Questions tagged [enharmonics]

For questions related to the different spelling of same-sounding pitches (e.g., C-sharp and D-flat).

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When is b6 a #5 in major mode?

If I am in C major I will often see the b6 described as "mode mixture" in my text books or a borrowed note from the natural minor scale. However if I am in the key of C and play a III chord ...
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Half step modulations in music [closed]

I'm looking for cllasical/Jazz music pieces with half step (semitone) modulations. I'm assuming that this type of modulation could appear in the form of enharmonic modulation- when the pivot chord (...
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2 answers
109 views

Can F# present in the key of Db?

I'm coding an algorithm for transpose chords, but I only have little knowledge of the Music theory. Is it wrong F# include in key of Db instead of Gb? If the key with a flat all the enharmonic chords ...
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How to notate Gb7 with E natural and Eb?

I'm trying to notate a progression from the linked video using Musescore, and am confused by the Gb7... I thought I understood the concept of enharmonics, but in this case, I'm not sure how to apply ...
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Db in realization of "A7alt" in Levine's piano book

In this other question about Mark Levine's jazz piano book, there's an enharmonic spelling of b9 of G7b9 as G# instead of Ab, which some users objected to: To me that seemed completely fine, because ...
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5 answers
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Is a note that is enharmonic to a diatonic note of some diatonic scale, also diatonic in regards to that scale?

I'm learning some music theory from a book, and encountered some question in my head that I can't seem to answer. The question is in the title: Is a note that is enharmonic to a diatonic note of some ...
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0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Why does major 2nd have more harmonics than major 3rd?

I was watching this video about Just-intonation tuning system. In this video he is explaining how the harmonics work. He is explaining that the first harmonic is created by dividing a string into half,...
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Under what circumstances, if any, would we hear enharmomics of the perfect fourth or fifth (e.g. augmented third) in a tonal composition?

The question says it all. I'm assuming 12-tone equal temperament. To give a more familiar example, we hear a minor third and an augmented second differently, for one is a consonance and the other is a ...
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6 votes
3 answers
967 views

Can you tonicize to a chord that's not on the original key?

I had a discussion with a few people on Chopin's Nocturne in B-flat minor. We couldn't reach an agreement and I'm curious how people would analyze it. In the middle section of the piece (which is in ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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Outside of Equal Temperament, what decides the spelling of notes in a major scale?

I've been reading up on the history of temperament, and how enharmonic notes are more of a limitation of the modern piano (only one black key), and also mathematically they are the same if you use ...
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1 answer
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Notation of measure 2 in Chopin's Prelude #4 in E minor

The first measure has G-B-E-B, i.e. E minor tonic chord, first inversion. Makes sense so far. Then the next measure is F♯-A-E-B followed by F♯-A-E♭-B , not so clear. According to this page the second ...
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Cb/B problem while creating lead sheet

I'm making a lead sheet of the song "One" by Esperanza Spalding. I chose the key of Bb because the song feels the most "at home" when the progression lands there at the guitar solo ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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Is there any reason to use F flat in notating this blues riff (jazz)?

I am reading though Dariusz Terefenko's Jazz theory book, and in the chapter on Improvisation (chapter 10) he lists a few typical 1-, 2- and 4-bars blues riffs, all on a Bb blues scale. Several of ...
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Is it better to write music in F♯ Major or in G♭ Major?

Is it better to write music in F♯ Major or in G♭ Major? Seeing as they are enharmonic (in our 12-tone musical system), what are the advantages / disadvantages of writing in either, or should it be ...
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1 vote
3 answers
263 views

preference of the key of B or Cb (also G#min and Abmin)

The debate of whether F# or Gb is a better key is very prominent, but I'd like to discuss the keys of B and Cb. As a guitar player, I would much rather have the key of B to play in. As a trombonist, ...
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3 answers
519 views

How are names of enharmonic notes determined?

In our current 12TET system, is it really incorrect to refer to E♭ as D♯ if one mentions them standalone with no reference to tonality? I understand how the notes in a diatonic scale are ...
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5 votes
3 answers
341 views

never ending omnibus progression

When I studied music theory in college (years ago), I remember my theory instructor demonstrating a use of the omnibus progression where it would go on forever, sounding continuous to the untrained ...
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2 votes
2 answers
137 views

In chord construction, in a Adim, for example, is it indifferrent to have instead of A, C, D#, have, A, C and Eb

In chord a construction, in a Adim, for example, is it indifferent to have instead of A, C, D#, have, A, C and Eb?
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9 votes
2 answers
551 views

How can I improve my violin intonation for enharmonic notes?

