Middle "C" confusion

  1. last year

    I have a bit of experience with piano and was recently gifted with a lovely baritone uke. I got started on it, great fun. My confusion started with a discussion with a music teacher and reading music. Ultimately it boiled down to a simple question: is there a middle C note as one might find on a piano on a baritone uke? If Yes, which string and fret?
    Thanks.

    Yes. Middle C is C4 in scientific pitch notation, and the baritone is tuned D3G3B3E4. So middle C can be found on the first fret of the B string/third string from the top. It can also be found on the fifth fret of the G string/second string from the top, and the tenth fret of the first string.

    However, I realize you might be asking if there is a "middle pitch" of the range of the instrument. Stringed instruments are not truly chromatic from one string to another as a piano is (i.e there are multiple of the same notes), but a normal baritone range with 15 frets is from D3 to G5, which puts this range at 30 half steps. The middle of this range is 15 half steps above D3, which is about E4. So, E4 is the middle of the range, and this note can be found on the last string plucked open or the last string, first fret. It can also be found on the B string, fifth fret, and the G string, ninth fret, and the D string, 13th fret.

  2. Edited last year by supergene

    Yes. Middle C is C4 in scientific pitch notation, and the baritone is tuned D3G3B3E4. So middle C can be found on the first fret of the B string/third string from the top. It can also be found on the fifth fret of the G string/second string from the top, and the tenth fret of the first string.

    However, I realize you might be asking if there is a "middle pitch" of the range of the instrument. Stringed instruments are not truly chromatic from one string to another as a piano is (i.e there are multiple of the same notes), but a normal baritone range with 15 frets is from D3 to G5, which puts this range at 30 half steps. The middle of this range is 15 half steps above D3, which is about E4. So, E4 is the middle of the range, and this note can be found on the last string plucked open or the last string, first fret. It can also be found on the B string, fifth fret, and the G string, ninth fret, and the D string, 13th fret.

  3. That is exactly what I thought. (Please realize while reading this that my music training is on piano and middle C is one line below the bottom E of typical staff notation.) Alas, when reading music transcribed using tablature for the baritone uke, you can't find a middle C, at least they don't identify it on the musical staff. My confusion came about when I spent a little time in a Hal Leonard Baritone ukulele, book 1. I went through it, and enjoyed it. I then got The Daily Ukulele Book for Baritone and "everything" looked different. Sitting at a piano and playing melodies from various books, I figured out that music transcribed for ukulele and using tablature shows notes one octave above where the same note is written for non tablature presentation. I wish they would have mentioned that in the beginners book.

    Your confirmation of my suspicions is most appreciated and your map of the fret board is seriously useful. Many thanks, Bill

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