Music Notes are objects that first appeared in the console/PC version of Sonic Generations. They are objects that contain various items for for gameplay.
Though their design slightly differs between games, the Music Notes normally resembles eighth notes/quavers. Usually, if the player touches it, it will bestow specific items that depends on the game.
In the console/PC version of Sonic Generations, after clearing a Challenge Act and ringing the Bonus Bell on the Challenge Act Gate, a Music Note appears and fly vividly around the area. Catching the Music Note adds a new artwork or music tracks to the Collection Room. A blue Music Note gives the player an artwork, while a yellow Music Note gives the player a music track. As the Music Note floats around, a countdown of twenty seconds is shown directly above the Music Note. If the player cannot catch the Music Note by then, it disappears and the player must start over.
The Music Note also appears in the Challenge Act, Vector: Pick Up the Beat. Here, Vector produces a blue Musical Note and sends it at Sonic. The objective is to Homing Attack the Music Note and knock it back at Vector thirty times in order to make him miss the beat of the music. The color of the Musical Note changes to yellow after ten hits and to red after twenty hits. Each time the Music Note changes color, it becomes faster and harder to hit
When using the Magenta Rhythm in its appropriate place, the Music Notes will appear in midair to show the player's path. If the player touches the Music Note at the right time on the Wii U GamePad as the Magenta Rhythm, it disappears with a high note and awards the player with a Ring.