Take the 2-minute tour ×
Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

For example, let's say the key signature has an f sharp and then also an individual f note has a sharp next to it. Are they just emphasizing the f sharp or does that actually become a g?

Same question with a double sharp. If the key signature has an f sharp, and then there is an individual f with an x infront of it - is that supposed to be a g or a g sharp?

share|improve this question
    
When you add a sharp to a Fis you geht a Fisis, no G, Although there are instruments like the piano where you would play this with the G key. –  harper Dec 29 '12 at 7:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

It is just for emphasis. It is usually just an instance where, in a recent measure in the piece, the F note had a natural attached to it. The F-Sharp would be included in the following measure as a reminder that F is no longer natural, that it is back to the F-Sharp that it is in the key signature.

If there is an X next to a note, it is just a double sharp (F## or G natural). I actually had trouble with that when I started studying music. Basically the # from the key signature is included with the other # that is added to make a double sharp. This is to add clarity for the person playing or studying the piece of music.

share|improve this answer
1  
Accidentals are nulled after the end of the measure they appear, but yeah, this is done. (According to Wikipedia, sometimes these courtesy accidental marks appear in parentheses, although I don't recall ever seeing this.) –  neilfein Nov 22 '11 at 20:41
    
@neilfein Indeed! I have seen those in parentheses now that you mention it! –  Stephen Nov 22 '11 at 21:02
    
Take a look at this question about courtesy accidentals: music.stackexchange.com/q/5194/1678 –  American Luke Feb 24 '12 at 16:29
    
Two cases at least have not been mentioned: 1) an F-sharp might be there to cancel an F double sharp. 2) When there are several staves (as in piano sheet music), an F-sharp might be indicated on one of them to enforce it despite the (temporary) use of a F-natural on another. –  ogerard Dec 12 '13 at 6:13

As well as a reminder that the F is sharp again, an F-sharp mid-bar might also be cancelling an F-natural earlier in the bar.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.