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#1114898 - 02/07/06 08:50 AM Possibly the easiest question ever
josuff247 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 169
This may be very basic, but I need to know so I dont mess up from the start.

When a flat sign appears in the begining of a measure, I know the flat goes for every instance unless it is canceled with a natural, but does it go for all octaves of that note? For example given this Bass clef


O
---------------

---------------

---------------

-b----O--------

---------------

Would the top B be flat as well? or is it just the line that had the flat symbol.

Sorry if this is a super easy question.

Thanks.
_________________________
http://frostykeys.wordpress.com/

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#1114899 - 02/07/06 08:53 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
dvdiva Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 249
Loc: Manila
Yup! The flat applies to all the B's on the keyboard \:\)

It's a fairly common question. I didn't learn that till later. \:\)

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#1114900 - 02/07/06 09:54 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Suz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Midwest
I don't think this is an easy question. dvdiva, are you sure about this? I am not sure that the accidental applies to all octaves. Hopefully, the composer or editor would make things very clear in this case.

I found this in Wikipedia (I don't know if this is actually correct, but at least it mentions the situation):
Since about 1700, accidentals have been understood to continue for the remainder of the measure in which they occur, so that a subsequent note on the same staff position is still affected by that accidental, unless replaced by an accidental of its own. Notes on other staff positions, including those an octave away, are unaffected. Once a barline is passed, the effect of the accidental ends, except when a note affected by an accidental (either explicit or implied from earlier in the measure) is tied to the same note across a barline; ...

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#1114901 - 02/07/06 10:34 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Shortcircuit85 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 535
Loc: New Hampshire
Yes, it applies to all octaves, and no this is not a stupid question. You should be able to play a note with confidence that you are playing the right one! Don't be afraid to ask if you aren't sure!

I wouldn't trust Wikipedia on this. Maybe in the past, an accidental did not apply to all octaves, but it certainly does today. I personally love and hate Wikipedia. It's a great source for quick info, but you do have to take some of the definitions with a grain of salt. They are freely editable (or maligned) by anyone!
_________________________
Andrew - Shortcircuit85

If you were not sane, you would never misunderstand this question or the consequences of not comprehending its meaning.

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#1114902 - 02/07/06 10:47 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Hobie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 475
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Hi Everyone

The term "accidental" refers to sharps/flats that are added within measures. They do not apply to all registers, just that certain note. Once a note has been changed to a sharp or flat it remains that way for the rest of the measure, after that it returns to being natural. The "key signature" is what the original post asked about. Those are the sharps/flats that appear before the time signature of a piece. Those indicate the tonal center or "key" of the music, and apply to all of the octaves on the piano. Those are not considered "accidentals". That is why Wiki said that.

Hope this helps.
_________________________
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

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#1114903 - 02/07/06 10:56 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
An accidental only applies to the note in question - not to any other octaves of that note.
_________________________
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#1114904 - 02/07/06 10:58 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Rodney Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/28/04
Posts: 735
Loc: Caledon ON, Canada
Hobie is absolutely correct. Sharps and Flats appearing in the key signature apply for all octaves and all measures unless explicitly changed by accidentals. Accidentals appearing in a measure apply only to the note which they indicate )not any other octave) and remain natural/sharp/flat until either another accidental changes it or until the measure is complete, at which point it returns to the note (natural, sharp or flat) as indicated by the key signature.

Great Question!!!

Rodney

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#1114905 - 02/07/06 11:22 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
vitamin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/05
Posts: 39
Loc: UK
 Quote:
Originally posted by josuff247:
This may be very basic, but I need to know so I dont mess up from the start.

When a flat sign appears in the begining of a measure, I know the flat goes for every instance unless it is canceled with a natural, but does it go for all octaves of that note? [/b]
No. According to the ABRSM guide to music theory it applies only to the line or space on which it is written.
_________________________
vitamin

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#1114906 - 02/07/06 11:40 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Suz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/10/05
Posts: 269
Loc: Midwest
ooops, sorry. I didn't realize josuff was referring to key signature. In any case, in the case of true accidentals, I hope the editor would normally make things very clear, so there is no ambiguity.

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#1114907 - 02/07/06 11:41 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
If the symbol is not attached to a note, then as Hobie said, it's part of a key signature.

If there is a key signature written in a measure, then it is changing the key from that point onward, so it is applicable throughout all the octaves and in all measures after that point until it is changed again.

If the symbol is attached to a note, then it is modifying only that note and any other notes on that particular line or space on the staff in the remain part of that measure only. In the next measure, the note and line/space revert to the current key signature.

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#1114908 - 02/07/06 12:06 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4533
This is not an simple question. If there is
an extra sharp or flat in a measure--
say, a Bb-- it should mean that all
B's, in that measure only, that are on the same
line or space as that flatted B, are also
to be flatted.

But note the difference of opinion
in this thread. Apparently, there is some
question about this, and thus in sht. music
you see extraneous accidentals put in
to make things clearer. For example,
if a B is flatted in a measure,
and there is also a B an octave higher
in that measure, the publisher will usually
put a natural or flat on that higher
B, accordingly as it is to be flatted
also, or left natural. And publishers will
sometimes put a natural on the B in the
following measure on the same line or space
as that flatted B--even though the flat
in the previous measure applies just to
that measure.

