F (musical note)

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F is a musical note, the fourth above C or fifth below C. It is the fourth note and the sixth semitone of the solfège. It is also known as fa in fixed-do solfège.[1] It has enharmonic equivalents of E (E-sharp)[2] and Gdouble flat (G-double flat),[3] amongst others.

When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of Middle F (F4) is approximately 349.228 Hz. See pitch (music) for a discussion of historical variations in frequency.

Designation by octave[edit]

Scientific designation Helmholtz designation Octave name Frequency (Hz)
F−1 F͵͵͵ or ͵͵͵F or FFFF Octocontra 10.913
F0 F͵͵ or ͵͵F or FFF Subcontra 21.827
F1 F͵ or ͵F or FF Contra 43.654
F2 F Great 87.307
F3 f Small 174.614
F4 f′ One-lined 349.228
F5 f′′ Two-lined 698.456
F6 f′′′ Three-lined 1396.913
F7 f′′′′ Four-lined 2793.826
F8 f′′′′′ Five-lined 5587.652
F9 f′′′′′′ Six-lined 11175.303
F10 f′′′′′′′ Seven-lined 22350.607


Common scales beginning on F[edit]

Diatonic scales[edit]

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

Jazz melodic minor[edit]


{ \new Staff \with{ \magnifyStaff #3/2 } << \time 2/1 \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f { \clef bass eis1_E-sharp \clef treble eis'} >> }

E (German: Eis)[4] is a common enharmonic equivalent of F, but is not regarded as the same note. E is commonly found before F in the same measure in pieces where F is in the key signature, in order to represent a diatonic, rather than a chromatic semitone; writing an F with a following F is regarded as a chromatic alteration of one scale degree. Though E and F sound the same in any 12-tone temperament, other tunings may define them as distinct pitches.


  1. ^ Demorest (2001, p. 46)
  2. ^ Griffiths (2004, p. 617)
  3. ^ Zundel (1848, p. 24)
  4. ^ Griffiths (2004, p. 399)


  • Demorest, Steven M. (2001). Building Choral Excellence: Teaching Sight-Singing in the Choral Rehearsal. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512462-0.
  • Griffiths, Paul (7 October 2004). The Penguin Companion to Classical Music. Penguin UK. ISBN 9780141909769.
  • Zundel, John (1848). The Complete Melodeon Instructor, in Seven Parts: Designed as a Thorough Instruction Book for the Melodeon, Seraphine, Eolican, Melopean, Organ, Or Any Similar Instrument. O. Ditson.

See also[edit]