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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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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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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 ...
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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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Typing musical signs! [migrated]

I've now found out simple ways of printing sharp, flat and natural signs for this site! At least, it works on my PC Windows. Sharp is ampersand sharp semicolon. Flat is ampersand flat semicolon. ...
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1answer
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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How long does canceling accidentals of a key signature last [duplicate]

I'm a beginning music learner. I've come across a piece according to this site, "If you see a sharp in a measure then all the following notes of that pitch are sharped, until the end of the measure"....
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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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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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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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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
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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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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
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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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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
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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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Understanding diatonic chords

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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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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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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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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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
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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
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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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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
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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 ...
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How does a natural change flats and sharps?

If we have a G flat a natural gives a G, if we have a G sharp it gives a G, but what if we have a G double flat or double sharp? Especially if we are working in a key where G is already a flat or a ...
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Sharp 5 or flat 13? Sharp 9 or flat 10?

Let's say I'm in C major. I have a dominant altered chord built on G. This very popular voicing has the following tones (I'm including both enharmonic spellings for the accidentals): G B (D# or Eb) F ...
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Incomplete key signature - reason and name [duplicate]

I just now encountered the 2nd example of the following: established publisher baroque period the piece is clearly in e.g. c minor (related to e flat major, 3 bs) the printed key signature shows less ...
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Trouble understanding two accidentals in Chopin's Nocturne Op 9 No 2

I'm having trouble understanding the 2nd bar of Nocturne Opus 9, No.2. I'm still learning sheet music so I'm finding a certain section confusing; maybe I don't understand the music correctly. The ...
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8answers
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Why are accidentals not just indicated next to the note in sheet music to make sight reading easier?

For example, in the key of G, why is the sharp not put next to every F note? I think this would make it easier to sight read quickly, especially for keys that have many sharps or flats. Is there an ...
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Does an accidental apply to all octaves?

I've been playing French Horn for 20 years, and thought I had most basic concepts regarding accidentals understood. But the other day I came across the following image via Wikipedia, which had me ...
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relative accidentals

Is it possible to let lilypond print a sharp symbol when a flat in the key signature is canceled (and a flat to cancel a sharp) and a natural symbol othewise? So for example in F major a B would be ...
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2answers
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Mordants: Auxiliary note is a note that has been modified by an accidental earlier in the measure. What do I play?

I was under the impression that whenever you see a mordant or a trill, the auxiliary note is the next note up in the key signature. But I'm a bit confused on how to proceed here. This is measure 57 ...
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2answers
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Where did the symbols ♭ and ♯ originate from, and why those?

We're all used to flat and sharp signs, also naturals. Accidentals in some cases. But why those unusual signs? I suspect the ♭ may have something to do with the German B, but the ♯ sign? Something to ...
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How do I notate sharps in ABC notation?

I'm trying to convert the dozenal representation of tau (=2*pi) to a series of notes. I was trying to use ABC notation, but I don't know how to indicate sharps or flats. I'd like to use a notation as ...
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3answers
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Numerical chords

In a C9, there is the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th degree in the C major scale despite not having a 7 in the chord. Is the same true for chords with sharp or flat degrees, such as a C ♯9? Would that ...
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How many sharps in G Dorian Minor?

How many sharps are in G Dorian Minor? I believe that there aren't any but I am not sure. Please help me solve this problem.