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Black notes sharp or flat ?

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Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:06 am

I've just raised a riff (to suit a vox stab ) up 1 semi from A minor to what? Am i now in A# minor or B flat minor? And what's the difference?
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:38 am

The difference is the key signature you write at the start of the stave! ;)

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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:27 pm

If, having played the riff a semitone up, you then come straight back to the original - which is a common musical device - you could usefully consider yourself to have never departed from A minor. A change of chord is not a change of key.

If you want a name for the chord a semitone above A minor, I suggest Bb minor. It's simpler. But it's only a label.
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:11 pm

I should've said song, i jus' look on songs as being lots of complementary riffs slotted/mixed together I suppose.

Key not chord, all the black notes (#/flat) have deux monikers, the key can be in # or flat? When i'm in a minor there's no choice to name it, 'tis a minor owt else.

So the answer is there above, but what reveals the answer to me is, Hugh, how do I know wether I should scribble ( I can't ) a # or a flat, what determines something being in e flat minor rather than d# minor? for what reason? is it to accomadate something? I'm playing exactly the same intervals, but now the key is either # minor or flat minor, it's the choice that i don't understand, as a semi down there was no choice and no confusion, bugged me for years.

thanks guys
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby desmond » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:18 pm

LdashD wrote:I should've said song, i jus' look on songs as being lots of complementary riffs slotted/mixed together I suppose.


Well, that's a piece of music, not a "song" :)

- "a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung."
- "A song is a single (and often standalone) work of music intended to be sung by the human voice"

LdashD wrote:Key not chord, all the black notes (#/flat) have deux monikers, the key can be in # or flat? When i'm in a minor there's no choice to name it, 'tis a minor owt else.


Music theory is a complex, and imprecise area. :lol:

Same as chords - there are often multiple ways of interpreting and naming a collection of notes you play. All of them are "right", but some are more common than others, and some you use in particular situations and others you don't.

LdashD wrote:So the answer is there above, but what reveals the answer to me is, Hugh, how do I know wether I should scribble ( I can't ) a # or a flat, what determines something being in e flat minor rather than d# minor? for what reason? is it to accomadate something? I'm playing exactly the same intervals, but now the key is either # minor or flat minor, it's the choice that i don't understand, as a semi down there was no choice and no confusion, bugged me for years.


if you really want to get into this stuff, there's no substitute for studying and understanding music theory, but it's a long road...
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby alexis » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:32 pm

Bbm vs. A#m ... zero difference, it's just a name.

If you hang out musically with the same kind of people I do, recommend calling it Bbm, somehow that's more familiar and less intimidating. But we are all musical cretins, doubtful you would have to do that.


Hint: you could just call it Am, and tell everyone to capo up one fret!
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Mixedup » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:00 pm

I'm terrible on this stuff, but... don't the nearest sharps and flats only share the exact same frequency in equal temperament tuning? (which as I understand it is a convenient fudge of a compromise, compared with the theory)
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby alexis » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:21 pm

Alternatively, there is nothing to keep you from calling it Cbbm!
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby The Korff » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:25 pm

Mixedup wrote:I'm terrible on this stuff, but... don't the nearest sharps and flats only share the exact same frequency in equal temperament tuning? (which as I understand it is a convenient fudge of a compromise, compared with the theory)

Yes... It's possible that, if you were getting a piano tuner in to tune a piano to A#m, some of the accidentals in would be at different frequencies compared to if you'd had the piano tuned to Bbm, but that's a different story altogether!
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Peevy » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:45 pm

LdashD

If you think of something being in A# minor, the notes of the A# melodic minor scale (going up) would be:

A# B# C# D# E# F## (double sharp) G## (double sharp) back to A#

as opposed to the Bb melodic minor scale:

Bb C Db Eb F G A back to Bb

So it makes the scale easier to get a handle on.

You could write the same scale along the lines of:

A# C Db D# F F## A back to Bb

These are the same notes of the same scale, but the letters don't go up one at a time, which is even more confusing.

So basically it's easier to think of the key in the version which uses the fewest number of flats and sharps to form it.
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Peevy » Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:46 pm

i.e. Bb minor
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Sam Inglis » Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:49 pm

Jeanie wrote:basically it's easier to think of the key in the version which uses the fewest number of flats and sharps to form it.

This.

I don't think I've ever seen a piece of music written in a key signature that uses double sharps or flats, though they are needed to notate chromatic chords sometimes.
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:21 pm

alexis wrote:Bbm vs. A#m ... zero difference, it's just a name.

There's me thinking some of you lot are clever eh, could be the way i worded it?
Nope, cos Alexis says zilch, no diff, so remember me an' 'im are the clever clogs.

Perhaps I should've said, I'm gonna send you all a track, it's in A minor, no 'ang about, I took it up a semi, so it's in A# mi... no sorry it's er, B fla... no wait a minute, sod it I'll send it in A minor, there's only one of them.

My worry was telling someone that a certain tune's in D# minor, when it's really in E flat minor, there's no diff, also, always seemed to me that music was always written down in E flat min/Maj and never or often in D# min/Maj? so it compounded my misconception, but I always did reckon they were the same. Confirming i believe in one fell swoop, 'tis me an' Alexis that are the know-it-alls.

