I apologize if this is an overly obvious question, but I have been having difficulty finding the answer here or elsewhere.

I am making a deck of sheet music flash cards for use with piano, and I am trying to memorize note names including octaves for rapid recall. For C# on Octave 4, would the correct way to name the note be:

  • C#4 ("C-Sharp-Four")
  • C4# ("C-Four-Sharp")

I have seen examples of both in the resources I have used.


1 Answer 1


C4, G4 are note /pitch names. F♯ and B♭ are note names, just like C and G.

So, using that, F♯4 or B♭4 sound more logical.

  • 2
    I’ve never seen it with the accidental after the number. Mar 9, 2021 at 19:15
  • Pedantic gotcha: The written order is letter accidental number, but if you ever need to refer to B♯ or C♭, be aware that the "order of operations" is (letter number) accidental, according to Wikipedia and Dolmetsch. For example, C♭4 "means" (C4)♭, that is, C♭4 is enharmonically equivalent to B3.
    – Bavi_H
    Mar 10, 2021 at 2:07
  • Thanks for the replies! So @Bavi_H do I understand correctly that the note/pitch combination should be written as Cb4 but that it means C4b (=B3) and should be described as C4b?
    – Dan
    Mar 10, 2021 at 13:32
  • @Dan - since change over numbers go C>C, then Cb4 is the same as B3, but if it's needed to call it Cb (on very odd occasions) that's what it gets called. Just as Cb gets written on the stave in a different place from B.
    – Tim
    Mar 10, 2021 at 14:32
  • @Tim I see so this was addressing the specific context of Cb (or presumably Fb). Thanks!
    – Dan
    Mar 10, 2021 at 15:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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