But sometimes the publishers don't put an
extra accidental an octave higher or in
the next measure, so where does that
leave you then? In such a case the
score could be considered ambiguous and
you'd need to check it with another score.

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#1114909 - 02/07/06 12:21 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Glyptodont Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 377
Loc: Wisconsin
Gyro writes:

"This is not an simple question. If there is
an extra sharp or flat in a measure--
say, a Bb-- it should mean that all
B's, in that measure only, that are on the same
line or space as that flatted B, are also
to be flatted."

No, not really. Using his example, only the B's in that measure FOLLOWING the accidental will be flatted.

And really, I do not feel there's anything complicated about this. Some of the posters above were just plain wrong. It's that simple. Now they or their sympathizers are just scrambling desperately to "cover." Trying to make a case for "not necessarily" and fudge the issue. Why not just write, "sorry, I was wrong?"

Rodney seems to put the accurate situation most clearly and succinctly.
_________________________
the Glyptodont

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#1114910 - 02/07/06 12:33 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
josuff247 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 169
Hey All, It seems I may have confused some of you with my question,
Let me try to clear it up.

Say the "B" line of the bass cleff is flat.
This would mean all b's of that octave(line) for the rest of the song are flat. Would it mean that the "B" that is one octave higher is also flat, even though it is not noted. Alfred's book doesn't really go into it so that is why I am asking.

I notice if B is flat on the bass clef, it is noted that it is also flat on the trebel cleff

I wasn't refering to accidentals, but thanks for the input on that as well!
_________________________
http://frostykeys.wordpress.com/

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#1114911 - 02/07/06 12:51 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Shortcircuit85 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 535
Loc: New Hampshire
I stand corrected about accidentals. I opened some sheet music, and all the accidentals are "re-marked" when they reach a new octave which would make them new accidentals. I've never noticed that before. I guess I thought that because most accidentals are reused in later octaves as part of a minor scale or whatnot.

See, this is why there is no such thing as a question that is too easy. Half of use might be wrong about the easy ones!
_________________________
Andrew - Shortcircuit85

If you were not sane, you would never misunderstand this question or the consequences of not comprehending its meaning.

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#1114912 - 02/07/06 12:52 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Hobie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 475
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Josuff

Is this flat symbol directly after each bass clef? Or is this just some random measure in the song?

If the flat symbol is direcly after the bass clefs of the song then it is affecting all B's no matter where they are...for the entire song. This is called a key signature.

If this is just some random measure and the B is usually played natural, then the flat affects just that particular B...and only for that measure. That flat would be called an accidental.

It is hard to tell from your question what situation this is. That's why people are confused.
_________________________
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

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#1114913 - 02/07/06 01:14 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I just re-read the title of this thread. \:D \:D

Definitely not the easiest question ever!

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#1114914 - 02/07/06 01:47 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
josuff247 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 169
Hobie, yes it is the one right after the base clef. I realize my question was confusing. I tried clearing it up a few posts befor yours, but I guess still not so well \:\)

Thanks!
_________________________
http://frostykeys.wordpress.com/

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#1114915 - 02/07/06 01:51 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
ranakor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 131
the question is easy but the wording is ambigous so here is a clear recapitulation of what was said & is actually true

IF the flat/sharp is on the clef then it applies to all instances of the note on all staves

IF the flat/sharp is an accidental (it apears somewhere in a measure) it only applies to the actual note & all other instances of the same note on the same line (but not on other octaves) untill the end of the measure

IF in the 2nd case you see another of the same accidental on the same line in the same measure don't conclude it means it is a double accidental nor that it means that the 2nd rule is false & thus it needed re stated: it usually simply is here to remind you of the accidental

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#1114916 - 02/07/06 07:57 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
IrishMak Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 1614
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
How about a picture of what everyone is trying to explain? Josuff, maybe this will make it clearer for you?

www.thirtytwopaws.com/mak/Staff.htm
_________________________
-Mak

1889 Mason & Hamlin screwstringer upright
Kawai MP-4 digital

---------------------------
When life hands you lemons, throw them back and add some of your own. Stupid life.

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#1114917 - 02/09/06 11:43 AM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
josuff247 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 169
Irish Mask, The top portion of you picture answers my question exactly.


I am sorry to all for the confusion, Please Go easy on me, Im a newbie in all sences of the word:)
_________________________
http://frostykeys.wordpress.com/

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#1114918 - 02/09/06 02:13 PM Re: Possibly the easiest question ever
IrishMak Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 1614
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
Oh, no problem! We all were in that same position at one time or another. And you will never know the right answer unless you ask the question. Getting the basics correct from the start will only help you in the long run. And sometimes, a picture IS worth a thousand words! \:\)
_________________________
-Mak

1889 Mason & Hamlin screwstringer upright
Kawai MP-4 digital

---------------------------
When life hands you lemons, throw them back and add some of your own. Stupid life.

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