sharps and flats occur in the middle of tunes to change notes from the originals in that key. They are called accidentals. What about when they're used IN the key signature? They're obviously not accidentals there, Is a special name available for them in this situation?


1 Answer 1


I think at least from a music theory standpoint the sharps and flats IN a key signature ARE the key signature and are referred to as such. For example, there is no key signature with just a C#. There is, however a key signature with an F# and a C# and it is know as the key of D major/B minor. There is no other key signature with two different sharps. For that reason I think the two sharps themselves become a symbol for the key of D major/ B minor and are not just viewed as an F# and C# (though they are in the key signature itself).

So individually I don't think they have a name, but together make up the name of a key signature.

Kind of like an 'F' itself is on long vertical line and two short horizontal lines in a certain pattern. We don't really see the lines, just the F itself even though it is made up of all those lines.

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