B (musical note)
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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
|Scientific designation||Helmholtz designation||Octave name||Frequency (Hz)|
|B−1||B͵͵͵ or ͵͵͵B or BBBB||Subsubcontra||15.434|
|B0||B͵͵ or ͵͵B or BBB||Subcontra||30.868|
|B1||B͵ or ͵B or BB||Contra||61.735|
Common scales beginning on B
- B major: B C♯ D♯ E F♯ G♯ A♯ B
- B natural minor: B C♯ D E F♯ G A B
- B Harmonic minor: B C♯ D E F♯ G A♯ B
- B Melodic minor ascending: B C♯ D E F♯ G♯ A♯ B
- B melodic minor descending: B A G F♯ E D C♯ B
- B Ionian: B C♯ D♯ E F♯ G♯ A♯ B
- B Dorian: B C♯ D E F♯ G♯ A B
- B Phrygian: B C D E F♯ G A B
- B Lydian: B C♯ D♯ E♯ F♯ G♯ A♯ B
- B Mixolydian: B C♯ D♯ E F♯ G♯ A B
- B Aeolian: B C♯ D E F♯ G A B
- B Locrian: B C D E F G A B
- B Ascending melodic minor: B C♯ D E F♯ G♯ A♯ B
- B Dorian ♭2: B C D E F♯ G♯ A B
- B Lydian augmented: B C♯ D♯ E♯ F G♯ A♯ B
- B Lydian dominant: B C♯ D♯ E♯ F♯ G♯ A B
- B Mixolydian ♭6: B C♯ D♯ E F♯ G A B
- B Locrian ♮2: B C♯ D E F G A B
- B Altered: B C D E♭ F G A B
Variation of meaning by geographical region
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.