Questions tagged [accidentals]

A sign (♯, ♭, ♮) indicating a momentary departure from the key signature by raising or lowering a note a semitone, respectively called sharp, flat and natural (which cancels a previous sharp or flat.The term can also indicate the note raised or lowered. Also found as a double sharp and double flat.

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5
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3answers
927 views

Why do the keys in the circle of fifths have the pattern of accidentals that they do?

I'm attempting to fully understand the circle of fifths, and I noticed that in the clockwise direction, the sharps are added in their own circle of fifths starting at F. I'm wondering why this ...
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3answers
90 views

Do I change the key signature or add accidentals for a section in a different key?

I am composing a piano piece that starts out in G# minor (which is the set key) and later on I have a section that goes into E major. For that section, do I simply just change the key signature, or ...
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2answers
72 views

Would an accidental in a mordant still be effective for the whole measure?

This is from Bach's Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue: This would obviously be played D, C#, D. Let's say that there was a C on the same octave later in that measure. Would the C be sharp?
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5answers
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How to know whether to write accidentals as sharps or flats? [duplicate]

I am writing a bassline for a song in Em and there is a passing note A# or Bb in the approach notes. How do I write this note? Since the key signature has one sharp, is it best to write the accidental ...
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2answers
91 views

Why is there a natural symbol on the second note? [duplicate]

Just begining to learn to read musical scores. I don't understand why there is a natural on the second note of the 9th measure, since there is no previous sharp or flat? I assume the natural in the ...
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1answer
67 views

Lilypond: Create natural signs and accidentals manually

Edit: At first, I was looking for a way to add natural signs manually. Turns out that, at least for the moment, I actually need to place accidentals manually. Generally, I might need both in the ...
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1answer
59 views

What key is this hash tag note?

In the treble clef line , what key is the hash tag note? I know it’s a black key but can’t remember which .
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3answers
74 views

Accidentals in divisi parts

I've got a trumpet part which is divisi (upper and lower part on one staff). The upper part starts with a F, which has an accidental sharp in front of it. The 3rd note of the lower part is a F as well....
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7answers
103 views

A piece has a given key. When it modulates, are the consequent accidentals *chromatic* or are they *diatonic* temporarily?

Moving tangentially from a recent question and its answers, Diatonic notes are 'of the key'. Other notes are 'chromatic'. However, if a piece is written in, say, C major, and modulates to G major for ...
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3answers
70 views

Are these notes with accidentals chromatic?

I'm having some difficulty deciding which notes with accidentals are considered as chromatic, and was wondering if someone could confirm/deny my assumptions about notes in the attached notation of ...
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1answer
408 views

What is this musical symbol?

First I thought it was a weird flat sign, but when I played the score it sounded odd. It looks a bit like a natural sign. Here's the whole measure:
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1answer
78 views

Can we use double accidentals in figured bass?

I've composed the following figured bass example: It modulates from E to F and therefore needs several chromatic alterations. But my question is on the final beat of the third measure: if I want a B♭-...
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3answers
999 views

Reasoning for redundant “natural” (but not courtesy accidental)

I understand why you'd add courtesy accidentals, but I was browsing through some old sheet music lying around here and came across this, and can't seem to come up with a reason for this natural in bar ...
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1answer
61 views

Trouble reading Beethoven's Op 14. No. 1 [closed]

I'm having trouble reading measures 22-25 on this piece. I can't tell when I'm going up a half note or a whole note during these measures. For example, in measure 22 (the first bar in the picture), ...
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1answer
83 views

How does one interpret (or write) scientific pitch notation with accidentals when it crosses octave boundaries?

Given C♭♭4, for example, is that enharmonic with B♭3 (because you start at C4 and flat it twice) or B♭4 (because octave number 4 means octave number 4)? Asked another way, how do you write the note ...
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3answers
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Why accidentals are not additive?

