Music notation - Alphabetical - Syllabic

Musical Readings # Staff # Clefs # Notation

Names of the music notes and musical notation

The name of each music note is determined by its place on the staff and the clef placed at the beginning of this staff.

There are seven notes of music and two different systems of musical notation.

The syllabic musical notation

The origin of the syllabic notation is due to the Italian monk Guido d'Arezzo (XIth century) who used the first syllables of a Latin hymn to name the music notes:

DO (or UT) - RE - MI - FA - SOL - LA - SI

The alphabetical musical notation

Mainly used in Anglo Saxon countries (and so in jazz), it uses the letters of the alphabet:

A - B- C- D- E- F- G

The German alphabetical music notation

The German music notation uses a H and not a B (SI in alphabetical notation):

A - H- C- D- E- F- G

Music notation and countries

Syllabic musical notation is used by Italian, Portuguese, Greek, French, Russian, Flemish, Romanian, Spanish, Hebrew and Turkish people.

Alphabetical musical notation is used by Anglophone countries.

German Alphabetical notation is used in Germany, Poland, Russia, Scandinavia.

Correspondence between
the musical notation systems

Syllabic Alphabetical German
Do C C
Re D D
Mi E E
Fa F F
Sol G G
La A A
Si B H

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