MEU Cymru

In Welsh

The continuing scale and the octave

As they are normally tuned, the strings of our small harps form the scale of C.

There are 8 notes in the Western musical scale:
the scale of C starts on C,
D is the second note,
E is the third,
F the fourth,
G the fifth and then the alphabet starts again, with
A the 6th,
B the 7th and
C as the 8th completes the scale.
The 8-note interval is called an octave. If two notes are an octave apart, then they sound a lot like each other despite the fact that the pitch of the upper note is higher than the one an octave below.

This top C becomes the next note of a new scale, an octave above the previous scale. To make it clear which octave we mean when talking about a note, we refer use an apostrophe as marker, so C' is an octave above the basic note, and C'' is two octave above that, and so on. We show the octave below the basic one with an apostrophe before the note, so 'C is an octave below C.

So for a 17-string harp, the notes are:
A,B,
C,D,E,F,G,A',B',C',D',E',F',G',A'',B'',C''

For a 19-string harp, the notes are:
'F.'G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A',B',C',D',E',F',G',A'',B'',C''
or in some cases
'G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A',B',C',D',E',F',G',A'',B'',C''',D''.

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