Accidentals

Music Accidentals Video Tutorial



Flat Sign

A flat sign (b) lowers the pitch of a note a half step. If we look at a piano, the black key to the left of a white key is a half step lower.

Flat Notes



Flats do not always fall on a black key. Cb is also a B note; the half step down from C is B and so it's called Cb.


Sharp Sign

A sharp sign (#) raises the pitch of a note a half step. The black key to the right of a white key is a half step higher.



Sharps do not always fall on a black key. E# is also called F. A half step up from E is called E#, which happens to be F!

 


Enharmonic Notes

E# and F notes are called enharmonic notes. They sound the same but are written differently.
Can you figure out other enharmonic notes? Below are two examples:
 
 

Natural Sign

A natural sign  cancels the effect of a flat or a sharp.





Flats, sharps and naturals are called accidental signs.

When they're placed before a note, they affect every note on the same line or space for an entire measure. A natural sign cancels the flat or sharp within the same measure.







When saying a flatted note's name, we say the letter name first and the flat next, for example, A flat. When we write it on the music, the flat sign comes first.

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