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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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Chopin Nocturne in F minor Op. 55 No. 1 m.71 accidental and fingering

I have the Jan Ekier National Edition of Chopin's Nocturne Op.55 No.1 (first image). The second image is from a video (said to be from IMSLP). I have two questions: The Ab and the G# in Measure 71 (...
GrandAdagio's user avatar
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Figured Bass Standalone Accidentals

I'm wondering whether or not standalone accidentals always imply 3rds in figured bass notation. Is (5)(♭)(8) the same as (5)(3♭)(8)? Is (9)(♮) the same as (9)(3)? Can a figure 3 always be inserted ...
hello's user avatar
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Accidentals should apply to both clefs? Chopin Op. 9 No. 2 Measure 13 [duplicate]

It's my understanding that any accidental showing on the treble clef also applies to the bass clef unless indicated otherwise, correct? For measure 13 of Chopin Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, my Henle Verlag ...
GrandAdagio's user avatar
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What is the earliest use of the note F#?

I came across Richard Taruskin's transcription of Verbum Patris humanatur, a 12th century conductus in three parts, in The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. I. In it, he uses a ficta # above some ...
Mauro Braunstein's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
542 views

Colon next to a flat in cello score

I'm seeing this symbol in a couple places in a score I'm transcribing, and wondering what it means: Next to the flat in each case is a colon symbol. It only appears in the cello part, though that ...
Darrel Hoffman's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
704 views

Why does Musescore interpret Westergaard's A-flat as G? Seeking Clarification on Pitch Spelling

I was reviewing some rules from Peter Westergaard's An Introduction to Tonal Theory. I am really only literate in the key of C major, and so I was notating one of Westergaard's example in MuseScore ...
286642's user avatar
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441 views

Playing gruppetto with accidentals

I am playing the Chopin's Prélude in E minor, Op. 28 No. 4, and I wonder how I should play the following gruppetto. Notice that the A note is already sharp. Much appreciate your explanations!
Juan Chô's user avatar
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Accidentals and ornaments

These are the first two bars of J. S. Bach's Fughetta in c-moll (BWV 961) as edited by Henle. Does the second trillo in the second bar start on B flat, so that it cancels the natural on the previous ...
Mariano Suárez-Álvarez's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does this flat symbol over a turn mean?

I think it means for the starting note to be lowered one semitone, but I'm not sure.
Ian Miller's user avatar
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Tips for learning and memorizing passages consisting of groups of only slightly different notes?

Not sure how to word it better. I give two examples below. On the right hand (treble clef), the small groups of notes have similar patterns but vary slightly, sometimes just an accidental's difference....
GrandAdagio's user avatar
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What does this sharp sign with an arrow mean?

I've seen this symbol (that looks like a sharp sign with an arrow sticking out of it) in some meme videos, but I don't know what it means:
Ian Miller's user avatar
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1 answer
312 views

What does this T-with-a-bar-in-the-middle accidental mean?

I've never seen it before, and I found it on this video. I know it's an accidental, though.
Ian Miller's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
161 views

Clarification about the little x

I read through many comments and think I generally understand the idea of a little x. So I am now seeing one in a piece of music (More, Quincy Jones, transcribed by Boris Myagkov, for alto sax) which ...
Michael Buebel's user avatar
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4 answers
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Are accidentals written as sharps or flats in the key of C?

The title of my question pretty well encompasses the entirety of it. It falls outside the realm of sticking with the key signature as it is neither sharp nor flat.
Mary Seager's user avatar
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358 views

What convention is used for sharps and flats in chromatic scale notation? [duplicate]

This exercise says to leave the dominant and subdominant notes unaltered (pick up the sharp or flat from the key signature). However, I have also seen convention that says use sharps for ascending ...
Ryan's user avatar
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Confused about the natural symbol (♮) and the omnipresence of the C major scale in music theory

Something is confusing me in our use of accidentals in modern music theory, and more particularly about the use of the natural symbol ♮. It is not always easy to formulate accurately a mess of ...
Dexter's user avatar
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1 answer
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Will the accidental of a mordent affect another mordent that is in the same measure?

