Alteration Signs (about sharp, flat, baker)

In this article we will continue the conversation about musical notation - we will study the alteration signs. What is alteration? Alteration - this is the change of the main degrees of the scale (the main steps are do re mi fa salt la ci). What exactly is changing? Their height and name are changing.

Sharp - this is an increase in sound by half a tone, flat - lowering it by half a tone. After the note is changed, one word is simply added to its main name - respectively, sharp or flat. For example, C-sharp, F-sharp, A-flat, E-flat etc. In the same notes, sharps and bems are designated by special characters, which are also called sharps and by bemoles. Another sign is used - natural, it cancels any alteration, and then, instead of a sharp or flat, we play the main sound.

See how it looks in the notes:

What is semitone?

Now let's look at everything in more detail. What kind of semitones are they? Semitone - this is the shortest distance between two adjacent sounds. Let's take a look at the piano keyboard as an example. Here is an octave with signed keys:

What do we see? We have 7 white keys and the main steps are located on them. It seems to be a rather short distance between them, but, nevertheless, there are black keys between the white keys. We have 5 black keys. It turns out that there are a total of 12 sounds in an octave, 12 keys. So, each of these keys with respect to the nearest neighboring is located at a semitone distance. That is, if we play all 12 keys in a row, then we will play all 12 semitones.

Now, I think, it’s clear how you can raise or lower the sound by a semitone - instead of the main stage, the next one is taken from above or below, depending on whether we lower or raise the sound. Read more about how to play sharps and flat on the piano, read a separate article - "What are the keys of the piano."

Double sharp and double flat

In addition to simple sharps and flat music, music is used double sharps and double flat. What is doubles - this is a double change of steps. In other words, double sharp raises the note immediately by two semitones (that is, a whole tone), and double flat - lowers the note by the whole tone (one tone is two semitones).

Natural - it is a sign of alterations cancellation, it acts in relation to duplications in the same way as ordinary sharps and flatals. For example, if we played F-double-sharpand then some time before the note F Becker appears, then we play a "clean" note "F".

Random and key characters

What else you need to know about sharps and flatons? Sharps and flatons are random and key. Random characters Alterations are those that act only in the place where they are applied (only within one measure). Key signs - these are sharps and flatons, which are set at the beginning of each line and act throughout the entire work (that is, every time there is such a note, which is marked by a sharp at the very beginning). Key signs are written in a certain order, you can read more about this in the article "How to remember key signs".

So let's summarize.

We talked about alteration: we learned what alteration is and what kind of alteration signs are. Sharp - This is a sign of raising by half flat - a sign of lowering the note by a half tone, and natural - sign of cancellation of alteration. In addition, there are so-called doubles: double sharp and double flat - they raise or lower the sound immediately to the whole tone (the whole tone - these are two semitones).

That's all! I wish you continued success in mastering musical literacy. Visit us more often, we will analyze other interesting topics. If you like the material, click Like and share the information with friends. Now I suggest you to distract a little and listen to good music in the beautiful performance of the brilliant pianist of our time Evgeny Kissin.

Ludwig van Beethoven - Rondo "Fury over lost pennies"


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