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Music Theory
16 Feb 2012 11:39 | Quote
Joined: 01 Jun 2011
United Kingdom
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Say now you have a peice of music written in c major and you wanted, for example, a D sharp-which is the same as an E flat. How do you know when to write it down as a D sharp or an E flat?
16 Feb 2012 12:59 | Quote
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
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I believe that you use sharps when going from low to high and flats when going the other way around, but I'm not really sure on this.
16 Feb 2012 13:10 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
United States
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Check this out bro: Key Signatures

I am no expert when it comes to key signatures or staff notation as I am not classically trained and I've never been inclined to learn staff on my own.

Also, check out Jazz's lessons: Music Theory Grade 1

Easy Way To Remember Sharps and Flats

Hope those help.

Rock on!
16 Feb 2012 14:23 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 8
You would write it as sharp if you are going up a scale, or if the rest of the music is mainly sharp. And vice-versa.

So say the entire song is natural, and only one note is flat/sharp. Look at the note before it, if it is higher than that note, it will isually be sharp. If it is lower, it will usually be flat.

Say you have two sharp/flats, whichever you put as the first one, the second will usually be the same.

That is how I learned it.

Source: Lots of Jazz Guitar Theory and Sheet Music. A year of F-Horn Concert theory and Sheets. 5 years of Piano and theory.
Even though ive forgetten 90% of it all.
18 Feb 2012 12:58 | Quote
Joined: 01 Jun 2011
United Kingdom
Karma: 2
Thanks everyone. I get it now :)
20 Feb 2012 18:07 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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When writing scales you should never write with the same letter value twice in the scale. Take the C scale in all Major modes

C Ionian=C D E F G A B
C Dorian=C D Eb F G A Bb
C Phrygian=C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
C Lydian=C D E F# G A B
C Mixolydian=C D E F G A Bb
C Aolian=C D Eb F G Ab Bb
C Locrian=C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb

This does not apply to any scales that contain more than 7 notes(diminished, BeBop, Chromatic......)
24 Feb 2012 20:45 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
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@ Mosh, that's not always the case man... accidentals for example...!

When obeying the rules, yes, that is how it should be, but he's not asking for the rules, he wanted to know about the accidentals.

@ GS, Thanks for sharing my lessons man. :)
24 Feb 2012 23:21 | Quote
Joined: 24 Feb 2012
if it's in a major scale it should be written as a sharp.
4 Mar 2012 02:07 | Quote
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
United States
Lessons: 4
Karma: 1

What about these following major scales: F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and Gb? ;]

OP, pretty much you would write in a sharp if you are moving up half a step and a flat if you are moving down half a step, regardless of the scale you are in.

For example let's say you are writing in Gminor, which consists of G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, and F. And you do not want to use a v-i (D F A to G Bb D) cadence but a V-i cadence, so you would raise the third in the v chord up half a step to make it a V chord. So now your cadence becomes V-i or D F# A to G Bb D.

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