Range (music)
In music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, the range of a musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

 is the distance from the lowest to the highest pitch
Pitch (music)
Pitch is an auditory perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds on a frequency-related scale.Pitches are compared as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies,...

 it can play. For a singing voice
Register (music)
In music, a register is the relative "height" or range of a note, set of pitches or pitch classes, melody, part, instrument or group of instruments...

, the equivalent is vocal range
Vocal range
Vocal range is the measure of the breadth of pitches that a human voice can phonate. Although the study of vocal range has little practical application in terms of speech, it is a topic of study within linguistics, phonetics, and speech and language pathology, particularly in relation to the study...

. The range of a musical part is the distance between its lowest and highest note.

The terms sounding range, written range, designated range, duration range and dynamic range
Dynamic range
Dynamic range, abbreviated DR or DNR, is the ratio between the largest and smallest possible values of a changeable quantity, such as in sound and light. It is measured as a ratio, or as a base-10 or base-2 logarithmic value.-Dynamic range and human perception:The human senses of sight and...

have specific meanings.

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
Transposition (music)
In music transposition refers to the process, or operation, of moving a collection of notes up or down in pitch by a constant interval.For example, one might transpose an entire piece of music into another key...

 for convenience. A piccolo
The piccolo is a half-size flute, and a member of the woodwind family of musical instruments. The piccolo has the same fingerings as its larger sibling, the standard transverse flute, but the sound it produces is an octave higher than written...

 typically has a sounding range one octave higher than its written range. The designated range is the set of notes the player should or can achieve while playing. All instruments have a designated range, and all pitch
Pitch (music)
Pitch is an auditory perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds on a frequency-related scale.Pitches are compared as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies,...

ed instruments have a playing range. Timbre, dynamics, and duration ranges are interrelated and one may achieve registral range at the expense of timbre. The designated range is thus the range in which a player is expected to have comfortable control of all aspects.

The duration range is the difference between the shortest and longest rhythm used. Dynamic range is the difference between the quietest and loudest volume of an instrument, part or piece of music.

Although woodwind instrument
Woodwind instrument
A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument which produces sound when the player blows air against a sharp edge or through a reed, causing the air within its resonator to vibrate...

s and string instrument
String instrument
A string instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones...

s have no theoretical upper limit to their range (subject to practical limits), they generally cannot go below their designated range. Brass instrument
Brass instrument
A brass instrument is a musical instrument whose sound is produced by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips...

s, on the other hand, can play beyond their designated ranges. Notes lower than the brass instrument's designated range are called pedal tone
Pedal tone
Pedal tones are special notes in the harmonic series of cylindrical-bore brass instruments. A pedal tone has the pitch of its harmonic series' fundamental tone. Its name comes from the pedals of a pipe-organ. Cylindrical brasses do not naturally vibrate at this frequency.A closed cylinder...

s. The playing range of a brass instrument depends on both the technical limitations of the instrument and the skill of the player.

Classical arrangements seldom make woodwind or brass instruments play beyond their designed range. 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. It is quite rare for wind musicians to play the extremes of their instruments. The most common exception is that in many 20th century works, pedal tones are called for in bass trombones.

This chart uses standard numberings for octaves where middle C
Middle C
C or Do is the first note of the fixed-Do solfège scale. Its enharmonic is B.-Middle C:Middle C is designated C4 in scientific pitch notation because of the note's position as the fourth C key on a standard 88-key piano keyboard...

 corresponds to C4. In the MIDI language middle C is simply referred to as 'Middle C', which is MIDI note number 60.

The lowest note that a pipe organ can sound (with a true pipe) is C-1 (or CCCCC), which is 8 Hz, not visible on this chart.
However, if acoustic combination (a note and its fifth) counts, the lowest note is C-2 (CCCCCC), which is 4 Hz.
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