Range (music)

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In music, the range, or chromatic range, of a musical instrument is the distance from the lowest to the highest pitch it can play. Range (music)_sentence_0

For a singing voice, the equivalent is vocal range. Range (music)_sentence_1

The range of a musical part is the distance between its lowest and highest note. Range (music)_sentence_2

Compass Range (music)_section_0

Among British English speakers, and perhaps others, compass means the same thing as chromatic range—the interval between the lowest and highest note attainable by a voice or musical instrument. Range (music)_sentence_3

Other ranges Range (music)_section_1

The terms sounding range, written range, designated range, duration range and dynamic range have specific meanings. Range (music)_sentence_4

The sounding range refers to the pitches produced by an instrument, while the written range refers to the compass (span) of notes written in the sheet music, where the part is sometimes transposed for convenience. Range (music)_sentence_5

A piccolo, for example, typically has a sounding range one octave higher than its written range. Range (music)_sentence_6

The designated range is the set of notes the player should or can achieve while playing. Range (music)_sentence_7

All instruments have a designated range, and all pitched instruments have a playing range. Range (music)_sentence_8

Timbre, dynamics, and duration ranges are interrelated and one may achieve registral range at the expense of timbre. Range (music)_sentence_9

The designated range is thus the range in which a player is expected to have comfortable control of all aspects. Range (music)_sentence_10

The duration range is the difference between the shortest and longest rhythm used. Range (music)_sentence_11

Dynamic range is the difference between the quietest and loudest volume of an instrument, part or piece of music. Range (music)_sentence_12

Range limits Range (music)_section_2

Although woodwind instruments and string instruments have no theoretical upper limit to their range (subject to practical limits), they generally cannot go below their designated range. Range (music)_sentence_13

Brass instruments, on the other hand, can play beyond their designated ranges. Range (music)_sentence_14

Notes lower than the brass instrument's designated range are called pedal tones. Range (music)_sentence_15

The playing range of a brass instrument depends on both the technical limitations of the instrument and the skill of the player. Range (music)_sentence_16

Classical arrangements seldom make woodwind or brass instruments play beyond their designed range. Range (music)_sentence_17

String musicians play the bottom of their ranges very frequently, but the top of a string instrument's range is rather fuzzy, and it is unusual for a string player to exceed the designated range. Range (music)_sentence_18

It is quite rare for wind musicians to play the extremes of their instruments. Range (music)_sentence_19

The most common exception is that in many 20th century works, pedal tones are called for in bass trombones. Range (music)_sentence_20

This chart uses standard numberings for octaves where middle C corresponds to C4. Range (music)_sentence_21

In the MIDI language middle C is referred to as MIDI note number 60. Range (music)_sentence_22

The lowest note that a pipe organ can sound (with a true pipe) is C−1 (or CCCC), which is 8 Hz, below the range of human hearing and not visible on this chart. Range (music)_sentence_23

However, if acoustic combination (a note and its fifth) counts, the lowest note is C−2 (or CCCCC), which is 4 Hz. Range (music)_sentence_24

In terms of recording and reproduction, many speakers have a low limit of around 40-60 Hz. Range (music)_sentence_25

Typical ranges Range (music)_section_3

  • This chart only displays down to C0, though some pipe organs, such as the Boardwalk Hall Auditorium Organ, extend down to C−1 (one octave below C0). Range (music)_sentence_26

Also, the fundamental frequency of the subcontrabass tuba is B♭−1. Range (music)_sentence_27

See also Range (music)_section_4

Range (music)_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range (music).