B (bē) is the second letter of the English alphabet.
(See Guide to Pronunciation, §§ 196, 220.) It is
etymologically related to p, v, f, w, and
m, letters representing sounds having a close organic affinity to
its own sound; as in Eng. bursar and purser; Eng. bear
and Lat. ferre; Eng. silver and Ger. silber; Lat.
cubitum and It. gomito; Eng. seven, Anglo-Saxon
seofon, Ger. sieben, Lat. septem,
Gr."epta`, Sanskrit saptan. The form of letter B is
Roman, from the Greek B (Beta), of Semitic origin. The small b was
formed by gradual change from the capital B.
In Music, B is the nominal of the seventh tone in the model major
scale (the scale of C major), or of the second tone in its relative minor
scale (that of A minor). B♭ stands for B flat, the tone a half step ,
or semitone, lower than B. In German, B stands for our B♭, while our
B natural is called H (pronounced hä).