In the below sheet music B is marked as flat however the only notes played are g g g d e c C. Is that just a typo on the part of the person who made this image and it should be on the upper C or am I missing something else?



Sharps and flats in the key signature are one indication as to the key of a piece. Lacking those notes in the actual music is irrelevant. For example, play all the white notes on a keyboard in order from C to the next C an octave higher. Now do the same from F to F. Hear how it sounds weird on the 4th note (B)? That's because you need to play it in the key of F. Now try playing F to F again but this time play Bb instead of B.

  • 2
    It also tells accompanists to use chords that do not contain B natural. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Sep 21 '12 at 19:38
  • @neilfein I think that's true only for simplistic music. Music that an accompanist would play (songs, for example) modulate. A common modulation is to 5 of 5, which has a raised 4th. In this case, that's to G, which uses B natural. – mjibson Sep 21 '12 at 20:12
  • Speaking as a working musician who uses notation for traditional folk tunes: Your jab at "simplistic" music aside, modulations away from the basic key should be noted in the notation, either in this staff or other staves in the same work. (If they're not, someone did an incomplete job of transcription.) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Sep 21 '12 at 21:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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