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I have watched this YouTube video and wanted to play it myself. I downloaded the sheet music from his description. In the following image I have marked the first incident where I wasn't sure about the correct notes to play:

"Where Is My Mind?" m. 3, b. 4, LH

In the video I have linked, he played 2 sharp notes (the green marked part) but when I read the sheet, I can only identify one sharp note, i.e. the orange marked one.

I started learning piano 3 month ago, so bear with me. I have googled all the symbols, p, mp, andante, the 4 sharp symbols at the beginning of the line, the Ped and "snowflake" symbols but don't have a clue, why the red marked note is played as a sharp here.

Can you tell me why that note is played sharp and how I could identify that myself?

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2 Answers 2

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Think about a key which has 4 sharps, as here. It would look ungainly to write in every one that is likely to be played in a piece. So convention has it that only one of each letter name sharpened is noted in the key signature.

Here, in the bass clef, C♯ is labelled in the key signature on the 2nd space up, but logic says it represents every C note in the piece. Otherwise playing the one marked by you sounds not right.

So, one 'accidental' in each clef is representative of all octaves of that note name, anywhere in that piece, unless changed by a real accidental just before it.

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Sharp and flat symbols in the key signature apply to every instance of that pitch, regardless of which line or space it appears on in the music. So, the second sharp in the key signature — C# — applies to the C in the chord you've indicated.

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  • ahhh that makes sense! Thank you a ton @Aaron ! Feb 1, 2023 at 21:50
  • @BoJackHorseman This key has a lot of sharps, but it's easier to see in a key that has, say, just an F sharp. In bass clef, this key signature puts a sharp on the second line from the top. But there's also a lower F you could play, right below the bottom line, not to mention ledger lines. To keep it simple, the key signature doesn't put a sharp on every single F; just one, and that "counts" for all octaves. Feb 1, 2023 at 21:56
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    @AndyBonner Oh, I'm confused about that now. I thought that every F, C, D and G is played as Sharp (in the base clef). I'll have to read up on key signatures I guess. At least now I know that my information gap was with key signatures... Feb 1, 2023 at 22:14
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    @BoJackHorseman AndyBonner was just giving the example of a key signature that had only one sharp in it. You are correct that in "Where Is My Mind", all Fs, Cs, Gs, and Ds will be sharped.
    – Aaron
    Feb 1, 2023 at 22:42
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    @BoJackHorseman Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean to confuse the question. Feb 1, 2023 at 23:14

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