How do you play this note on the piano that is circled in red (lower right corner of the sheet).

1) There is both a flat and a sharp notation (wouldn't they cancel)?

2) What do the four dots mean?

close-up of the note

the entire page

  • To echo other posts, the b is applied to the B, while the # is applied to the C. They don't cancel because they're applied to different notes. – General Nuisance Dec 6 '16 at 23:29

This notation simply means that you are to play the given four pitches simultaneously. From bottom to top in the right hand: E G Bb C#.

The reason there is a separate flat and a separate sharp is because they modify different pitches: a B in the case of the flat and a C in the case of the sharp. (Notice how the flat is centered on the middle line for B while the sharp is centered on the space right above that.)

And the four dots mean that all four of those pitches (which have a stem, thus they start out as quarter notes) are actually dotted quarters, so they will last the entirety of the measure. These dots, if you don't know, add half the value of the preceding entity. So if the preceding entity is a quarter note, the dot will add half of that value (an eighth note) to that quarter note, creating a dotted quarter (worth three eighth notes in duration).

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  • are you sure "they will last the entirety of the measure"? I thought a dotted note is only half of its note value? – 4m1r Dec 6 '16 at 22:53
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    The dot adds half of the preceding value. Since it's a quarter note, we add an eighth note. And since this is in 3/8, the three eighth notes of that dotted quarter last the entire measure. – Richard Dec 6 '16 at 22:55
  • ah, right. sorry I thought it was in 6/8. – 4m1r Dec 6 '16 at 23:00
  • Some of those rhythms do give the impression of 6/16 time but the fact that the grouping is six semi-quavers together clearly indicates 3/8 – Neil Meyer Dec 7 '16 at 15:39
  • Also, it's Für Elise, which Beethoven wrote in 3/8 :-) – Richard Dec 7 '16 at 15:59

As noted above, this is a chord, E G Bb C# or bunch. Looks like an E diminished 7th and all notes should be played simultaneously and held for a 1/4 beat plus 1/8 which equals (3/8), or a whole bar in your 3/8 example.

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  • It's not an Edim7, but one of its enharmonics: C#dim7/E. This can be seen from the intervals, since the thirds follow C#-E-G-Bb, i.e., the seventh is C#-Bb (and the chord resolves to D minor in the next bar). The A in the base is perhaps somewhat confusion, but that just keeps the tension for when the progression goes to A minor a few bars later. – user18490 Dec 7 '16 at 0:05
  • More like A7b9. A bass, C#, E, G and the Bb as b9. Nearly a diminished, but with that A bass it won't be. Close to -1 for this answer. – Tim Dec 7 '16 at 8:41
  • It is a diminished chord with a Major seventh. A bit weird. – Neil Meyer Dec 7 '16 at 13:20
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    The A is obviously just a pedal; why include that in the chord at all? – Richard Dec 7 '16 at 18:08

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