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A note is a sound of definitive pitch, the basic unit in music. Music notes are classified by their note name or musical note and these notes match up to a particular frequency (Hz) that portrays the number of vibrations per second. For example, 1 Hz = 1 vibration per second.
The 12 semitones on an equal temperament chromatic scale have frequencies from about 16.35 Hz (C) to 24,000 Hz (B) however the human ear can only hear frequencies from 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. The range of audible sound is divided into specific ranges for the purposes of measurement and identification. The lowest frequency we can hear (20 Hz) would be considered “low bass,” while the highest audible frequency (20,000 Hz) would be called “high treble.”
A = 440Hz
Our chart above matches musical notes to pitch frequencies in hertz starting from 16.35 Hz (C0).
To determine what D flat is in terms of Hertz, you will find the relevant note in the first column, simply locate your preferred octave to the right within the same row to find the respective Hz.
|NOTE||OCTAVE 0||OCTAVE 1||OCTAVE 2||OCTAVE 3||OCTAVE 4||OCTAVE 5||OCTAVE 6||OCTAVE 7||OCTAVE 8|
|C||16.35 Hz||32.70 Hz||65.41 Hz||130.81 Hz||261.63 Hz||523.25 Hz||1046.50 Hz||2093.00 Hz||4186.01 Hz|
|C#/Db||17.32 Hz||34.65 Hz||69.30 Hz||138.59 Hz||277.18 Hz||554.37 Hz||1108.73 Hz||2217.46 Hz||4434.92 Hz|
|D||18.35 Hz||36.71 Hz||73.42 Hz||146.83 Hz||293.66 Hz||587.33 Hz||1174.66 Hz||2349.32 Hz||4698.63 Hz|
|D#/Eb||19.45 Hz||38.89 Hz||77.78 Hz||155.56 Hz||311.13 Hz||622.25 Hz||1244.51 Hz||2489.02 Hz||4978.03 Hz|
|E||20.60 Hz||41.20 Hz||82.41 Hz||164.81 Hz||329.63 Hz||659.25 Hz||1318.51 Hz||2637.02 Hz||5274.04 Hz|
|F||21.83 Hz||43.65 Hz||87.31 Hz||174.61 Hz||349.23 Hz||698.46 Hz||1396.91 Hz||2793.83 Hz||5587.65 Hz|
|F#/Gb||23.12 Hz||46.25 Hz||92.50 Hz||185.00 Hz||369.99 Hz||739.99 Hz||1479.98 Hz||2959.96 Hz||5919.91 Hz|
|G||24.50 Hz||49.00 Hz||98.00 Hz||196.00 Hz||392.00 Hz||783.99 Hz||1567.98 Hz||3135.96 Hz||6271.93 Hz|
|G#/Ab||25.96 Hz||51.91 Hz||103.83 Hz||207.65 Hz||415.30 Hz||830.61 Hz||1661.22 Hz||3322.44 Hz||6644.88 Hz|
|A||27.50 Hz||55.00 Hz||110.00 Hz||220.00 Hz||440.00 Hz||880.00 Hz||1760.00 Hz||3520.00 Hz||7040.00 Hz|
|A#/Bb||29.14 Hz||58.27 Hz||116.54 Hz||233.08 Hz||466.16 Hz||932.33 Hz||1864.66 Hz||3729.31 Hz||7458.62 Hz|
|B||30.87 Hz||61.74 Hz||123.47 Hz||246.94 Hz||493.88 Hz||987.77 Hz||1975.53 Hz||3951.07 Hz||7902.13 Hz|
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Why match musical notes to frequencies?
This handy chart can be used in a variety of ways. For example, it may assist you as a mix engineer during the mixing process to identify low-end frequency notes and balance them across your sound spectrum in order to clean your mix. It could also be helpful when dealing with unwanted resonating frequencies. For example in recordings of acoustic instruments like vocals where there could be some resonating sounds that would disrupt the audio during the vocal mixing process.
Drummers are also likely to find value in matching notes to frequencies, which helps them tune their drums and percussion pieces into harmonic cohesion with the song’s key signature.
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What is a frequency?
A frequency is a measurement of Hz which refers to the number of vibrations per second.
How do I calculate the frequency of a note?
There are two ways to calculate the note frequency of a note. The first is by counting and dividing the number in Hertz (Hz) from 1200, this would be written as “1200 Hz” or “1200.” The second method for calculating note frequencies is using the octave scale where there are twelve notes per octave, which range from 200-2000 Hz.
What is an equal tempered scale?
An equal-tempered scale refers to a type of frequency scale where all the notes have been mathematically adjusted to sound in harmony with each other throughout the entire musical range.
440hz vs 432hz tuning?
An equal-tempered note is mathematically adjusted to sound the same as all other notes, but this means that it isn’t a “perfect” note. The 440hz note has an A in its overtone series with 49 cycles per second (cps) which is where we get our pitch of middle-C. However, 432hz also has an A with 64 cps and overtones at 315 Hz and 247.94 Hz leading it up to a higher frequency than 440Hz on both ends!
Benefits to tuning at 432hz:
More natural note, as it is mathematically based on the overtone series of A and all corresponding notes. Easier note transitions when playing instruments that are tuned lower than 440Hz (e.g., bass guitar versus violin).
Learn more audio terms here.
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