The first mordent in this measure will be played as D , C# , D. The second mordent in the same measure doesn't have a sharp like the first mordent. Will the sharp accidental of the first mordent ...
Wisdom's user avatar
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2 answers
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Creating custom accidentals in lilypond

Triple sharp and triple flat are used in a few pieces (e.g Alkan's Op 39 No 10, 30 ans, Roslavet's sonata) But lilypond doesn't seem to have those accidentals, so can I create them manually? (e.g ...
cplex's user avatar
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If there is a double sharp on a note, does that mean the piece has modulated?

I'm currently writing a 32-bar free composition for my music exam coming up soon (I'm allowed to get help and advice on it, so this isn't cheating lol). It's in F# major and I'd like to modulate to D# ...
mza's user avatar
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How to avoid double sharps in LilyPond

I have this code: \new StaffGroup << \override StaffGroup.SystemStartBracket.stencil = ##f \new ...
kargirwar's user avatar
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Were the correct enharmonics used here?

I’m still a bit new to properly writing out sheet music, so I was wondering if the last few measures (see image below) were written out correctly. If they aren’t, then which ones are wrong and why (...
Toastables's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
221 views

F#5 or Fx5 in La Campanella m. 128?

In MuseScore version 3.6.2 I see it being F##5 indeed, but the next note in line is also F##, but looking into how it looks like in Piano visualiser that first one must be a mistake.
Валерий Заподовников's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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Trouble reading sheet music - identifying sharp note [duplicate]

I have watched this YouTube video and wanted to play it myself. I downloaded the sheet music from his description. In the following image I have marked the first incident where I wasn't sure about the ...
BoJack Horseman's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
181 views

Placement of reminder/courtesy accidentals

I recently downloaded Camille Saint-Saëns' lovely Valse nonchalante—the Durand First Edition (1898)—from IMSLP. All the upper-staff reminder accidentals are placed above the staff. I don't remember ...
DjinTonic's user avatar
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Notate Double Sharp as ♯♯(Sharp Sharp)?

According to this site, a Double Sharp can be notated as ♯♯. But is there any score that contains this notation?
cplex's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
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How to notate a non-standard hexatonic key

I am writing part of a piano piece in a hexatonic "key" containing these notes: C - D# - E - G - Ab - B (I say "key" instead of scale because I'm treating it like a key, deriving ...
I talked with a zombie's user avatar
0 votes
7 answers
2k views

Is it correct to write C♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯♯ (twelve sharps) as C?

Let's say there is a song that starts at middle C and the next note is always the previous note raised by a perfect fifth or lowered by a perfect fourth to keep all notes within audible ranges. By ...
mathlander's user avatar
2 votes
6 answers
818 views

Is an E augmented triad the same as a C inverted augmented triad?

I know that a C augmented triad is C, E, G♯ and an E augmented triad is E, G♯, B♯. However, I think we can replace the B♯ in the E augmented triad by its enharmonic equivalent, a C. Is it appropriate ...
mathlander's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
617 views

Notation: which notes in this piano sheet are flat?

In the attached music sheet there seems to be 4 flat notes which means all but one notes are flat, but which note isn't flat? Seems to me that it is G, but I see that it has the natural sign at some ...
Jencel's user avatar
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3 answers
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Accidentals in atonal scores [duplicate]

What are the rules for annotating accidentals in atonal scores, especially in 12-tone row compositions? For instance, if you use F sharp once, should that note always be scored as F sharp and never as ...
Jon Corelis's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
248 views

Bach BWV 812 Menuet I: do(can) ornaments presage the accidental?

In Bach BWV 812 Menuet I bar 6 we have a trill preceding an accidental — the thrust of the bar is to B(natural), therefore in the preceding trill do(would) you trill on B(natural)-A or B(flat)-A? ...
Anthony Alba's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
1k views

How can I explain/understand a flattened 2nd in a minor melody

My 10yo daughter (~grade 4 piano level) likes composing her own tunes, and then we'll discuss them and expand on them. Recently she composed a melody that appears to be in c# minor, except that every ...
Corvus's user avatar
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2 answers
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Transposing from 3 sharps to 4 flats

I am trying to change a song that is in 3 sharps to 4 flats (as I am better in flats). The original piece in 3 sharps has several extra flats, sharps, and naturals and, of course, I believe I need to ...
Donna Artery's user avatar
9 votes
8 answers
2k views

Notating accidentals in C major

I'm writing a piece in the key of C major. One of the chords is a C♯dim7. The question is, do I notate that diminished 7th as A♯ or B♭? The context is a chord sequence Cmay7 - C#dim7 - Dm7 - Dm/B; the ...
Edwin Humphries's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
730 views

What does this natural cancel?

