WRT filenames: "b" (ascii 98) is an acceptable character for flat. Is there an accepted character in place of the not-good-for-most-filesystems sharp "#"?

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    That's not actually 'sharp' [not that it really matters] but a 'US pound' or Number sign, UTF-8 23. The real sharp sign is ♯ UTF-8 E2 99 AF. I tested in macOS & Win7, both find the characters acceptable - i.stack.imgur.com/d8fiA.png – Tetsujin Oct 22 '19 at 6:53
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    Americans call the number sign 'pound'. You have to blame them ;-) We Brits know what a pound sign looks like, it's just our transpondian cousins who get us confused ;) Its official name is "Number Sign", anything else is a preference, convenience, or attempt at distinguishing. Hash works for me, tbh. – Tetsujin Oct 22 '19 at 7:01
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    What file system chokes on a simple # character? Even FAT could deal with that. It's simple ASCII, after all. – Kilian Foth Oct 22 '19 at 7:34
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    Its proper name is octothorpe - the sharp-like sign on a phone pad. The French call that sign diese, which actually means 'sharp'. The 'hash' word also comes from French - they call the letter H 'hash' - not spelled, of course! – Tim Oct 22 '19 at 9:26
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    @Tim - No, really, its proper name is "number sign" in the Unicode naming scheme. All others are 'convenience' descriptions, including octothorpe, which is a 'made up name' anyway, coined by Bell Labs - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign – Tetsujin Oct 22 '19 at 9:47

You can use the German/Dutch form: for example Cis, Ces for C-flat, C-sharp respectively. Two characters, true, but they are regular (ascii) letters.

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    Cis and Ces don't mean sharp and flat. Cis means C♯and Ces means C♭. – Lars Peter Schultz Oct 22 '19 at 16:31
  • and I believe that B is B-flat in German, and H is B-natural – Matthew Barclay Oct 23 '19 at 2:23

No, there's no de facto or official equivalent for sharp that compares to the accidental (ha!) equivalence of flat and lower case B. But some filesystems will let you use # or even more esoteric symbols in file names.

Even so, even in 2019, it's safer to encode the key in some kind of metadata instead of in the filename.

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    I think these days most OSes default to UTF-8 encoding, so none of those symbols should be any issue - except that on Windows they're a bit tricky to actually generate, needing awkward alt-codes. – Tetsujin Oct 22 '19 at 7:07

Ascii 98 is just letter 'b'.

Unicode would be the way to get a representation of the musical symbol.

Unicode U+266D is a musical flat sign.

Inputting Unicode is another issue. I just cut and paste from a site that displays the Unicode symbol.

In order for a user to actually see the symbol, they need a font with a glyph for the character.

Using such characters in a file name is yet another issue. I'm scarred from the bad old days when various filename systems could not handle much beyond plain ascii. So I would just write out 'sharp' or 'flat' or just give up and use ascii 'b' or '#'. Neither is what we want, but plain old alphabetic ascii shouldn't fail you.

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