The term 'basic pitch class' refers to a fundamental concept in music theory that is used to describe the organization of musical sound. In Western music, there are 12 basic pitch classes, represented by the 12 notes of the chromatic scale. These pitch classes are named after the first 7 letters of the alphabet - A, B, C, D, E, F, and G - with the remaining 5 notes being represented by sharps or flats.
The concept of basic pitch classes is important because it allows musicians to describe and analyze the structure of musical compositions. By identifying the pitch classes used in a piece of music, musicians can better understand the harmonic relationships between different notes and chords, and how they contribute to the overall sound and mood of the piece.
In addition to their use in music theory and analysis, basic pitch classes are also used in various forms of musical notation and notation software. For example, in sheet music, notes are often represented by their corresponding pitch class letter (such as 'C' or 'G'), while in MIDI software, pitch classes are represented by numerical values that correspond to the different notes on a keyboard.
Overall, the concept of basic pitch classes is a fundamental part of music theory and practice, and is essential for anyone looking to develop a deep understanding of how musical sound is organized and created.