Yes, which was "number of samples > number of notes". Sure,
theoretically you have an infinite number of notes, because even though
human hearing only falls into a certain range you can ALWAYS cut that
range in half repeatedly all the way into infinity -- it only approaches
the bottom of the range asymptotically. Realistically, sooner or later
you reach the practical limit of how many available notes you can play.
Assuming the average person can detect a change of 0.01 Hz, you've only
got about two million notes to work with. With only two 16-bit samples,
however, you have over four billion possibilities. Even if only one in a
thousand is distinguishable, that's still twice as many. And with 24 and
32 bit samples...? Damn. With a sampled sound, the number of potential
sounds increases exponentially at a phenomenal rate. Sure, most of them
suck, but... ;)
** i think that i'm not even talking about frequencies - - you could just deal with sine waves, and that could be pretty boring, no? i'm really talking about the western scale and the 88 notes or so on the piano keyboard . . . not even the microtonal side of things - - though that does play into nuance of notes when played in real time.
there's so much more information in any given note played on an instrument - - and even when the same instrument is played by a different person in the same room in the same basic time frame. (i think we've all heard the stories of so-and-so #1 was playing and so-and-so #2 came over, picked up the exact same instrument and it sounded totally different - - it sounded just like so-and-so #2 does through his/her personal gear.)
it's so beyond just the frequency aspects of "just 12 notes" (or 88) that it's not even funny.
does a sample really capture all of that?? i don't know. do you feel that there is nuance and humanity in your samples? does it matter to you?