The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #115745   Message #2480141
Posted By: Bernard
30-Oct-08 - 02:38 PM
Thread Name: Why Only 7 letter names?
Subject: RE: Why Only 7 letter names?
Early music was 'modal', using only seven notes (a very complex and lengthy explanation needed for that!).

Gregorian Chant, around the 4th Century, saw the introduction of what we now call 'Bb', as the augmented fourth from F to B was considered to be the 'Diabolo Musica' or 'Devil in Music'.

What they did was to rename B natural to 'H', and call Bb 'B', which is still commonplace in some European countries.

That is where the flat and natural symbols originated, and the sharp came a little later - and is also derived from the letter H, as is the natural.