5

I have a cello score here from Sebastian Lee; Op. 70.

Nr. 37 in bass clef and the key of c minor contains the following part:

enter image description here

what is the sense of this 5th note in the upper staff?
why is it using a natural (♮) and a sharp (♯)?

How would I call this note for engraving with LilyPond?

I used this code for now:

b(-3 g) g g ais-2 g-0 b(-3 g) g g ais-2 g | %05

but this would give a result like this:

enter image description here

or is the extra natural only a warning, that is not necessarily needed?
Sebastian Lee, Op.70 in LilyPond format on GitHub

  • 1
    When excerpting scores, you must include the clefs and key signature, otherwise all answers are reduced to speculation. – Kilian Foth Nov 25 '19 at 8:18
  • @KilianFoth hey man, thanks for the feedback! I updated my post. – nath Nov 25 '19 at 16:58
7

The note with the two accidentals is an A#. The B has a natural, showing that the key sig has at least one flat. I guess it has at least 3 flats, so As are flat unless otherwise stated? There used to be a convention that if, say, the key sig makes As flat, and you want an A#, you put a natural and a sharp, as shown in your extract. (Modern practice is to just put the sharp.)

  • IIRC, there's one situation where modern practice might put a natural before a sharp: when the note would otherwise be a double sharp. (Usually from an accidental earlier in the bar, though I suppose it's technically possible it could be in the key signature.) – gidds Nov 24 '19 at 12:26
  • Note that this is done for readability -- the composer wanted to use both the B natural and the B flat (A sharp) more than once in the same measure, and this notation makes it much more intuitive for a performer to read, as opposed to using alternating natural and flat symbols on the same staff note. – Dave Tweed Nov 24 '19 at 16:51
  • The modern consensus is that natural signs immediately before other accidentals should never be used no matter what the context. A # in front of an f means an f sharp and can't possibly mean anything else. – Kilian Foth Nov 25 '19 at 8:17
9

As noted in Rosie F's answer, the natural is not typically required here in modern notation. But if you wanted to get it in Lilypond, I don't think there's a default accidental setting that will display these in this circumstance. Instead, you probably will need to use the Accidental.restore-first property. Something like:

b(-3 g) g g 
\tweak Accidental.restore-first ##t
ais-2 g-0 b(-3 g) g g ais-2 g

That can get you the extra natural sign if you'd want it:

enter image description here

  • I just found an article in the LilyPond docs on Automatic accidentals. Just for the records :-) – nath Nov 23 '19 at 19:59
  • 1
    @nath: yes, that's what I was referring to in terms of Lilypond's "default accidental settings." There are a bunch of options there, but I'm not sure that any of them include this particular type of extra natural. – Athanasius Nov 23 '19 at 20:03

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