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Re: A note on notes

on 11/5/01 0:21, Bruno Repp at repp@ALVIN.HASKINS.YALE.EDU wrote:

> I would
> like to suggest that, in scientific articles or exchanges on
> music-related subjects, the word "note" not be used when referring to
> sounds. Although this usage is common in everyday language (and
> sometimes hard to avoid, I admit), the term "note" should refer only
> to a printed symbol on paper. The audible consequence of playing a
> note on an instrument is a tone.

This is an Americanism -- possibly from deriving from the influence of the
German "ton" -- hence the use of "12-tone music" in the US and "12-note
music" in the UK. I agree that it would be helpful to distinguish the sound
from the printed symbol, but in British English the term "tone" refers to an
interval (equal to two semitones, American "whole-tone"), so this seems an
undesirable way to draw this distinction for speakers of British English.