Teach Yourself Music Theory – 3.) Naming Pitch Registers Correctly

To start off, take a look at the grand staff with all the different pitches notated. While they are all different with their placement vertically on the staff – heck, some utilize ledger lines, those extra lines above/below the staves – all of those pitches do have something in common: they are all C. That means this collection of pitches are in the same pitch class, or notes that are octave-related and have the same letter name.

Left to Right: C1, C2, C3, C4, C4 (repeated), C5, C6, C7

Remembered how we numbered pitches before from left to right on a keyboard, which is how we got C4 to be middle C? This is the act for naming registers. Starting with the first C and naming it C1, everything above and below the consecutive C is in the 1 category for their letter name. And this continues on and on. Any pitches before C1 will be numbered with a 0.

So, if I was to write a G between C4 and C5 vertically on the grand staff, it would be called G4 because it is higher than C4, but lower than C5.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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