middle C

noun

: the note designated by the first ledger line below the treble staff and the first above the bass staff

Examples of middle C in a Sentence

the note above middle C
Recent Examples on the Web During a fifty-one-note melismatic passage on the first syllables, the line gyrates between the C above middle C and the G below middle C—deep in the contralto register. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 30 Jan. 2023 Just stay on middle C—a fine rule of thumb. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2020 The notes included everything from middle C to the B above it, and each note had three versions: one in tune, one slightly flat, and one slightly sharp. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 21 June 2013 In a transcription in modern notation, the setting departs from the E above middle C, at the lower end of the soprano range. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 30 Jan. 2023 The sound comes from the beating of her wings and the sympathetic vibration of her thorax, buzzing at a frequency of 400 hertz (close to middle C). Dava Sobel, Discover Magazine, 19 Jan. 2010 But humans couldn’t hear that note because its frequency was too low - the equivalent to a B-flat, some 57 octaves below the middle C note of a piano, according to NASA. Annabelle Timsit, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Aug. 2022 But humans couldn’t hear that note because its frequency was too low — the equivalent to a B-flat, some 57 octaves below the middle C note of a piano, according to NASA. Annabelle Timsit, Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2022 Just as someone who doesn’t know how to cook could make a perfect cake with the rights mix, so too a Spotify user who doesn’t know where middle C is on a keyboard could make perfect music, with AI assistance. Bill Hochberg, Forbes, 29 June 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'middle C.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1660, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of middle C was in 1660

Dictionary Entries Near middle C

Cite this Entry

“Middle C.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middle%20C. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

middle C

noun
: a note that is printed on a line midway between the treble staff and the bass staff in written music
also : the tone made in playing this note
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