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Hey im playing a song that has 4 flats. I know that there is a way that you can change them into sharps and have it sound the same. Does anyone know how that's done? My flats are A, E, B, and D.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Carl Witthoft, Richard, ttw, David Bowling, ggcg Jan 18 at 18:54

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    If you wanted to change them into sharps you would have six sharps plus one double-sharp, which doesn't seem any easier. Is that what you want to do? – Todd Wilcox Dec 25 '18 at 19:17
  • Isn’t it funny, the aversions we have to certain styles of notation! I find flat keys easier to read, & I was trained as a string player. So it goes! – Dean Ransevycz Dec 26 '18 at 4:06
  • Ok, looks like changing them into sharps would make it much harder. Thanks for figuring that out for me! – Tawny Dec 26 '18 at 20:27
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Having B E A and D flats puts the key in Ab major. If you keep exactly the same dots on the same lines and spaces, but put a key sig. of 3 sharps - F# C# and G#, the new key will be A major, only one semitone higher than original. It will sound nearly the same, just a little higher. I hope that's what you mean, as changing flats to sharps any other way will involve a whole lot more work!

Works the opposite way with E and Eb - E with 4#, and Eb with 3b. I've been caught out with that, playing in the wrong key, by just imagining the wrong key sig..!

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    Four flats means it could be Ab major or F minor. – Brian THOMAS Dec 26 '18 at 13:08
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    I think the OP, in his ignorance of scales, wants to write Bb as A#, Eb as D#, etc, thus ending up with a nonstandard key signature (and a mess to read) – Carl Witthoft Dec 26 '18 at 19:43
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You could remove the key signature, indicate all the 'black notes' with accidentals, and write G# instead of Ab, A# instead of Bb etc. It would be much harder to read though.

  • Funnily enough, FamiTracker has only sharps and not flats. – Dekkadeci Dec 26 '18 at 11:07
  • @Dekkadeci - if it's down to a lot of guitar type sites, flats will go the same way as dodos... – Tim Dec 26 '18 at 20:00
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Your piece is in a very specific key, i.e. Ab Major. If you can get yourself a basic theory book, you'll learn how and why the keys we all play in are the way they are. you are far better off learning all the keys (scales) and being able to play them rather than hand-reclassifying notes just for yourself (nobody else will stand for it!)

Besides that, were you to start replacing all your Eb with D#, you'd rapidly find your self notating a pile of D-naturals since you now have a conflict in notation. Your music will become almost unreadable.

Note to the pedants: yes I'm well aware of Bartok's diversionary key sigs as well as 12-tone music. That's not the issue here.

  • Possibly with D nats, possibly with Cx..! More unreadable. – Tim Dec 30 '18 at 10:09

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