The Use Of Double Sharps/Flats?

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Ricardo
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Everything you guys said is right, maybe this will help too.
We describe keys/scales w/ 7 notes, using letters. You would not want to repeat or skip a letter. You need ABCDEFG, and you can have up to that many #'s or b's (7). But you can have accidentals to the key/scale, especially in the keys w/ a lot of #'s or b's already, that have to be called "double # or bb", to avoid skipping a letter in the scale. At first double #'s occur w/ the harmonic minor scales, which raise the 7th like the G#minor example.

I am glad Brainpolice accepted the G#minor example cause that one was right on my mind. You could use Ab minor key instead, but modulating from say C#minor to Abminor is not as smooth as modulating from C#m-G#m. So G#m is a legit key. How about D#m as a key? Here again you need C double sharp as an accidental. The idea that you more often encounter double flats is from the point of view of someone who doesn't explore the sharp keys as much. Once you understand the Circle of 5ths, you can see the limits. You can't have more than 7 # or b in your key signature, (using a 7 note scale) before you are describing a theoretical key, better named by it's enharmonic relative. So just learning the Circle of 5th's clears it all up. You can't modulate in 5ths from C-back to C around the wheel, without encountering a "theoretical key", and having to rename it, breaking the 5ths pattern.

Ricardo
j3
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moto_psycho wrote:When should they be used when writing. If you were going to raise a note a whole step, lets say D#, why would n't you just write it as F? Can someone please enlighten me on when they should be used?[/code]
This is a little off the subject, but it's related and possibly of some interest to some of you. Anyway, in baroque music, for vocal, horn and unfretted stringed instruments, sharp notes were actually different pitches than their enharmonic equivalents. Performers were playing in just rather than equal temperment, so one would not have made a mistake of confusing a double sharp with it's natural equivalent due to the note being played intentionally out of tune if one were to simplify the notation.
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phoenix2874
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could you call F## a G? NOt if you are trying to actually follow the rules of composing and notation. Double sharps and flats exist as a way of having each note name used only ONCE in a key. It`s not "correct" to have F## named G if G# already exists (which it will if you find yourself needing an F##) Think G# harmonic minor...(and if you called it Ab harmonic minor, you`d need a Cb, and couldn`t call it B as there would already be a Bb)
FINGERS76
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brainpolice wrote:HUH? PEOPLE WRITE MUSIC IN KEY SIGNATURES! LOL
SHARPS AND FLATS ARE PART OF :O OMG! KEY SIGNATURES?
wtf are you talking about? i was actually starting to correct myself (for j3's sake, not yours) until you had to come in and be like that.
"When should they be used when writing."
PEOPLE WRITE IN KEY SIGNATURES! HE's PARTICULARLY ASKING HOW TO NOTATE (IN A KEY SIGNATURE!)
you don't call the notes on the stave the key signature. That is the notation at the beginning of the piece or at the change of key in the song. People don't write in key signatures. They use key signatures to notate the key they are writing in.
frostie
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G# A# B# C# D# E# fX < Thats an awkward way of writing it.
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G < thats the flat key equivilent. It makes it very much easier to understand to think of sharp keys as being all the regular letters (excluding F).
brainpolice
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"you don't call the notes on the stave the key signature." I KNOW! I WASNT!
They use key signatures to notate the key they are writing in."
Which is in a key signature! The music itself, is IN a key signature. When notating music, the key signature itself tells you what notes you are going to have to use accidentals on when chromaticism arises. In F major, if I wanted a b2, it wouldn't make sense to use an F#, it would make sense to use a Gb. The key signature itself dictates what accidentals make sense to use. LOL. What's the problem? It's nothing to argue about.
As for frostie's example: That's kind of my point. MOST of the time there isn't much of a need for doubles you'll find. Apparently there ARE some uses for them, but half the time i've noticed that they are used in MAKE-SHIFT key signatures, by confusing flat and sharp keys like I said. My only issue is with these key signatures that aren't supposed to exist. Like you'r example, G# major doesn't make sense, Ab does, its a REAL key signature.
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