A musical note is the minimum element of a sound. When a string vibrates, it moves the air molecules around it. This agitation of the molecules occurs at the same frequency as the string vibrates.

The human ear captures this vibration from the air and processes it by assigning a sound to the brain. For each frequency of vibration, the brain assigns a different sound (a different note).

Identifying a music note

Musical notes can be identified by letters to facilitate writing and increase reading speed. The notes used are universal, which facilitates communication with musicians from other countries. There are 7 letters to represent musical notes. The definition of the letters and their corresponding notes is the following:


do re mi fa sol la


In music theory within the English-speaking world, pitch classes  typically represent the notes by the first seven letters of the Latin alphabet (A, B, C, D, E, F, G). However, most other countries in the world identify the notes by the naming convention of Do-Re-Me-Fa-Sol-La-Ti (H in German for the last one).

There is also another representation for notes, which does not depend on letters. It is the famous sheet music. You may have seen something like this already:

music note

Since it is much more detailed and complete (it involves rhythms and everything else), we’ve created a specific topic to explain and teach everything you need to know about sheet music.

If this is your first contact with musical representations, do not worry so much about sheet music. Instead, try to learn the representation by letters, which is much simpler.

We would like to highlight that, in the future, sheet music will help you a lot, so be sure to enjoy everything that Simplifying Music has to offer. Just be judicious with yourself and proceed calmly. We’re here to make your learning easier, so go at your own pace and enjoy!

Go to: Timbre

Back to: Module 1