What does the natural in the last C in the second line cancel? This is from Schumann's Album für die Jugend. Since the natural is immediately followed by a sharp, which is in the key, it does not ...
Mariano Suárez-Álvarez's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
324 views

The definition, and the origin of this sign notation "x"

Here is an example of the double sharp (within the red mark) from Liszt Les Preludes, see below. I suppose this notation "x" is called double sharp. Questions: What are (1) the definition, ...
wonderich's user avatar
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3 votes
6 answers
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Why do e# and b# exist in theory? [duplicate]

I'm aware why E and B sharp don't exist but apparently they exist in music theory because of functional differences that may occur. If they don't exist on instruments, why do they exist in theory? Why ...
anotherstranger's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
231 views

Clef with signature keys, entering other notes

I would like to know, suppose a clef with key signature (e.g., G is always sharp), independent of octave, appears at the beginning of the staff. Then every G that appears must be read sharp. Then what ...
Joselin Jocklingson's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
75 views

Why do these accidentals exist? [duplicate]

I just bought a piano music book to start playing and learning again. It was my understanding that accidentals only affect notes of the bar that they exist in. And because of that this bass clef ...
Fogmeister's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
164 views

Question about Modes

I've been learning about music theory for quite some time now, and I've been wondering. How does one determine the modes of the sharps and flats? For instance, what is the mode for C#, D#, F#, G#, and ...
theIllestLove5's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
137 views

Accidentals on trills and turns in MusicXML

On trills and turns, in order to change the pitch of the note above or below, in printed music, accidentals are displayed right above or below the trill or turn. I don't see how this is expressed in ...
Christoph Ammann's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
370 views

Why isn't there a unique double-flat symbol?

Why isn't there a unique, compact, easy to write, double-flat symbol? The current double-flat is not easy to write as the "x" symbol is for double sharp.
Randy Zeitman's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to pronounce accidental letter notes when sight reading?

When reading sheet music and playing a stringed instrument, I find it helpful to softly sing the names of the notes. "A", "B", "C", etc. are easy, they are all once ...
Max Heiber's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
114 views

Note check: Cassado cello solo suite 2nd movement, m. 74

The note in question is circled here: it's an F-natural in the 2 scores I found on IMSLP. My teacher seems to remember that it should be F-# as in the subsequent descending sequence. Can anyone ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
119 views

Inconsistent notation of BWV 565 mm. 39–40 makes it unclear whether to play C or C# [duplicate]

In the passage shown below (from Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, mm. 39–40), the C#s and C-natural in the right hand are all explicitly notated, but in the left hand, no indication is ...
EmilyJ's user avatar
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5 answers
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C Major with F# transpose to D major

I have C major with F# in it. If I want to transpose it to D major, do I just raise F# two steps up? So G#? I am a little confused about transposing with accidentals involved.... Should I follow the ...
Cas's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Why written G flat instead if F sharp? [closed]

Hi thanks in advance for answering. I’m learning a tune that is written in D major, where Fs as written are sharp , the arrangement in one measure goes : G Fnat Ab Gb. Why not just write F instead ...
user85305's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
329 views

Melodic minor: Does 6 get raised when descending and then ascending immediately?

I found this embellished suspension in C minor: The notes between S and R embellish the dissonant S. You can see that the leading tone 7 is raised in both descending and ascending directions, as well ...
Mozartovic's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
335 views

Chopin's Nocturne 2 : D natural or E natural?

I'm sight-reading the second (2a : "Version with later authentic variant") Chopin's nocturne in Eb for piano, Op. 9 No. 2, and I am unsure about how to read the left hand in the second bar : ...
vmonteco's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
217 views

Properly listing notes on a scale by following the 3 guidelines: Alphabetical, No Repeats/Omissions, Don't Mix Sharps or Flats [duplicate]

My question specifically addresses the G Harmonic Minor scale, which I always see listed as: G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F#, (G). The scale is listed alphabetically but it contains a mixture of 2 flats and 1 ...
John Marabeas's user avatar

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