In music, the term note has two primary meanings:
- A sign used in musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound;
- A pitched sound itself.
Notes are the "atoms" of much Western music: discretizations of musical phenomena that facilitate performance, comprehension, and analysis.
The term "note" can be used in both generic and specific senses: one might say either "the piece 'Happy Birthday to You' begins with two notes having the same pitch," or "the piece begins with two repetitions of the same note." In the former case, one uses "note" to refer to a specific musical event; in the latter, one uses the term to refer to a class of events sharing the same pitch.
Famous quotes containing the word note:
“Return our hymn,
like echo fling
a sweet song,
answering note for note.”
—Hilda Doolittle (18861961)
“During the cattle drives, Texas cowboy music came into national significance. Its practical purpose is well knownit was used primarily to keep the herds quiet at night, for often a ballad sung loudly and continuously enough might prevent a stampede. However, the cowboy also sang because he liked to sing.... In this music of the range and trail is the grayness of the prairies, the mournful minor note of a Texas norther, and a rhythm that fits the gait of the cowboys pony.”
—Administration in the State of Texa, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“No, in your rural letter box
I leave this note without a stamp
To tell you it was just a tramp
Who used your pasture for a camp.”
—Robert Frost (18741963)