A Music Note: The Complete Guide to the Note and Key

By Jade Bultitude
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As one of the twelve notes in Western music, the A music note sits between G#/Ab and A#/Bb. Learn how to recognise A in different clefs, the different scales and modes that start on A and listen to famous songs that feature A prominently in their melodies.

A Note on The Staff

A music note in treble clef

Here is probably the most common A you’ll see. It sits on the second space of the treble clef and is the A above middle C.

Below are different As that you will see on the treble and bass clef. Remember that we can play A notes an octave higher or lower from the A above middle C. This means that technically there are infinite A notes to choose from!

A music note examples in treble and bass clef

Below are notes that are enharmonically equivalent to A. G double sharp means two half-steps above G, which is an A natural. B double flat means two half steps below B, which is also A natural.

A music note enharmonic equivalent notes

A Note on the Piano and Keyboard

A sits between the G#/Ab and A#/Bb black keys on the keyboard. The black keys move in groups of two then three. The A note is in-between the second and third black key in each group of 3.

You might also remember it as the sixth white key above C. This is because A is a major 6th above C.

A music note examples on piano

A Note Accidentals

We can add accidental signs to an A note and these are shown below. Remember that all these notes (with the exception of A natural) are not enharmonically equivalent to A.

a flat accidental notes

A Music Notes in Different Clefs

Here are typical A notes that you will see in different clefs. Some are lower or higher and for more on how to name the different A notes, check out our post on octaves.

Treble Clef – A

A music note in treble clef

The A above middle C (A4) sits on the second space of the treble clef.

Bass Clef – A

A music note in bass clef

The A below middle C (A3) sits on the top line of the bass clef.

Alto Clef – A

A music note in alto clef

The A below middle C (A3) sits on the second line of the alto clef.

Tenor Clef – A

A music note in tenor clef

The A below middle C (A3) sits on the third line of the tenor clef.

Mezzo-soprano Clef – A

A music note in mezzo soprano clef

The A above middle C (A4) sits on the fourth space of the mezzo-soprano clef.

Soprano Clef – A

A music note in soprano clef

The A above middle C (A4) sits on the third space of the soprano clef.

Baritone Clef – A

a note in baritone clef

The A below middle C (A3) sits on the fourth line of the baritone clef.

Popular Scales starting on A

A Major

The major scale formula is W-W-H-W-W-W-H, where W= whole step and H = half step. Below is the A major scale.

a major scale

A Natural Minor

The natural minor formula is W-H-W-W-H-W-W. Below is the A natural minor scale.

a minor scale

A Harmonic Minor

The harmonic minor formula is W – H – W – W – H – W1/2 – H. Note that this scale has a three semitone step or a whole-step-and-a-half.

a harmonic minor scale, in treble clef with name labels

A Melodic Minor

When ascending the melodic minor scale follows this pattern: W-H-W-W-W-W-H.

A melodic minor scale ascending

When descending it follows the natural minor pattern.

A melodic minor scale, descending

Modes Starting on A

Below are the modes that start on A.

A note modes

Frequency of A Music Note

Using the equal temperament tuning system, the A above middle C is 440 Hz.

frequencies for equal temperament scale, A natural highlighted

Solfege A Note

solfege scale with la highlighted

In the solfege system, the syllables Do, Re Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si are used to refer to the notes names, C, D, E , F, G, A, B.

The A music note in solfege is referred to as ‘La’,

What’s Next…?

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Jade is a flute player and music educator with a passion for educating the next generation of musicians. She is a Masters Graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Jade has been helping people learn music theory for more than 10 years from pre school children all the way to degree level studies.