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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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2
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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
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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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4answers
884 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
920 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
837 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
213 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
760 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 ...
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3answers
2k views

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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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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0answers
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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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3answers
538 views

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
4k views

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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8answers
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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
119 views

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
316 views

Mordants: Auxiliary note is a note that has been modified by an accidental earlier in the measure. What do I play? [duplicate]

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
4k views

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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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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3answers
184 views

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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1answer
133 views

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.
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4answers
841 views

Is it possible that a music piece written in a “flat key signature” contains sharp-accidentals (and vice versa)?

E.g. the key signature G Major contains one sharp (which is why I consider it as a "sharp key signature"). Can a music piece written in G Major contain a Db? Or can it only be a C# because the key ...
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3answers
241 views

Tuning of Accidentals & Scales

In his Book Basics, Simon Fischer wrote in a footnote that: The exact tuning of a sharp or a flat depends on the key, style and character of the music. For example, Bb as the tonic of Bb Major is ...
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2answers
472 views

Useless natural accidental? [duplicate]

Why is that natural accidental placed on that G? does the slur extend the sharp on the previous measure to the next one? that wouldn't make sense for the bass though.
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3answers
312 views

Unusual Accidentals

I sometimes see a natural where it is unnecessary. Sometimes it is a courtesy natural but other times the note has not been flattened or sharpened at all and yet I see a natural that is already there ...
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3answers
596 views

I have two versions of a song sheet and neither of them say the sharp should be used

I'm learning to play A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton, I'm slowly learning to read music (self taught) but I have two different sheets for the song and one has a flat on the E staff with the tail ...
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1answer
791 views

Do accidentals earlier in the measure affect a trill?

I was attempting to help someone understand all the markings in a piece with which they are unfamiliar. One, however, has given me pause: Now, I know the rule for a trill is that it ordinarily ...
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3answers
2k views

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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1answer
163 views

Double Sharps in Just Intonation. The mathematics?

So I'm experimenting around and I'm creating a small little thing in C#### minor just because. I understand the mathematics of C#### in Pythagorean and Equal Temperment music systems but how do you ...
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3answers
809 views

Are tonal (sharp, flat and natural) key signatures octave specific? [duplicate]

I recently bought a piano for learning (by myself at the moment) and apart from doing basic exercises, I decided to start learning a piece to get a grip on music sheet reading as I go. On the sheet I'...
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1answer
350 views

Piano Accidentals and Key Signatures

I have been trying to pick up the piano and have a few questions concerning accidentals and key signature placement and interaction. I apologize I don't have a digital copy of the music in question ...
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4answers
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Do accidentals apply to other staffs of the same type?

In this excerpt from Bach's BWV 772, does the B flat accidental on the lower staff also apply to the upper staff(second to last beat)? I know that accidentally usually do not apply to different ...
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4answers
170 views

Are the accidentals counted as a single note or double notes?

I am a newbie to music . I have a doubt about accidentals . My doubt is whether a basic note and an accidental of that note is counted as a single note or double. That is , if a tune X contains ...
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1answer
653 views

Explanation of Phrasing, Accidentals, articulation, modulation for a piano player

A year ago I have started practicing piano. I attend a music school and the pieces now are becoming quite advanced. There are four terms I don't fully understand which are mentioned a lot when I read ...
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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 ...
21
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5answers
5k views

If between E and F is a halftone, why can F not be an E♯

A ♯ raises a note by a semitone or halftone. I'm confused. If E and F are a halftone apart, why can't F be E♯?
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2answers
2k views

Double Sharps And Double Flats

A double-sharp (x) raises a natural (♮) note by two semitones. A double-sharp (x) raises a sharp (#) by one semitone. What does a double-sharp raise a flat by? A double-flat (♭♭) lowers a ...
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9answers
10k views

Why is music theory built so tightly around the C Major scale?

Lately, I'm trying to study deeper into music theory, learning Intervals, key Signatures, Chords, Progressions etc. I can see that everything is built around the 'normal' notes that belong to the C ...
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1answer
371 views

Where do accidentals go when voices overlap?

When two different voices on the same staff have overlapping note ranges, they get shifted and written side-by-side. For example: What happens if there is an accidental on a note of the voice ...
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3answers
447 views

Why isn't this a c flat?

I am always wondering why the second c isn't flat? There is no signs before it? I know it is supposed to be played as natural, without natural signature? This question was roughly answered by my ...
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7answers
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Do accidentals override key signature and previous accidentals?

I am wondering how the accidental in the first chord (see what is circled) is played? Does any accidental simply move the note up or down a half-step from what the note is supposed to be based on 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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1answer
132 views

key signature # and b [duplicate]

sharps and flats occur in the middle of tunes to change notes from the originals in that key. They are called accidentals. What about when they're used IN the key signature? They're obviously not ...
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4answers
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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, ...
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10answers
41k views

What is the difference between sharp note & flat note?

In guitar or generally in any musical instruments, what is the difference between sharp notes & flat notes? For example : Are A♯ & B♭ the same? And are C♯ & D♭ the same? Does that make ...
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7answers
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What purpose do accidentals serve in music?

I'm having trouble writing music containing accidentals. If the diatonic scale contains 7 related notes, what purpose do accidentals serve? If the accidental notes are not related to the overall ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do so many pieces written in a minor key sharp the 7th?

I've been going through several pieces (mostly of Bach, but also others) and I noticed that very commonly, the 7th is sharped when played coming down from the tonic. Examples: Little Fugue, Toccata ...
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5answers
25k views

What are Accidental Notes?

Can any one please explain what is an accidental note? Do they have any rules to play accidental notes in a scale? I only have basic knowledge of keyboards.
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1answer
717 views

How are sharps and flats written in the nashville numbering system?

How are sharps and flats written in the Nashville numbering system. 5♯ or 5♭?
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4answers
2k views

Temporarily Changing Keys - Which accidentals to use?

I've was taught that whenever you write a run of notes going up, you should use sharps instead of flats; And whenever you go downwards, you should generally write flats instead of sharps. My question ...
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3answers
828 views

Small natural above C in G Major

Here is a picture of the sheet music (Eine Klein Nachtmusik, movement 1). The odd accidental has a red freehand circle around it. What does this natural sign mean? As you can see, the key is G Major ...