I found this sheet music for a quartet by Haydn:

Picture of sheet music

As you can see, on the cover it says B♭ major/ B-Dur / Si♭ majeur.

I can understand the first and the third terms, but is B-Dur another way of saying B♭? And why?

  • 3
    Welcome to the world of "musical terms in different languages" :-) . Wait 'til you have to learn German, French, and English tempo notations. Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 12:42
  • And of course Italian.
    – user1044
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 16:08
  • 1
    I wasn't really moll-ified until I learned minor.
    – thrig
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 17:11
  • Possible duplicate of Why note B is marked with H in Scandinavia and Germany?
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 18:35
  • 2
    The answers are similar, but these are very different questions.
    – Karen
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


B is the German name for Bb (B natural is called H). Then "Dur" is the German for "major" (which again is really from Italian 'duro').

  • 2
    This is even more confusing than Si ( = B) which is pronounced like C (= Do) Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 13:28
  • 2
    ...And the opposite (minor) is molle, sometimes shortened to mol. Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 15:38
  • @Shevliaskovic In most languages, C is not pronounced like Si, at least not in German. Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 20:56
  • @el.pescado in most languages or in German? In English speaking ones, it does Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 22:15
  • @el.pescado - well, at least, tell us how it IS pronounced!
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 6:53

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