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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3
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2answers
166 views

When you write a scale with accidentals do you add the accidental once when it's ascending or both times when it's ascending and descending?

My question is this. When you write a scale with accidentals do you add the accidental once when it's ascending or both times when it's ascending and descending? So are you supposed to write the ...
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3answers
410 views

Incorrect Placement of an Accidental?

This is a very quick and blunt question but here we have a deliberately incorrect notation and below it is the corrected version (the black circles). How come the eight note before the last (the pink) ...
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4answers
301 views

If there is a sharp/flat in one half of the staff, does it continue to the other half? [duplicate]

If there is a sharp or flat in one half of a piano staff is that sharp/flat continued to the other half of the staff? For example, say there is a C♯ in the left-hand part of the staff, do you ...
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10answers
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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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1answer
202 views

Printing all accidentals with Lilypond

I am trying to print all the accidentals within a staff (or within the score, both would work) while engraving with Lilypond. Currently, it's because I'm engraving 80+ bar, multi-staff unmetered music ...
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4answers
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How to play this double sharp note

I’m trying to play Toccata by Debussy and the piece is in the key of E. In the sheet music, the F has a double sharp next to it, so that means I would be playing a G sharp. When I looked at the ...
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9answers
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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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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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2answers
369 views

In Moonlight Sonata a note has both a natural and a sharp sign

In the first movement (Adagio sostenuto) of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata,1 there is a natural sign (♮) followed by a sharp (♯) on F. What does this mean? 1 Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor “Quasi una ...
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13answers
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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 ...
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2answers
733 views

Alteration in a stave in a score: does it communicate with the other stave?

I have a question about Imperial March, arranged by Nicola Morali. In the measure 10, on the left hand, is the "G" note really without a ♯? (Since the left hand and the right hand don't align ...
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2answers
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What is this note? [duplicate]

This is in key of F# major or D# minor, there is a D# in this key, but the D# in this picture has a double sharp sign beside it, so is it a D#(##) (which is an F)?
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6answers
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If I play G Sharp, then play the G that's one octave up, does the accidental carry over? [duplicate]

For example, this ASCII sheet music: G trebel-------- |4------------ |------------- |4--------#G-- clef---------- I know it's terrible, but would the second G be sharp too? And for ...
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4answers
390 views

Assymetry in major scale construction

My guitar teacher recommend me to write out all the major scales. His intention was that I would see how double sharps appear in the scale. I have written them all and found this: I wrote them ...
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4answers
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Can accidentals be seen as a temporary change in scale?

Just wondering if accidentals in music can be seen as a temporary change in scale. There's alot of scales that are just one note difference so they sound good when they're interchanged temporarily. ...
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2answers
677 views

Music engraving - note with two accidentals - natural (♮) and sharp (♯)

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: what is the sense of this 5th note in the upper staff? why is it using ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
781 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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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1answer
357 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?
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3answers
594 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
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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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3answers
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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
187 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
184 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 ...
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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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1answer
344 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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2answers
124 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 ...
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7answers
115 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
157 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
131 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
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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
426 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
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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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1answer
134 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
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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?
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2answers
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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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3answers
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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
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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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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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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 ...
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6answers
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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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1answer
142 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
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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 ...