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Piano key frequencies

This is a list of the absolute frequencies in hertz (cycles

per second) of the keys of a standard modern 88-key piano in twelve-tone equal temperament, with the 49th key, the fifth A (called A4), tuned to 440 Hz (referred to as A440). Each successive pitch is derived by multiplying (ascending) or dividing (descending) the previous by the

twelfth root of two (approximately 1.05946

). For ex-

... ample, to get the frequency a semitone up from A4 (A♯4), multiply 440 by the twelfth root of two. To go from A4 to B4 (up a whole tone, or two semitones), multiply 440 twice by the twelfth root of two. For other tuning schemes refer to musical tuning.

This list of frequencies is for a theoretically ideal piano. On an actual piano the ratio between semitones is slightly larger, especially at the high and low ends, where string stiffness causes inharmonicity, i.e., the tendency for the harmonic makeup of each note to run sharp. To compen- sate for this, octaves are tuned slightly wide, stretched ac- cording to the inharmonic characteristics of each instru- ment. This deviation from equal temperament is called the Railsback curve.

The following equation gives the frequency f of the n th key, as shown in the table:

0 2 4 6 8 1 3 5 7

An 88-key piano, with the octaves numbered and Middle C (cyan) and A440 (yellow) highlighted.


External links

interactive piano frequency table — A php script al- lowing the reference pitch of A4 to be altered from 440 Hz.

PySynth — A simple Python-based software syn- thesizer that prints the key frequencies table and then creates a few demo songs based on that table.

"Keyboard and frequencies", SengpielAudio.com.

Notefreqs — A complete table of note frequencies and ratios for midi, piano, guitar, bass, and violin. Includes fret measurements (in cm and inches) for building instruments.

f(n) = ( 12 2 ) n49 × 440 Hz

(a' = A4 = A440 is the 49th key on the idealized piano) Alternatively, this can be written as:

f(n) = 2



× 440 Hz

Conversely, starting from a frequency on the idealized pi- ano tuned to A440, one obtains the key number by:

n = 12 log 2 (


Hz ) + 49


  • 1 List

  • 2 See also




2 3 EXTERNAL LINKS A printable version of the chart below.

A printable version of the chart below.


  • 4 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

    • 4.1 Text

Piano key frequencies Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano%20key%20frequencies?oldid=631713479 Contributors: Michael Hardy, Modster, MatrixFrog, Hydnjo, Hyacinth, Morn, LucasVB, Antandrus, MakeRocketGoNow, Zowie, Discospinster, Smyth, Kwamik- agami, Quinobi, Xojo, Alansohn, Yamla, Woodstone, Kenyon, Kbdank71, Wahoofive, Missmarple, Cactuar12, AJR, Glenn L, YurikBot, Chris Capoccia, Supersoakerjim, Tlevine, CQ, AndrewWTaylor, Melchoir, Unyoyega, Bluebot, Octahedron80, Nomenclator, MDCollins, LMF5000, TedE, Just plain Bill, Matthew hk, Rigadoun, Highonlife, NongBot, Fuzzbox, Rainwarrior, Noah Salzman, H, Meithan, Carbon- copy, Prof. MagneStormix, Edokter, Qwerty Binary, Joelthesecond, Nono64, Tem142857, TXiKiBoT, JhsBot, SieBot, Harrismdpilmpl, , ClueBot, Binksternet, Obelix83, Copyeditor42, Hrdinský, Computer97, Delt01, Markmain, Addbot, Accuruss, Tuanglen, Cyn- daquazy, Shadowjams, Prari, Princess Lirin, ClueBot NG, Egm4313.s12, TwoTwoHello, AlwaysAngry, RicardAnufriev, Garettracey and Anonymous: 70

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