I'm seeking a few more answers/solutions and you've all been helpful, so just to save your breath, especially if you're a wind player, I have a pretty good understanding of intervals and all that goes with that, to a degree, i kinda know the half of it, but there's still plenty i want to learn/understand or maybe just get some things straight, as learning how to do all this is a fine balance with me, as i remember when i knew owt about intervals und suchlike, but we all 'ave ears, i know i don't 'ave to explain that to ya, so i kinda like not knowing some things or being certain, sorta... cos then, in my mind, there's still some, searching, finding, stumbling even whatever left, this can all lead to... you all know exactly what, I know that.

muchas gracias people
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Peevy » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:40 am

Glad that's sorted then ...
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby alexis » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:12 am

LdashD wrote:
alexis wrote:Bbm vs. A#m ... zero difference, it's just a name.

There's me thinking some of you lot are clever eh, could be the way i worded it?
Nope, cos Alexis says zilch, no diff, so remember me an' 'im are the clever clogs ...

I don't think that there was any actual conflict in the information you quoted here, vs. the information posted elsewhere in the thread, except maybe the point brought out by Mixedup that it would not necessarily hold for just temperament, which is way beyond my head as a keyboard player who thinks harmonics are things that only guitar gods can call forth. I think the other threads added very helpful information to the basics, IMO.

And also (but actually, as it were), I wish I hadn't answered so dogmatically-like, because looking back, I wonder if I'm not so sure as I thought I was when I typed that, being further removed at the time from the last dose of lithium taken, as it so happens.

So, any confirmation (is that what Ms. Jeanie *just* did?) or otherwise would be *equally* appreciated! At least until the next dose! :)
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby ef37a » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:40 am

"so just to save your breath, especially if you're a wind player,"

Ah! Now! Why are wind instruments always, AFAIK, specified by the "flat", e.g B flat clarinet. E flat trumpet and not the corresponding sharp? And why does my reply not wrap properly at the end of the page please?

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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby Guest » Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:56 am

[quote="
And also (but actually, as it were), I wish I hadn't answered so dogmatically-like, because looking back, I wonder if I'm not so sure as I thought I was when I typed that, being further removed at the time from the last dose of lithium taken, as it so happens. [/quote]

Makes perfect sense to me, well when i say sense I don't mean sense in the way you think I do, not that you or any body else knows how i think, well not not unless you have some kinda super power, when i say super power, i don't mean super in the sense that.. look let me keep this simple for you are you with me so far not too diff to understand what i'm asking here is it, you do get my drift do you not...

yes the answer was already there even wiv aitche's, Haitche's, er, H's reply but i still didn't know why you mark the stave with one or the other, I'm also assuming that the dual note monikers only arise because, in a individual note situation you're sharpening or flattening that particular note...

I've been preparing my next query off-line and even i'm querying it now, so I'll try to iron it out, get to the point, and stop going round the bleedin' 'ouses, but some of these clever clogs 'ave gotta stop getting the wrong end of the USB (stick,) I'll do my part, 'opefully, but i still maintain that other lot need to get up to speed wiv me an' you bruv, jus' don't tell 'em that's wot i said mate.

Thank you one"]n' all
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby molecular » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:16 pm

I can't tell if this thread is still "open" or not, but just to add a +1 to what Jeanie said.

You only really need to choose between the two when it comes to communicating what to play to other people. If this question is about what you tell other people, then Bb is the one, purely because it's easier to read and understand when it comes to charts and chords.

If on the other hand you'd written a piece of music in G# or C# major for some reason, then the chord in question would be an A#m, not a Bbm.

I'm not sure about this equal temperament question when it comes to keys, though...

Isn't it the case that as long as the first note in the scale is at whatever frequency we normally assign to A#/Bb, then a non-tempered scale on that fundamental will be what it is, regardless of what we call it...? So it's still up to you what to call it? Is it not just that the notes that make up an A#m/Bbm would be slightly different if that chord appeared in different keys, using non-tempered scales?
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby molecular » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:20 pm

The Korff wrote:It's possible that, if you were getting a piano tuner in to tune a piano to A#m, some of the accidentals in would be at different frequencies compared to if you'd had the piano tuned to Bbm, but that's a different story altogether!

It's this bit I don't understand - I was always under the impression that the accidentals would be slightly different if they tuned to Bbm or Abm... but won't the piano in both the above cases just be tuned around whatever frequency is chosen as A#/Bb, And they would only differ if you were tuning the piano to a key that wasn't either of them?
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Re: Black notes sharp or flat ?

Postby alexis » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:39 pm

molecular wrote:
The Korff wrote:It's possible that, if you were getting a piano tuner in to tune a piano to A#m, some of the accidentals in would be at different frequencies compared to if you'd had the piano tuned to Bbm, but that's a different story altogether!

It's this bit I don't understand - I was always under the impression that the accidentals would be slightly different if they tuned to Bbm or Abm... but won't the piano in both the above cases just be tuned around whatever frequency is chosen as A#/Bb, And they would only differ if you were tuning the piano to a key that wasn't either of them?

This I would have chosen on a test also. Ready to be skooled, prn.
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