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Sharps, Flats, Naturals
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Tyberius
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March 16, 2013 - 1:17 pm
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I have been playing for 10.5 months now. You'd think I would know this. I often think I do, but then somebody throws a shark in my hot tub.

Here's what I know (which may be wrong)

A Flat lowers your note by 1 semitone

A Sharp raises your note by 1 semitone

a Natural is the note.

Here is my problem using the above information that I know (which may be wrong).

I look at a fingering chart for first position E string (example). The F note flat is the same as a E sharp. An F natural is an F sharp but it's also a G flat. What in the name of blazes am I even looking at or trying to deduce from my beloved information (which may be wrong). Why have a sharp at all if its the next note's flat? Why have a flat if its the previous note's sharp? Why have any sharp or flat at all if people use vibrato to mask tone/fingering mistakes all together.

I think I'm going to take up fire wooding again. The stain on a violin makes a beautiful blue flame in the fire pit. However, it makes the marshmellows taste a bit odd. I guess thats part of the music. Some times you like melody and tone, other times its just varnish smokey marshmellows.

violin-bangostrich-chasefainting-1344

 

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Picklefish
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Tyberius said
I have been playing for 10.5 months now. You'd think I would know this. I often think I do, but then somebody throws a shark in my hot tub.

Here's what I know (which may be wrong)

A Flat lowers your note by 1 semitone

A Sharp raises your note by 1 semitone

a Natural is the note.

Here is my problem using the above information that I know (which may be wrong).

I look at a fingering chart for first position E string (example). The F note flat is the same as a E sharp. An F natural is an F sharp but it's also a G flat. What in the name of blazes am I even looking at or trying to deduce from my beloved information (which may be wrong). Why have a sharp at all if its the next note's flat? Why have a flat if its the previous note's sharp? Why have any sharp or flat at all if people use vibrato to mask tone/fingering mistakes all together.

I think I'm going to take up fire wooding again. The stain on a violin makes a beautiful blue flame in the fire pit. However, it makes the marshmellows taste a bit odd. I guess thats part of the music. Some times you like melody and tone, other times its just varnish smokey marshmellows.

violin-bangostrich-chasefainting-1344

 

Wow you are cornfuzed! - According to my piano which contains all the known  notes in the known chromatic scale there are a few constants. There is no Bsharp or Cflat. No Esharp or Fflat.

Now according to some scientific stuff and physics all notes have a hertz. That being said, a Bflat is a different hz than an Asharp which are essentially the same notes on the keyboard.

Also some Key Signatures show the non existent sharps and flats as I recently discovered which is really cornfusing until you realize why. (im not tellin)

that being said, You said "I look at a fingering chart for first position E string (example). The F note flat is the same as a E sharp. An F natural is an F sharp but it's also a G flat. What in the name of blazes am I even looking at or trying to deduce from my beloved information (which may be wrong). Why have a sharp at all if its the next note's flat? Why have a flat if its the previous note's sharp? Why have any sharp or flat at all if people use vibrato to mask tone/fingering mistakes all together."

Actually the F note flat is an E. The F note natural is halfway approx between the nut and the Fsharp and is described as a low first finger. The same position as a Bflat or Eflat or Gsharp on their respective strings. The first finger position is the Fsharp and is taught this way when Cmaj isnt the first key fingering learned. The Fsharp is in every other maj sharp key. the term sharp or flat is determined by the key signature and some are more common than others. Sharps and flats create musical variety.

"The origional piano was invented long ago and had only one key. It was very easy to compose music for but eventually all the music sounded the same and people got bored with it. It wasnt until someone invented the cracks between the keys that the piano as we know it evolved." - Victor Borge.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Tyberius
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March 16, 2013 - 2:15 pm
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maybe that's why i like to play by ear.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Picklefish
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March 16, 2013 - 3:40 pm
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My ability to play by ear is improving as I go along, I envy you and the others that this comes to naturally.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Almandin
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March 16, 2013 - 5:00 pm
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I was gonna post a reply to this, but you cleared it up pretty well, pfish! So let me just say that I love that quote. Victor Borge = pure awesome!

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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RosinedUp
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Tyberius said

A Flat lowers your note by 1 semitone

A Sharp raises your note by 1 semitone

a Natural is the note.

I think your beliefs are good going that far.

Now add the following rules (somewhat loosely stated) for writing scales:

1) A scale may have sharps or flats, but not both.

2) A scale has seven notes, and the notes are named using the letters A to G, with or without sharps or flats, and each letter is used exactly once.

Example:

The Gb-Major scale is written Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F.  Notice it has Cb, which is the same as B.  But writing that note as B would leave the scale with both Bb and B, violating rule (2), and would cause problems in notation.  Think of what would happen if both B and Bb were used in a scale.  There would be no way to write the key signature, as one wouldn't know whether the middle line should have a flat or not. And any note on the middle line would have to be specified as either natural or flat at its point of use.

Example:

The D-Major scale is written D  E  F# G  A  B  C#.  Although F# and Gb are the same note spelled differently, the scale could not be written D  E  Gb G  A  B  C#, because it would break both rules (1) and (2), and would also cause problems in notation.

 

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HDuaneaz
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Flat or sharp simply has to do with what key the music is in. I remember asking my violin teacher who was also the conductor of a big orchestra why a composer would have a double flat or a double sharp. He gave me the same answer.

Duane

 

"Violin is one of the joys of my life."

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RosinedUp
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pfish said
Wow you are cornfuzed! - According to my piano which contains all the known  notes in the known chromatic scale there are a few constants. There is no Bsharp or Cflat. No Esharp or Fflat.

Now according to some scientific stuff and physics all notes have a hertz. That being said, a Bflat is a different hz than an Asharp which are essentially the same notes on the keyboard.

