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Should you use American or British musical terms?

In American English, the words note and tone are used interchangeably, possibly because Americans have trouble with letter order. This is confusing to me, as a tone to me is what an American would call a step. The terms step and half-step are okay in themselves, but then what do you call the whole-tone scale, the whole-whole-step scale? No, Americans call it the whole-tone scale, which – given that tone means note in American English – implies that it’s a scale entirely made up of notes, just like every other scale. That’s even more confusing, so on this site, whenever I say tone I mean whole-step, not note.

When it comes to note values, however, Americans talk about 12-notes, 14-notes and 18-notes whereas British people use the archaic terms minims, crotchets and quavers, which don’t give you any insight into how long they are. The Americans win hands down here, so while I’ll use tone to mean whole-step, I’ll also talk about 12-notes, 14-notes and 18-notes.

To do

If you speak American English, say note when you mean note, and remember that when I say tone I mean whole-step.

If you speak British English, learn the American system of note values, for goodness’s sake. It makes time signatures so much easier, and do you really want to write hemidemisemiquaver when you could write 164-note?