This question asks if the accidentals are not "additive" (i.e. placing a sharp on F where the key signature already contains an F sharp would result in an F double sharp, and placing a flat on F in ...
5
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1answer
118 views

Correct Notes for C## in Harmonic Minor Scale

Is the following scale correct for C## Harmonic Minor? C##, D##, E#, F##, G##, A#, B# I read on a good music theory page and they had B## as 7th note in the key, so I was wondering, but I'm pretty ...
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2answers
235 views

Vocals : How to practice accidental notes in sight singing

So I have been practicing sight singing since last 5-6 months. I think I'm able to read the notes in the scales quite easily using the solfege method (each scale somewhat resembling the Do-Re-Mi ...
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4answers
93 views

Accidental written twice [duplicate]

The following piece is in key of Eb/Cm and I'm struggling to read it. Firstly, the key is Eb so, the A is already Ab, does the accidental turn it into an Abb(G)? Secondly, the Abb appears yet again ...
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1answer
72 views

Accidental notes in Western and Indian classical music [closed]

Why Western classical music uses a lot of accidental notes in the composition which is not part of scale but Indian classical music does not entertain to use any accidental notes in classical ...
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2answers
122 views

How do accidental notes work in a blues song? [duplicate]

In the notes prior to the sheet music, it is said that an accidental note only lasts for one bar. Here in bar 3 an accidental note has been applied to the C in bar 3. In such a case why has the sharp ...
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3answers
95 views

Music notation with valid use of B## and E## [closed]

Can anyone show me a piece of repertoire that validly uses B## and E## notes? I've had people tell me that of course they exist, but have never been able to give me an example; or they try to build a ...
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2answers
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Why is there both a sharp and a natural sign in parentheses before this note?

On Andre Gedalge's Traite de la Fugue book, there are these examples, where before the F note, there is both a natural and a sharp sign, both of which are in different parentheses. Which one do I ...
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1answer
50 views

Plectrum Guitar music-sheet

The Roman numeral at the top is fret number and the number written next to the grace notes is the finger number which is 1 (index) should I be sliding from 5th fret to 7th using my index which would ...
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4answers
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How to easily transpose sheet music?

I`m trying to get better at reading and writing standard notation. I was wondering how to transpose a piece from one key to another on sheet music , so I wrote a 2 bar phrase and tried to do it myself....
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0answers
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Beautiful quote about “B durum”

This one goes out to all the scholars and historians. I'm trying to put together a little booklet, for my students, to explain the accidental markings (sharp, flat etc) and where they come from. My ...
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0answers
119 views

What are the little “X”'s next to the notes? [duplicate]

This is an excerpt from Etude in C# minor. What do the little X's next to the notes mean? Do I have to play these any special way? Is it an accent mark?
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2answers
294 views

Accidentals in the same register in a measure with a clef change

From a notational perspective, is it clear that the second C4 in the image below is flat (if in fact it is)? I've never encountered a situation like this before.
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4answers
1k views

Is an accidental considered off key?

If you have a song with accidentals and you sing it, are you then singing off key? And if you are in the key of C major for example, and in the song a D is raised to a D# with an accidental and ...
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1answer
50 views

is the definition of a natural sound adjusted by the key signature?

Suppose we are talking about C major. In this case if we want any sound to be "higher", we use #, if we want a sound to be lower, we use b. If on a given bar we have already altered a sound and we ...
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1answer
187 views

Why did Anna Magdalena Bach write funny accidentals sometimes?

I'm checking BWV 1004 for a project I'm working on. I sometimes see that Anna Magdalena Bach wrote some veeeery strange flats. For example... Bars 113 and 114 from Chanonne. Bar 113 has on the bass ...
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3answers
191 views

What exactly indicates natural after double sharp/flat?

