Why C?: The Convoluted History of Note Names

Why does music theory teaching start with the note C instead of A? In this lesson, David Kulma shows you the history behind our musical note names here in this first episode of Music Corner.

In this first episode of Music Corner, I answer the question of why in music we start with the note C instead of A.

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1. “Ut queant laxis” image from

2. David Hiley’s article on “Staff” and Clement Miller’s article on “Heinrich Glarean” from Grove Music Online

3. I looked up the specific year of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at

4. A general resource for this video was the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory.

5. My tagline is a short quote from Robert Ashley’s television opera, Perfect Lives.

About agogo22

Director of Manchester School of Samba at http://www.sambaman.org.uk
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