What is the difference between a minor and major note in frequency?


I’m trying to program a song using note frequencies and when I look up the notes they are all major (like C which has a frequency of 261), but then in the music sheet there are major and minor notes and I don’t know the difference in Hz. I should also say I don’t know anything about music and I don’t really grasp the concept of chord and note and the difference between them.

In: Engineering

Notes are not major or minor. It’s only the relationship between notes that is major or minor.

C and E is a major third interval, C and Eb is a minor third. On a well-tempered scale, the ratio of frequencies in a major third interval is 2^(4/12), about 1.26. In a minor interval it is 2^(3/12), about 1.19.

A note isn’t major or minor but the interval – or steps – between notes can be major or minor. And the designation of “major” or “minor” does not imply a frequency change.

The tricky part (to me) is that you can speak of minor or major intervals but also of minor or major chords. They’re related, of course but I think it’s easier to understand, for example, that



The second note in this chord shape is the third step in the scale. For a major chord you have the unaffected tone of the third note in the scale and for the minor you flatten the third a half step.

You should stop thinking of notes in terms of frequencies and instead spend time learning and understanding scales and how the notes in a particular scale relate to each other.

A chord is generally several notes played at the same time. On a piano, D Major is D, F sharp, and A, for example. D Minor is D, F, and A.

Using your system of applying note frequencies, you’ll just need to look up which notes at which position produce which frequencies. You’ll need to get a full list or use some scientific method of recording them and creating a readout that tells you the frequency.

For the piano, there’s a mathematical equation that produces the frequency ( *f* ) of any given note (n). *f*(n) = (12 **√**2 )^n-49 x 440 Hz.

With all that said (in case you wanted to do it yourself?) here’s a list of frequencies for every single key on a piano. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies)

To play a chord using that system, just run the frequencies of each key in the chord simultaneously.

[This may have the answer you seek.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies) As noted, individual notes are not major/minor, that’s the relationship between them.

But the linked chart will give you the frequencies for each note you’d need to create a major/minor chord.

A singular note is neither major or minor. An A440 in A-major or A-minor is *always* 440hz.

Major and Minor refers to scales: the selected set of notes that make up the core of your song and the intervals between them. So the C-major scale is formed from C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. The C-minor scale is formed from C, D, E-flat, F, G, A-flat and B-flat. Note that the C used is the exact same C with the exact same frequency: the other notes you use have changed and that’s what creates the minor-sound.

A chord is when you play *multiple* notes at the same time. So C,E,G played at the same time make the C-major triad chord.

Generally you probably should find an intro to music-theory before trying to make your song just to get a grasp on the core concepts of musicology. It makes composing that much easier if you’re aware how the techniques and systems you’re trying to use work

C major isn’t the name of a note. It’s the name of a **chord**. A chord is several notes played all at the same time. Specifically, C major is the C, E, and G notes played all together. C minor is the same, except with a Eb rather than than an E.

You can find tables that list the notes that make up [major chords](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_chord) and [minor chords](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_chord) on wikipedia. There are also lots of other kinds of chords besides just major and minor (a common one you might see is a [7th chord](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh_chord), where another note added is on top of a major or minor chord, or a [suspended chord](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspended_chord), where a different note is used in the middle).