I have this measure in a score: A the beginning we have F double sharp, and after that there is natural on this F##. I play that as F#. It sounds as it ought to and it is logical to me that one ...
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2answers
5k views

Do accidentals last for the entire measure? [duplicate]

When I mark a note with an accidental, is that accidental gonna be applied to that note for its duration or is it applied every time that same note is played in that same measure?
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6answers
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Sight reading piano pieces with sharp or flat key signatures using intervals

I need help with reading piano pieces with key signatures that have sharps or flats (other than C Major or A Minor). I learnt to sight read music using intervals (but do have a very good grasp on ...
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7answers
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Why are there both sharps and flats? [duplicate]

If we can get away with just having sharps (aka black notes on a piano) then why complicate things and add flats as well? For example, if I have a C# why call it Dflat? Why not just leave it as C# and ...
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3answers
871 views

The role of accidentals in this piece of music

My question concerns this short piece of music: http://czteryrefy.pl/data/dskgrtx/teksty/nuty/pressgang.html The key signature has 3 flat signs. But there is no actual A♭ sound in the song because all ...
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2answers
1k views

Double sharp notation - why should i use it? [duplicate]

From wiki: Double sharp Raises the pitch of a note by two chromatic semitones. Usually used when the note to modify is already sharpened by the key signature If I write a D note in a D Major key ...
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4answers
973 views

Where do the double accidentals go in “theoretical” key signatures?

Recent questions led me to discussions of theoretical keys, which are defined by Wikipedia as keys with at least one double accidental in the key signature. (Unfortunately, the source of that ...
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2answers
113 views

In E♭ major, if an E has a flat next to it is it an E♭ or a D? [duplicate]

If you are playing a piece of music in Eb major (3 flats, Bb, Eb, and Ab) and a note was written as Eb is it actually Eb? Or is it D?
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3answers
262 views

Key Signature with all Notes naturalized

I’m still new to piano and just getting into key signatures. In Beatles’ Best (easy Beatles sheet music) Get Back is in G, however, all F’s have a natural accidental next to them. Is this sheet music ...
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4answers
150 views

In a piece in F minor, why is this chord written with C♭ rather than B♮?

I am playing from a Hal Leonard Latin Jazz piano book, and one thing confuses me: The song is in the key of Fm. On the left-hand chords, at one point, they mark a certain note as C-flat. I'm confused ...
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3answers
306 views

Understanding diatonic chords [closed]

Last week in my AP music theory class my teacher set up an exercise before class and asked is to write the following diatonic chords without a key signature G maj triads, Fmin triads, Bb major 7th ...
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1answer
103 views

Do accidentals count double if they overlap with the key signature?

I am playing Round Midnight by Thelonius Monk and I ran into a problem. If there is a C♭ and I am in the key of E♭ Major, which has a B♭, do I play a B♭ or just a B (since C♭ ...
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5answers
171 views

Minor Key Confusion

I find when playing in a minor key I always end up playing the major version of the V chord. (So in Em I always end up playing a "B major" chord.) However, the third of this chord should be played as ...
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4answers
766 views

Meaning of double accidental

A few of the notes in Weber Piano Quartet in Bb Major Op. 8 movement 1 have two accidentals in front of them. For example, in one of the measures a Bb has a sharp and a natural accidental in front of ...
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4answers
807 views

Is it customary to put a natural symbol on notes if the same note in a different octave is sharp?

I'm spending a lot of time sight reading piano music and one thing that is constantly trying me up is a scenario like this: A note, D say, is sharp in the left hand. In the same bar, another D, an ...
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2answers
681 views

Double- to single-sharp notation in lilypond - how to get rid of natural symbol?

I'm currently transcribing a work into Lilypond, and I have a situation where an F already sharpened by the key signature is itself sharpened (i.e. F♯ → Fx). The subsequent note within the same ...
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2answers
205 views

Unusual flat symbol?

Etched onto Dmitri Shostakovich's gravestone is his famous "DSCH" motif in musical notation, but I'm perplexed: The flat symbol preceding the E5 is not what I know of to be a flat symbol... What is ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is there a sharp and a natural over this Bb?

I'm studying a piece by palestrina (Agnus Dei is the title of this piece, but I'm not sure of the name of the work) and in this 3rd bar we have a sharp in the parenthesis and a natural over the B, ...
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1answer
723 views

Using Key signature but scale is going out onto ledger lines [duplicate]

I am working through my grade 1 theory book and am a little confused on a question. I have learnt that you either use key signatures or accidentals when writing out a scale. Not both. The question I ...