Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicClassical · 1 decade ago

note names vary from country to country and from time to time???

What is the fuss about??? Why when my mother went to her piano lessons (russia), she was taught to learn do re mi fa so la si do .

When I went to my piano lessons (finland) I was taught to learn c d e f g a h c

When I moved to the UK, I found out people over there use c d e f g a B c

My small cousin just started her piano lessons (sweden) and the notes she is learning are a b c d e f g a

Why do these things change over time and why aren't they used all over the world at least? What do they represent? Yes, a b c d e f g a is understandable, but c d e f g a h c .. why are they in this order ? Are do re mi and rest used nowadays anymore ?? Which of these names or perhaps even some other names are now recognised in the whole world around the professional pianists alive???


so does it mean that c d e f g a h(b) c is the same as a b c d e f g a.. OK ok, but are they representing THE SAME KEYS ON PIANO ??? Why on earth did they choose different starting points??? one 'c' and another 'a' .... beyond my comprehension !!!

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    All Western music uses the same 7 natural notes (a,b,c,d,e,f,g). We add sharps and flats to provide12 different pitches. The confusion you have comes from the German tradition of using the letter "h" to designate the note "b" (b natural). In that system the letter "B" was used to mean the note "b-flat".

    So the "cdefgahc" in Finland is the same as the "cdefgabc" in the UK. This all came about by trying to accommodate different scale and tuning systems. If you want to tackle it, here is a site that explains it in part:

    The C-scale (cdfgabc) has no sharps or flats and is the logical first scale (and key signature) that most people learn when they begin piano lessons, so that is why you see the notes in that order so often. Also most piano lessons begin by using "middle c" as a starting point for learning your way around the piano keyboard.

    The "do-re-mi" system (the movable do) is a way of representing the scales steps in whatever scale or key you are in. The "do" is always the first note of the scale, so in the key of C "do" would represent the note "c". In the key of D "do" would be the note "d", and in the key of Eb "do" = the note Eb, etc.

    Musician, composer, teacher.

  • Gail
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    There are lots of sites...and rarely are they accurate. I've typed in a very English name like "Swain", where the genealogy back to England in 1400 is well established. The sites convert it to Swan, McSweeney, Schwartz...and none of them are accurate. Some sites want you to believe that Victor Hugo was English (and his genealogy clearly isn't and goes back to Germany in the 1300s). They'll take very Jewish names like Povich and turn them into something very English and Wasp-ish like Palmer. So you can play on the surname sites...but it's purely caveat emptor.

  • 1 decade ago

    Some countries (like here in the US) like to alphabetize EVERYTHING, hence we order our musical notes: A B C D E F G (or: a b c d e f g). Also, capital letters versus lower-case is often used to indicate which octaves (upper case pitches are below middle c, while middle c upwards are lower case), or modes (upper case being Major and lower case being minor).

    NOW then, why some places start with A while others start with C could be a musical theory preference. The first "mode" is Ionian, more commonly know as Major. The Major scale is played on all white keys only in the key of C Major, so it is usually the first Major scale taught. Its relative minor scale (also known as "aeolian mode") is A minor, since it is the only minor scale played on all white keys. So it is usually the first minor scale taught. So the different starting note could be for one of 2 reasons: is could be the difference between Major (therefore starting with C) or minor (starting with A), or that they prefer to name the notes in the order of the C Major scale rather than strict alphabetical order.

    The other issue is the odd looking "B" (capitalized) and the "h" These simply indicate that the note "b" is b-natural as opposed to b-flat. In early music (up through Bach's time), b-natural was indicated by the letter h (as it somewhat resembles the natural sign) while b-flat was represented by a lower case b (which looks like the flat sign). Later, the "h" was replaced by the upper case B for b-natural, while b-flat continued to be represented by the small "b."

    The "do-re-mi- etc." are called "solfege syllables" and in addition to the ones you are probably familiar with, there are also syllables for the notes that might be flatted or sharped. For instance the syllables for singing up one of the minor scales are: "do-re-ME-fa-so-LE-ti-do." Two last notes here: first, in some countries the older syllables"SOL" and "SI" are used for "SO" and "TI"; and second, originally it wasn't "DO-re-mi..." but "UT-re-mi...".


    Source(s): for "solfege":
  • munden
    Lv 4
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Get Better Playing Piano
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Its the same. maybe a b c d e f g is easier to remember because it starts from a and for some people, they teach starting with c for easier recognition on the keyboard

  • moon
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    the first note is "la", la is A and "si" is "do" is C

    it is in order.....

    I was taught to learn do re mi fa sol la si do

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