Pitch (music)

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In music the pitch of a note means how high or low a note is.

The pitch of a note can be measured in a unit called Hertz. A note that is vibrating at 256 Hz will be caused by sound waves that vibrate at 256 times a second. This will be Middle C on the piano.

Not all musical instruments give notes of a particular pitch. Many percussion instruments like drums, triangles and cymbals are instruments used for rhythms. They do not play tunes because they have no definite pitch (although often a definite pitch can just be heard when listening carefully.)

Some musicians have a sense of absolute pitch or perfect pitch. This means that they always know what note is being played, even without comparing it to another note. Having a sense of absolute pitch does not necessarily make someone a good musician, although it can be very useful.

There is evidence to suggest that composers of a high caliber, such as haydn, beethoven, mozart, and bach, had developed and perhaps even mastered their sense of pitch.

Pitch is often correlated with frequency, although there should be a distinction made; as frequency is used as a scientific means for measuring and even manipulating sound and its possible pitches, though pitch is a perceptual term used to describe a more psychological phenomenon.

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