You can understand the following corrections when you consider the two scale-writing rules I presented in my previous reply to Ty.

"There is no Bsharp or Cflat."   <--FALSE.  Cb is another name for B.  Cb is needed in the Gb-Major scale: Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F....    B# is not strictly necessary, but it may be convenient to use it---in the C#-Major scale: C# D# E# F# G# A# B#.

"No Esharp or Fflat."  <--FALSE.  E# is another name for F and is needed in the F#-Major scale: F# G# A# B  C# D# E#.  It may be convenient to use Fb---in the Cb-Major scale: Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb.

"a Bflat is a different hz than an Asharp"  <--FALSE.  In the usual system of equal temperament, Bb and A# are different names for exactly the same pitch, or "hertz" as you called it.

 

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Tyberius
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March 17, 2013 - 4:01 am
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Alrighty....glad I started that to get clear and concise information. I'll stick with my ear. Its not failed me yet. From what I gathered here, I am not the only one who is a bit confused on this. I'll stick with the few finger charts I have and keep trudging through the scales as I have been

 

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Fiddlestix
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Tyberius said
maybe that's why i like to play by ear.

 

Me too.    wink

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RosinedUp
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Tyberius said
Alrighty....glad I started that to get clear and concise information. I'll stick with my ear. Its not failed me yet. From what I gathered here, I am not the only one who is a bit confused on this. I'll stick with the few finger charts I have and keep trudging through the scales as I have been
 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....atic_scale

It's been said that the only stupid question is the one that doesn't get asked.

But maybe you haven't heard it said that a good question is one that you want to know the answer to.

 

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Picklefish
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Not to get into a pissing match of semantics over this but NOT FALSE. nuf said.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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RosinedUp
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pfish said
Not to get into a pissing match of semantics over this but NOT FALSE. nuf said.

The whole question is one of musical syntax and semantics.

One of the problems is that you weren't and still aren't able to tell whether what you wrote was true or false.

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Picklefish
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this is not the appropriate forum for us to get into it over this. Come over to the chat box and id be happy to set you straight.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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RosinedUp
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pfish said
this is not the appropriate forum for us to get into it over this. Come over to the chat box and id be happy to set you straight.

The questions were asked here, not in the chat box.  If you have something to say about the chromatic scale or pitch notation, I think you should say it here.

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Picklefish
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Alrighty:  

ACCORDING TO MY PIANO which contains all the known  notes in the known chromatic scale there are a few constants. There is no Bsharp or Cflat. No Esharp or Fflat. (this refers to the black keys)

Now according to some scientific stuff and physics all notes have a hertz. That being said, a Bflat is a different hz than an Asharp which are essentially the same notes on the keyboard.  (Im not talking about equal-tempered scales here, the other ones)

"Actually the F note flat is an E"

This begins to describe the physical and tonal half step relationships including those where there is no black key between the white key. I didnt include all the possibilities but I thought it would clue him in and hed figure it out.

So instead of worrying about what I type and the context in which it is typed, how bout you simply offer your own opinion without correcting others. Oh, and any questions could be posed in a PM and if I am wrong I could post a correction on my own. Stop being the forum cop. its retarded!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Picklefish
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You may know that when you go up a fifth, then up a fourth from there, you have gone up an octave, all together. Let's see if that works: Up a fifth=3/2, up a fourth from there=(3/2)(4/3)=2, which is an octave. It works great.

But, there's a flaw in this musical scale. Let's start at C, and keep going up a fifth, until we find another C. That is C-G-D-A-E-B-F#-C#-G#-D#-A#-F-C. This C vibrates (3/2) to the twelfth power faster than the original C. Those of you who are familiar with numbers may have guessed what has just gone wrong. This C is not an even number of octaves above our original C. It's close. Instead of vibrating 128 times as fast (seven octaves higher), it vibrates 129.7463379 times as fast. It is obvious to the ear that these notes are not both C.

For the same reason, F# is not the same as G-flat (going down from C), even though they are the same on a piano.

 

http://www.jimloy.com/physics/scale.htm

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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RosinedUp
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pfish said
But, there's a flaw in this musical scale.

Why you keep talking about any system other than equal temperament, I cannot say with certainty.  It is at best a waste of time, but more likely a confusing distraction, for someone first trying to understand the chromatic scale and the names of the notes.  Systems other than equal temperament could basically be ignored for a lifetime without much loss.  Certainly a detailed consideration is not suited to somebody first trying to understand basic notation.

Any confused belief that F# should under normal conditions be considered different from Gb is disposed of by saying that in the usual system of music that almost everybody uses almost all the time, they are two different names that refer to exactly the same pitch.

 

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Ferret
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This post demonstrates why I'm not really concerned that i can't read music well and why am really happy that I can play by ear rofl

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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RosinedUp
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pfish said

ACCORDING TO MY PIANO which contains all the known  notes in the known chromatic scale there are a few constants. There is no Bsharp or Cflat. No Esharp or Fflat. (this refers to the black keys)

Ah, so your piano talks to you? ... you should get that checked.

The topic is along the lines: how to refer to finger positions, how to refer to pitches, and why some pitches have more than one name.

Aliases for pitches are needed because the same pitch is used in different keys.  As Duane hinted, and you did not seem to comprehend, the name used for a pitch depends on what key is being used.  For instance, the same pitch is called "F#" when in the key of G for one piece and "Gb" when in the key of Db for another piece.  As I stated above, each pitch in a key or scale must have a different letter name in order to be useable in standard staff notation.

"Cb" and "B" refer to the same pitch.  "Cb" is needed in the key of Gb, which uses the notes: Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F.  Every other key can use the name "B", which is why "Cb" is mentioned only rarely. 

By the way, "B" and "Cb" are called spellings that refer to the same pitch.

 

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