The middle white key on the piano is called "middle C." Going up the scale from C, the rest are D, E, F, G, A, B, and they start again with C.
The notes in a song or scale are written on a "staff." These are the series of lines and spaces that you've probably seen on a piece of music. Here is a GREAT way to get started fast -- sign up for our free newsletter on piano chords at the bottom of this page!
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Learning how to read sheet music for piano can be quite daunting at first because it looks like a series of lots of lines and dots with several random symbols thrown in for good measure. The key thing to remember is that piano music simply uses the basic elements of sheet music – it just has a lot of them because a piano player has 2 hands and a total of 10 fingers and therefore the potential to play a lot of notes at any one time. It helps to remember this when practicing as you can practice one hand at a time and make significant progress with whichever piece you are wanting to play. Some contemporary piano music has one stave (usually Treble Clef) for the right hand and chord symbols above or below the staff. The renowned pianist Vladimir Horowitz once said, "The most important thing is to transform the piano from a percussive instrument into a singing instrument." Check out this project to learn about sympathetic vibrations, one way to make piano strings sing. The goal of this project is to understand which notes can induce sympathetic vibrations on an "open" string on the piano. The Vladimir Horowitz quote in the project description on the Physics home page is from the liner notes to the CD collection, The Magic of Horowitz, Hamburg, Germany: Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, 1989. You'll also need to understand some basic properties of waves to get the most out of this project.
Perception of a sound begins when sound pressure waves reach the tympanic membrane (eardrum), a thin, flexible membrane in the middle ear.
Figure 2 also shows the period (T) of the wave, which is the time that elapses during a single cycle of the wave. The piano has many tightly-stretched strings which are struck by felt-covered, wooden hammers when a piano key is pressed (more on this later). The mechanism that transmits the force of the pianists fingers on the keys to the hammers that strike the strings is called the action. The string vibrates between two fixed points: where it is stretched over the bridge and the opposite end of the string, where it is attached to the frame.
At last, you have enough of an introduction to sound waves and pianos so that you can understand how one string can make another "sing." Playing a key to strike the string with the hammer is one way to start the string vibrating, but the strings can also be set in motion by sound.
While still holding C2 open, firmly play and quickly release C3 (one octave below middle C). The tone from the C3 string will die away quickly when the damper re-contacts the string after you let go of the key.

Next you will time the duration of the sympathetic vibration induced in the open C2 string by each of the notes between C3 and C4, inclusive (the test notes). Have your helper count down (3-2-1-go!) and start the stopwatch on "Go!" At the same moment, firmly play and release the note you are testing.
Listen carefully to the sound of the C2 string, and at the first moment you can no longer hear it, say "Stop!" Your helper should immediately stop the stopwatch. Graph your results (a bar graph aligned with a graphic of the piano keys corresponding to the test notes would be one idea). If you are good with using computers and software, you can add digital recording and frequency analysis to this project.
Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project.
The Ask an Expert Forum is intended to be a place where students can go to find answers to science questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. Physicists have a big goal in mind—to understand the nature of the entire universe and everything in it!
Any time you hear music at a concert, a live speech, the police sirens in a TV show, or the six o'clock news you're hearing the work of a sound engineering technician. You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. Reproduction of material from this website without written permission is strictly prohibited. On vient d’heriter d’un piano ancien tres joli de ma grand mere qui me rappelle des souvenirs !
Un immense merci pour ces plans que tu partages de bon coeur, j’en cherchais depuis longtemps des plans qui ne se decomposent pas en 150 et qui soient clairs et precis pour un debutant comme moi. An understanding of musical notes and their values is the foundation for learning any instrument.
If you look at the keyboard on a piano, you'll see that the keys repeat their order every eighth white key. The notes from any C on the keyboard to the next C make up an "octave." It is so called because it contains eight keys, or eight notes. It doesn't cost a penny, but if you love it and want to take it further, we've got piano courses galore for you to get up and running! Usually (but not always), the top stave is written in the Treble Clef and the bottom stave is written in Bass Clef. Illustration of a sound wave as compression and rarefaction of air, and as a graph of pressure vs.
Standing waves on a vibrating string, showing the fundamental (top), first harmonic (middle), and second harmonic (bottom) vibrational modes.

It's not as smart as you are, and it may occasionally give humorous, ridiculous, or even annoying results! Depress the key very slowly so that the damper is lifted up, but the hammer does not cause the string to vibrate. If you have specific questions about your science fair project or science fair, our team of volunteer scientists can help.
To reach that goal, they observe and measure natural events seen on Earth and in the universe, and then develop theories, using mathematics, to explain why those phenomena occur. Sound engineering technicians operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions.
A sixteenth note looks similar to an eighth note, but has a double "tail." When two, three or four are joined, they are connected by a double bar. The top stave shows the notes that should be played with the right hand, whilst the bottom stave shows the notes to be played by the left hand.
In this case, you would play the tune with your right hand and improvise the chords with your left hand.
The vibrations are amplified by a series of three tiny bones and transmitted to the cochlea. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help you troubleshoot. Physicists take on the challenge of explaining events that happen on the grandest scale imaginable to those that happen at the level of the smallest atomic particles.
Figure 2, below, shows examples of sound waves of two different frequencies (Henderson, 2004). Their theories are then applied to human-scale projects to bring people new technologies, like computers, lasers, and fusion energy.
The notes on the bass clef begin on the bottom line of the staff with the G below middle C.
Try searching for "sound frequency analysis software" or "wav file frequency analysis software." You can try shareware programs before buying them, but if you decide to use the program, do follow through and pay the registration fee. Which type of note appears on which line or space on the clef determines which key is played and for how long that key is held.
In other words, if a whole note appears written on the bottom line of the treble clef, then the instrumentalist would play an E above middle C.

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