View Full Version : High pitched musical notes

06-14-2010, 01:11 AM
Hopefully an easy one for anyone with more musical knowledge than me. I'm limited to recognising music when I hear it.

I need to name a high pitched note, the closer to a screech the better.

I'm looking for one that someone with no training might be able to reach (even accidently) that would make anything with sharp hearing uncomfortable.


06-14-2010, 01:36 AM
That's going to be a piece of information that will only have meaning to other musicians (or physicists).

Why not describe the effect of the sound? Compare it to a real world sound?

06-14-2010, 02:00 AM
"High C" has been used in literature and as reference for ages as an ultra high note - as in - she was so mad, she hit high C. That might be what you're looking for. Puma

06-14-2010, 05:07 AM
If you want a screech, then you're talking about someone who can't hit a specific note, but is straining to do so. If someone hits the note, it'll be clear, if they can't, then the resonance is wrong.

Hitting High-C or above without training isn't likely. It takes conditioning and practice or else you'll shred your vocal cords. Remember the higher the pitch, the more strain on the voice.

06-14-2010, 05:22 AM
Are you talking about a skreech that a 2-year old makes? That's above high C for sure.

Actually high C might not be that hard for a soprano, trained or not. Much above that, ( G above high C) is trickier. But for a 2-year old, it's as natural as breathing.

06-14-2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks everyone.

It's a throwaway comment I need really.

My MC is being held captive. She's trying to irritate her captors and force another meeting with their leader.

"The guards had pretended they couldn't hear her singing at first, right up until she started hitting ???"

I've already alluded to the fact that she's screeching a lot and there's a deliberateness to her trying to hit high notes badly.

I just need a believable note to replace the question marks. high C looks like it might be the one.


06-14-2010, 01:17 PM
To be fair, musical notes repeat - going up, it's A B C D E F G and then A again an octave higher. The position ad a particular note is generally described as how many octaves above or below middle C it is, where middle C is the C in the exact middle of a piano. So really, you could pick any of those eight letters and just say it was a really high one. High C is generally taken as a standard for where the really high notes begin, though.

06-15-2010, 12:12 PM
The range is called ultra-aural. There has only one person who is claimed to have a range above 16 000 Hz (C10), who specifically trained himself to mimic the sounds of birds. It is still up to debate whether he could actually get to that range as vinyl recordings and microphones were not up to recording that high at the time with any semblance of clarity.

Sopraninos, like Mado Robin, can hit D7 (~2 350 Hz). Above that is the whistle range.

Rufus Coppertop
06-15-2010, 05:53 PM
I just need a believable note to replace the question marks. high C looks like it might be the one.


Which high C though? Baroque or modern?