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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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16
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5answers
2k views

Basic Accidental Question

Example: You have d major scale but you make a c flat accidental, does it just naturalize c back to its basic form or make it an enharmonic b? Ive tried searching on google but found nothing. It's ...
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2answers
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Which accidental continues through the bar?

Messiaen's Prelude for Organ (no opus number, discovered posthumously in 1997, composed probably circa 1929) is rife with ambiguous accidentals. Some can be figured out by examining similar passages, ...
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6answers
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Scope of accidentals in measureless music

An accidental usually only lasts until the end of a measure, but what if there are no measures? I'm writing some music without bar lines (blame Satie) and am wondering what to do about notating ...
6
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4answers
675 views

Having trouble with accidentals - Note-for-note vs traditional?

I am hoping to enter the music in the attached image into a midi sequencing program. The problem I'm having is understanding the musical notation here. Traditionally, accidentals follow pretty basic ...
32
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8answers
12k views

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 ...
74
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13answers
50k views

Purpose of double-sharps and double-flats?

In a few pieces of music I have read through, I have come across double-sharps and flats. To my understanding, they are two semitones above/below the note indicated. What is, then, the point of ...
12
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2answers
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Which is the correct version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition?

I was using a score of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition from https://imslp.org/wiki/Pictures_at_an_Exhibition_(Mussorgsky%2C_Modest). This one was published by V. Bessel & Co. in St. ...
2
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2answers
89 views

Will an accidental in piano sheet count for second voice as well?

I got this passage where the first voice got a sharp on the F (top staff). It's written for Piano, so there are not really actual voices, it's basically just written in two voices for clarity. My ...
7
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1answer
286 views

When to use flat or sharp in atonal music / accidentals rules for atonality?

In this example, Einojuhani Rautavaara sometimes uses flat and sometimes uses sharp in some chords. Once it's atonal music, what're the rules for sharps and flats?
5
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3answers
277 views

Accidentals - some in brackets, some not

Can anyone explain what the difference is between accidentals in brackets, and those not?
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4answers
1k 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 ...
5
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3answers
954 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 ...
3
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3answers
100 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 ...
6
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2answers
106 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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2answers
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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 ...
21
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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 ...
5
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1answer
138 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 ...
2
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2answers
108 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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7answers
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What is the difference between equivalent Flat and Sharp keys as far as musical notation? Are there any reasons to prefer one over the other?

I wrote a song in Db Major, but I could also notated that it would be equivalent to say C# Major as well. I am not well versed in musical theory and I think both are equivalent to each other and ...
4
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7answers
106 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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1answer
69 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 .
6
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3answers
92 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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3answers
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What conventions are used with accidentals and tied notes?

If I have a tied note across a bar line, say 2 whole G notes, and I have an accidental, say a sharp, on the first G, my assumption is that the accidental applies as well to the second G because it is ...
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3answers
82 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 ...
6
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1answer
418 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:
5
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1answer
94 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 ...
4
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1answer
87 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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1answer
1k views

Do accidentals on ornaments apply to the same notes elsewhere in the measure?

In the first measure from this section of Schubert's Serenade, does the accidental on the ornamental C at the beginning affect the "regular" C that follows?
3
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2answers
372 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 ...
19
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9answers
4k views

Collective word for sharps and flats in the key signature

On a mailing list I'm subscribed to, someone recently asked what the collective name was in English for the sharps and flats you find in the key signature. Apparently, the closest translation from ...
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3answers
1k 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
63 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), ...
5
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4answers
1k views

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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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 ...
12
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6answers
4k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
124 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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3answers
310 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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4answers
94 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 ...
0
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1answer
89 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 ...
6
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2answers
138 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
102 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 ...
14
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2answers
3k views

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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5answers
2k views

Are accidentals in the key signature and measure additive?

If I have a flat for a note in the key signature, and then in a bar the same note with an flat symbol, does that mean the note is "double flatted"? For example in the key of D Minor with hash one ...
0
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1answer
65 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 ...
22
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4answers
2k views

Should one write ♯ or ♭?

In the staff, would one write enharmonic notes with # or ♭? Does it matter which you'd use and why? For example: In the key of C Major, would it be better to write this passage with an A#, as it is, ...
3
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6answers
2k views

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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0answers
146 views

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 ...
4
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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 ...
2
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0answers
136 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
115k views

What does a small x-like symbol before a note mean?

I've been playing piano by ear for a long time and now I am trying to learn the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata. I am a little confused about the meaning of a little cross placed right before a ...