Illustrated Guide to Middle C

How to Find Middle C on Different Keyboard Sizes

It’s normal to be confused about middle C’s location, especially on keyboards with fewer than 88 keys. Musical keyboards come in four standard sizes. The following illustrations point out middle C (also called “C4”) on each size.

If you’re unsure about the size of your keyboard, you can simply count both its naturals and accidentals. You can also find your keyboard’s size by counting the total number of C’s:

  • 88-key—You will count eight C’s (including the very last key on the board)
  • 76-key—Has six C’s
  • 61-key—Has six C’s (including the very last key)
  • 49-key—Has five C’s (including the very last key)

    Consult the Illustrated Middle C Guides for a visual example of C4 on each of the above keyboard sizes.

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    Find Middle C on a Standard Piano (88 Keys)

    Middle C on an 88-key keyboard.
    Middle C is the fourth C from the left. Image © Brandy Kraemer

    A keyboard with 88 keys has a total of eight C’s; middle C is the fourth C from the left.

    • The very first note on an 88-key is an A  (A0).
    • The last key is a C  (C8).

    The simplest way to find middle C on your keyboard is to position yourself at the center of the piano. The middle ​C will be the closest C to the middle of the keyboard.

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    Middle C on a 76-Key Keyboard

    Middle C on a 76-key keyboard.
    Middle C is the third C from the left. Image © Brandy Kraemer

    A keyboard with 76 keys has a total of six C’s; middle C is the third C from the left.

    • The very first note on a 76-key is an E  (E1).
    • The last key is a G  (G7).

     

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    Middle C on a 61-Key Keyboard

    Middle C on a 61-key keyboard.
    Middle C is the third C from the left. Image © Brandy Kraemer

    A keyboard with 61 keys has a total of six C’s; middle C is the third C from the left.

    • The first and last notes on a 61-key are both C’s  (C2 and C7).

     

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    Middle C on a 49-Key Keyboard

    Middle C on a 49-key keyboard.
    Middle C is the third C from the left. Image © Brandy Kraemer

    A keyboard with 49 keys has a total of five C’s; middle C is the third C from the left.

    • The first and last notes on a 49-key are both C’s  (C2 and C6).