The “main note” of music — if we had to pick one — would be Middle C. This is even more certainly true for the piano. Here are a few reasons why:
1 As mentioned above, C Major is the “easiest” key to play in on the piano; and c is — again, if we had to pick one — the most important single note in the key of C Major.
2 Middle C is easily found on the piano, which we’ll be doing in just a moment.
3 Middle C is roughly in the middle of all of human speaking, and our hearing is naturally attuned to pitch-ranges most of us speak in. Infants, children, grown women, and grown men can all “speak” or sing Middle C — even if, for certain lower-voiced men, it is somewhat difficult. There is no one with normal hearing who cannot hear Middle C. Therefore, whether by design or not, it’s no surprise that such a pitch has been placed in a very physically convenient place on the keyboard.
4 Middle C could be described as the “offshoot” note from which all other notes, scales, keys, chords, melodies — almost every musical element relating to pitch — are built. This is more of a theoretical “decision” than it is the result of some special attribute of the “sound” of Middle C; after all, it’s just 261.63 Hz. What’s so special about that? Nothing, compared to other notes, keys, etc. In fact, they all work exactly the same way; it’s just that some are “higher” while others are “lower.” Only the most sensitive (or highly trained) musicians particularly care about the “sound” of one key over another . . . but . . . when we’re thinking about notes, keys, etc., and especially the way they relate to one another, Middle C is an unparalleled point of reference.
5 Even music notation — which, admittedly, should be presented in accordance with music theory — is “built from” Middle C. This means Middle C has an important — literally, central — position in the visual representation of music, particularly on the staff, which we’ll learn about in just a moment.
Okay, Middle C is great. So how do we find it and play it?
Well, take a look at the piano. Hopefully you’re nearby one right now. You can compare it to the chart below . . . or just use the chart, which should be enough.