A Dozen Notes, Give or Take

Introduction

Western classical music typically uses twelve distinct notes: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B. After this, you hit an octave and repeat.

It always bugged me: why twelve?

Here I try to provide an answer with a few rules and a few graphs. This is a little hand wavy, I’m sure that it’s not original, and I know someone who knows more could make this more convincing and more rigorous.

But this is the internet. Who cares?

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