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The first natural sign means all E5s will be natural, so the first E5 and the second E5 will be E naturals.

But then the 8va sign comes in and the third E is actually an E6 but resides on the same bar level as the previous Es.

Is this E6 an E natural? Or E flat because technically it's in another octave?

  • Have you played it with/without? – Tim Nov 20 '20 at 12:00
  • Musescore treats this as a natural, but I never could completely trust it on that issue. – Dekkadeci Nov 20 '20 at 12:39
  • Have I played it with/without? Do you mean with or without the naturalized E6? – John Nov 20 '20 at 14:25
  • John, I suppose that @Tim does mean to ask whether you've tried it both ways. Nine times out of ten it will be obvious that one option is correct and the other incorrect. – phoog Nov 22 '20 at 1:13
  • I have tried it both ways and I like Tim's answer; that the E6 is a natural, also by looking at the surrounding context, I think – John Nov 22 '20 at 4:45

It's still a natural. True, the notes at that part of the bar are played an octave higher, but because it's written on that top space, and a previous E was naturalised (?) in the same place, it retains its accidental.

A cautionary natural sign wouldn't go amiss, though.

  • Yes to the "cautionary" bit. WHen there's a chance of misinterpretation, always add the symbols to remove all doubt – Carl Witthoft Nov 20 '20 at 18:03

Flats and sharps in key signatures always apply to all octaves.

8va also doesn't affect accidentals, they always apply as usual.

  • 2
    Accidentals only apply to the actual notes they are written for. Never for all octaves. – Tim Nov 19 '20 at 16:15
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    Are you sure? It seems clear here that it still applies but I always heard that accidentals only apply to the octave where it appears (see Guido's comment here: music.stackexchange.com/questions/104284/… ) – Tom Nov 19 '20 at 16:16
  • @Tim synched ;) – Tom Nov 19 '20 at 16:17
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    @Tim, I get the point, but how do you call flats and sharps in the key sig, if not accidentals? – MMazzon Nov 19 '20 at 16:27
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    Yea, but what do you call the flats and sharps in the key sig? – MMazzon Nov 19 '20 at 16:28

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