I know that while, for many instruments, enharmonic notes are a single pitch and their differences are more of an interpretation, helping music to remain consistent (it would make more sense for a ...
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2 answers
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Alto saxophone fingering for notes written below the staff

I am a beginner on the alto saxophone. I understand the fingering for playing notes on the staff but I do not understand the fingering for playing notes below the staff. Sometimes there are two extra ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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A♭ 13 Chord Notation

A website detailing piano chords uses the following pitch notation for A-flat 13 chords: A♭13 → A♭-C-E♭-G♭-B♭-D♭-F (R, M3, P5, m7, M9, m11, m13) A♭m13 → A♭-B-E♭-G♭-C♭♭-D♭-F (R, m3, P5, m7, M9, m11, ...
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3 votes
5 answers
684 views

In harmony: key or the flow?

I play ambient music and my approach on creating chord lines is simple, just try to stick on the key and if I want to change the key then make it subtle. But today I tried to create harmony lines ...
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3 answers
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How to determine the names of the notes in any given scale

Are there any rules for naming the notes in a scale that can apply to any given scale? I know it's straightforward for diatonic. You just use each of the first 7 letters of the alphabet and [double]...
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12 votes
8 answers
1k views

Why is printed music published with incorrect enharmonics?

I'm seeing more and more music that contains conflicting or erroneous information - for example, C°7 written with an A, (not B♭♭), or E7♭5 with A♯ (not B♭). Wondering if ...
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Is there a benefit to writing in C# major over Db major? [duplicate]

As the title says. It seems that the really sharp keys (e.g. C#, F#, etc.) are really cumbersome to write and play in, so I was wondering if there were any advantages to them over keys like Db and Gb.
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32 votes
7 answers
9k views

Why do E♯ and F♮ not sound the same (according to Wikipedia)?

I was just reading the Wikipedia page on the note F (as I do every evening) and was confused by this part where it says that even though F♮ and E♯ are enharmonic they “do not sound the same”: E♯ is ...
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5 answers
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How to determine if an interval is enharmonic or not

I'm new to music theory, and reading through the basics I learned about interval classifications. But, along with that many questions came to my head. The one I want to ask today is the following: ...
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4 votes
1 answer
125 views

Why is Erik Satie's Saraband 1 in A flat major?

Why is Erik Satie's Saraband 1 in A flat major? There are so many F, C, and G flat accidentals through out the score it seem like it could have been notated in G sharp minor (enharmonic of A flat ...
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2 votes
2 answers
318 views

Identifying the roots of diminished 7th chords( depending on function)?

Diminished 7th chords are symmetric. Each one could be the same quality chord on any root note that is a chord tone inside it. So, is there agreement on which name to use for these chords? I know that ...
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11 votes
6 answers
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What is the most common way to refer to a particular note in the chromatic scale without making any implications as regards tonality?

It seems to me that in current musical practice, we are often in a 12-TET situation where effectively, we have an (octave repeating) set of 12 notes that make up the chromatic scale, each of which can ...
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9 votes
4 answers
2k views

If B has five sharps, and C♭ has seven flats then how can C♭ and B be the same key?

I was learning the seven-mirror rule trick online today. There was a diagram of every major key along with its corresponding number of accidentals. It was shown that the key of C♭ has seven flats. But,...
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32 votes
9 answers
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Why are C♯ and D♭ different frequencies?

I am a music enthusiast, and I was recently reading 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? This ...
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3 answers
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Why are there different names for the same interval? [duplicate]

The intervals F-B and B-F are called Augmented Fourth and Diminished Fifth respectively, but they are really both the same interval - a tritone. Why are they named differently?
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5 votes
3 answers
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Why use the key of C#?

I was reading about Brahms, and it was mentioned that he had composed a piece in C# Major. AFAIK, we generally don't use C# Major in jazz or rock music because the key signature has 7 sharps, so it'...
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65 votes
5 answers
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What's the difference between a G♭ and an F#?

I've heard it said that, whilst on most instruments these notes are played with the same fingerings/technique/etc., there is a subtle difference. This isn't specific to this particular note ...
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