Naming of the High Notes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by John Mohan, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. John Mohan

    John Mohan Pianissimo User

    Aug 11, 2004
    Concerning the "Sticky" post that rowuk made concerning the naming of high notes:

    What he posted is not correct. The naming of octaves does not start with Low C. It starts with Low F#. Double G therefore would not be the G above Double C, it's the G below Double C.

    Otherwise if you follow his logic, the B below Low C would have to be called "Pedal B".

    Correct naming:

    Starting with Low F#:

    Low F# (below Low C)

    Middle F# (in the staff)

    High F# (on top the staff)

    Double F# (above High C)

    Using G as an example:

    Low G (below the staff)

    Middle G (in the staff)

    High G (on top the staff)

    Double High G (above High C)

    Triple High G (above Double High C)

    Using F as an example:

    Pedal F (below Low C)

    Low F (in the staff)

    Middle F (on the top line of the staff)

    High F (above High C)

    I realize many players will call the G above High C a "High G" and they'll call the F above High C, "Top F" and various things like that.

    But unless you adopt the system I just outlined, by definition, your pedal register will have to start at the B below Low C, or you'll have to come up with new names for some notes, since if you try to call a G above High C a "High G", that would make the G above middle C a "Middle G" and then therefore you'd have to call the G above Low C a "Low G" - and that would leave you with G below Low C being called "Pedal G". And that wouldn't work very well, would it?
    DaTrump likes this.
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I disagree, as would every conductor in the world. All you're doing is attempting to limit and constrain the octaves within the range of a Bb trumpet as most of the manufacturer's designed it from the low F# (as the 4th line of the bass clef upward). I've yet to see traditional Bb trumpet music composed to perform that F# and notice that very few Bb trumpeters "own" it, or all the "pedal" notes below it. Yep, when a conductor calls out for a C to all the instruments in the orchestra, I'd play a D on my Bb trumpet.

    The C on the ledger line between the treble and bass clefs is known as "middle C". An octave is only defined as the ascent or descent from one note to another of the same name whether ascending or descending as played by any instrument pitched in any key.

    Ain't no way around it, starting at the lowest (first) line of the bass clef and ascending to the top (fifth) line of the treble clef the notes are GABCDEFGABCDEFGABCDEF, one note short of 4octaves ... 8 notes to an octave.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I find this sort of thing fascinating as I never heard of this sort of what I call "foolishness" until I started reading forums.

    I'd tell you what I learned to call those notes but someone would call me wrong, so whatever makes you happy, dude.

  4. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I'm sure that the OP's intent was sincere, but I would have to agree that when talking about range, one has to keep our instrument within the context of accepted theory, i.e. Ed's pointing out the accepted definition of Middle C. Evene as a singer, there was middle C, C, and High C. This is completely compatible. I see no need to re-invent the wheel.
  5. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
  6. duderubble

    duderubble Piano User

    Oct 21, 2011
    You trumpet people would help everyone out if you would start calling the notes by the real names instead of being two semi-tones off. LOL
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    There are a lot of conventions for naming notes: Dolmetsch Online - Music Theory Online - Staffs, Clefs & Pitch Notation and scroll down. I grew up with the convention that John Mohan uses, but generally now use descriptions such as "g above the c above the staff." Although cumbersome, nobody cries foul. What gets weird is talking about pieces for Trompete in D when playing the piccolo trumpet in A. Is that written note a c, d or f?
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    If you play a Bb instrument, you gotta play two semi-tones higher than a C instrument (piano), the latter as is also known as the "concert key" and what conductors always use. Still, a Bb trumpeter's notes are identical to a C instrument's and on the same line or in the same space of the staff. Y'all just need to transpose for the instrument you play, if your instrument is not a C instrument, and by any other method you produce discordance aka "sour notes".
  9. duderubble

    duderubble Piano User

    Oct 21, 2011
    I play a Bb instrument and call the notes by the right names, lol. Maybe the problem is with you treble cleffers.
  10. tjcombo

    tjcombo Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 12, 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Trombone player slipped into the mix?:-)

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