday”, which has the word “birthday” as its first sound (or note).

There are some songs that use only one instance of the one-syllable word for their lyrics instead of using multiple instances. For example, there is a song called “Happy Anniversary” where it uses the word “anniversary” once as a lyric.

These types of songs use the rule that if you take any section of the song and break it down into individual sounds, then add them together, they form the name of the next letter in the music alphabet.

In this case, since we have an anniversery, we would say that “a” is spelled.

Third letter of the musical alphabet

what is a musical alphabet

The third letter in the musical alphabet is the semisolid! The semisolid comes in two forms, one as an element and one as a song. As an element, it can be done as dry rubbing or mud packing. Both are similar in that they create a solid layer to keep your skin tight.

As a song, the most popular form is probably singing it. If you’re reading this article then I assume you know how to sing already! So we will not discuss that version here.

The second most common way to use the semisolid is called fluffling. This happens when wet fur is pressed into dried blood or other matter (like dirt) and left to set.

When doing either rubbing or fluffling, make sure there is no excess liquid needed removed. Too much water could cause tissue damage or even wound infection! Also, do not pull off too many layers of the skin because this can lead to raw patches where the skin has broken.

Fourth letter of the musical alphabet

what is a musical alphabet

The fourth letter in our musical alphabet is the semitone, also known as a one-note difference or a rising tone. A semitone can be either ascending (rising) or descending (falling), and it is typically used to describe an alteration in pitch.

A common example is when someone sings a note that is one octave higher than their original note. For instance, if you know how to sing your own voice, then you have a tonal center, or natural target, which is usually G. If I asked you to sing any word starting with “g”, this would change depending on whether the g was flat or sharp.

If it were a flat g, then it would be like singing the first half of the word “go”, before dropping down the notes to reach the final sound. This is what happens when people say they are singing in their “natural�” range. Their natural range is determined by the presence or absence of certain tones.

When they drop down a whole step, they are using the same interval between each pair of sounds, but one is just one note lower. This is why we call this a one-semitone decrease, or a lowering semi-tone. When paired together, these two intervals create a different feeling than only applying one or the other.

Fifth letter of the musical alphabet

what is a musical alphabet

The fifth letter in the musical alphabet is G! This is an important letter to know as it shapes how your songs are sung and interpreted.

The way that people normally pronounce this letter sounds similar to the word ‘gentle’, but with a slight difference. Rather than just having a sound like gentle /ˈɡentl/ or even gernut (like most people) they lengthen the last syllable so it becomes more like ˈɛntʃli/.

This pronunciation makes sense because the next vowel in the word is E, which rhymes With antichrist. So this G sounds like It takes care of me — kind and benevolent.

Sixth letter of the musical alphabet

what is a musical alphabet

The sixth letter in the musical alphabet is G. This is the most famous letter of the musical alphabet because it is used to write almost every song!

The first word that comes to mind when you think about songs with this initial g are probably got something to do with going out or having fun. Some examples include go away, goodbye, get down, gospel, good luck, golden ring, great day, green light, have a nice day, how sweet it is, hope so, I’m just looking for someone to hold (yeah, that one really belongs here!), if you wanna, let’s hang out sometime, give me your heart, etc.

These all start with the word got which is also the fifth letter of the musical alphabet!

As you can see, the way the music notes connect makes some very familiar patterns and formulas.

Seventh letter of the musical alphabet

what is a musical alphabet

The seventh letter in the musical alphabet is called an appoggiatura. An appoggia (plural: appoggiato, appoggiation) comes from the Italian word for supported or leaning against. According to music theory, appoggiato resolves tension caused by other notes.

For example, if the first note was an octave higher than the second, then the third note can be a half step lower than the second. This tritone (three-note interval) creates some energy that needs to be resolved. An appoggio sometimes helps bring closure to a piece.

Eighth letter of the musical alphabet

The next letter in the music theory vocabulary is called an octave. This term comes from the Greek word for eight. An octave is one whole step up or down in pitch, relative to another note. For example, the note G is one octave higher than F.

In music, there are many instances where notes become an octave away. A simple way to remember this is that every other note is one octave lower. For instance, the second note of the English language is “o”, which is one octave lower than “A”, the first tone. Therefore, the second ostring can be read as one tone lower.

envelope linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram