E♭ (musical note)

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E (E-flat) or mi bémol is the fourth semitone of the solfège.

It lies a diatonic semitone above D and a chromatic semitone below E, thus being enharmonic to D (D-sharp) or re dièse. In equal temperament it is also enharmonic with Fdouble flat. However, in some temperaments, D is not the same as E. E is a perfect fourth above B, whereas D is a major third above B.

When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of the E above middle C (or E4) is approximately 311.127 Hz. See pitch (music) for a discussion of historical variations in frequency.

In German nomenclature, it is known as Es, sometimes (especially in the context of musical motifs) abbreviated to S.

Well-known compositions in E-flat major[edit]

The prelude to Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold is a famous piece of drone music that begin with a low E flat and builds to more and more elaborate figurations of the chord of E flat major. It is used in this opera to portray the motion of the river Rhine.[1]

Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (also known as The Emperor) and Symphony No. 3 (also known as the Eroica) are two more well-known piece set in the key of E-flat major. Robert Schumann's Symphony No. 3 (also known as the Rhenish Symphony) is yet another.

Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile is a well-known popular music piece commonly performed in E-flat major.

Designation by octave[edit]

Scientific designation Helmholtz designation Octave name Frequency (Hz)
E−1 E͵͵͵ or ͵͵͵E or EEEE Subsubcontra 9.723
E0 E͵͵ or ͵͵E or EEE Subcontra 19.445
E1 E͵ or ͵E or EE Contra 38.891
E2 E Great 77.782
E3 e Small 155.563
E4 e One-lined 311.127
E5 e′′ Two-lined 622.254
E6 e′′′ Three-lined 1244.508
E7 e′′′′ Four-lined 2489.016
E8 e′′′′′ Five-lined 4978.032
E9 e′′′′′′ Six-lined 9956.063
E10 e′′′′′′′ Seven-lined 19912.127


Common scales beginning on E[edit]

  • E Major: E F G A B C D E
  • E Natural Minor: E F G A B C D E
  • E Harmonic Minor: E F G A B C D E
  • E Melodic Minor Ascending: E F G A B C D E
  • E Melodic Minor Descending: E D C B A G F E

Diatonic scales[edit]

  • E Ionian: E F G A B C D E
  • E Dorian: E F G A B C D E
  • E Phrygian: E F G A B C D E
  • E Lydian: E F G A B C D E
  • E Mixolydian: E F G A B C D E
  • E Aeolian: E F G A B C D E
  • E Locrian: E F G A Bdouble flat C D E

Jazz melodic minor[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erickson, Robert, Sound Structure in Music, p. 94. University of California Press, 1975 ISBN 0-520-02376-5