B (musical note)

{ \new Staff \with{ \magnifyStaff #3/2 } << \time 2/1 \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f { \clef bass b1_B \clef treble b'_B } >> }

B, also known as Si, Ti, or, in some European countries, H, is the seventh note and the twelfth semitone of the fixed-Do solfège. Its enharmonic equivalents are C (C-flat) and Adouble sharp (A-double sharp).

When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of Middle B (B4) is approximately 493.883 Hz. See pitch (music) for a discussion of historical variations in frequency.

Designation by octaveEdit

Scientific designation Helmholtz designation Octave name Frequency (Hz)
B−1 B͵͵͵ or ͵͵͵B or BBBB Subsubcontra 15.434
B0 B͵͵ or ͵͵B or BBB Subcontra 30.868
B1 B͵ or ͵B or BB Contra 61.735
B2 B Great 123.471
B3 b Small 246.942
B4 b One-lined 493.883
B5 b Two-lined 987.767
B6 b Three-lined 1975.533
B7 b Four-lined 3951.066
B8 b Five-lined 7902.133
B9 b Six-lined 15804.266
B10 b Seven-lined 31608.531


Common scales beginning on BEdit

Diatonic scalesEdit

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

Jazz melodic minorEdit

Variation of meaning by geographical regionEdit

The referent of the musical note B varies by location. See Musical note § History of note names for a discussion on other differences in letter naming of the notes.

In the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and the Netherlands, as described above, B usually refers to the note a semitone below C, while B-flat refers to the note a whole tone below C.

However, in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia, the label B is sometimes used for what, above, is called B-flat, and the note a semitone below C is called H. This makes possible certain spellings which are otherwise impossible, such as the BACH motif and the DSCH motif (the latter of which also uses the "S" name for what in Anglophone would be E-flat).

See alsoEdit