B (musical note)

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B, also known as Si, Ti, or, in some European countries, H, is the seventh note of the fixed-Do solfège. It has an enharmonic equivalent of C, which is by definition a diatonic semitone above B.

When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of Middle B (B4) is approximately 493.883 Hz. See pitch (music) for a discussion of historical variations in frequency.

Designation by octave[edit]

Scientific
designation
Helmholtz
designation
Octave name Frequency
(Hz)
B−1 B͵͵͵ or ͵͵͵B Subsubcontra 15.434
B0 B͵͵ or ͵͵B Subcontra 30.868
B1 B͵ or ͵B Contra 61.735
B2 B Great 123.471
B3 b Small 246.942
B4 b′ One-lined 493.883
B5 b′′ Two-lined 987.767
B6 b′′′ Three-lined 1975.533
B7 b′′′′ Four-lined 3951.066
B8 b′′′′′ Five-lined 7902.133
B9 b′′′′′′ Six-lined 15804.266
B10 b′′′′′′′ Seven-lined 31608.532

Variation of meaning by geographical region[edit]

The referent of the musical note B varies by location. See note for a discussion on other differences in letter naming of the notes.

In the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Netherlands, as described above, B usually refers to the note a semitone below C, while B-flat refers to the note a whole tone below C.

However, in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, the label B is used for what, above, is called B-flat, and the note a semitone below C is called H. This makes possible certain spellings which are otherwise impossible, such as the BACH motif.

See also[edit]