Where is middle C on the piano or keyboard?

From all the C’s on the piano, there’s only one that is the middle C. The middle C is, as you guessed already, a C that doesn’t sound (very) low nor (very) high. It sounds, well, in the middle… But where is middle C on a piano or keyboard? That depends on the piano or keyboard, as we will see later.

In the next sound sample, you can hear a middle C so you can compare it to the middle C on your piano or keyboard.

Where is the middle C?

The location of the middle C on a piano or keyboard depends on the number of keys that your instrument has. An acoustic piano normally has 88 keys. An electronic keyboard however has not necessarily always 88 keys. There are keyboards with 76, 73, 61 or 54 keys, and even other numbers of keys exist. As a general rule: the middle C is the C that is nearest to the exact middle of the keyboard.

Let me illustrate this with some keyboard-examples.

The middle C on an 88 key piano (most acoustic pianos)

To find the middle C on an 88 key piano or keyboard, look for the exact middle of the keyboard. Since the keyboard has 88 keys, this is between key 44 and 45 (red arrow in figure). The middle C (highlighted in blue) is the C nearest to the exact middle of the piano.

middle C 88 keyboard

On an 88 key piano or keyboard, the middle C is the 4th C from the left of the keyboard.

fourth C 88 keyboard

The middle C on a 76 key piano

The exact middle of a 76 key piano is showed in the next figure. In the same figure, the middle C –which is the C nearest to the middle of the keyboard- is also indicated.

middle C 76 keyboard

The middle C on other keyboards

As mentioned above, the general rule states: the middle C is the C that is nearest to the exact middle of the keyboard. And, to be honest, it’s normally not even necessary to count the number of keys, divide by 2, look for the nearest C, etcetera: with a little bit of feeling, you can see at a glance which C is the middle C.

 

 

Please tell us what you think of this lesson by leaving a comment below.

Please follow and like us:
Martin Cohen
 

Martin Cohen is a science and piano teacher. He is also a jazz musician and composer.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply:

4 × 3 =