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#995444 - 11/17/04 08:35 PM Key of "F" Sharp
DarenT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Vancouver, BC
One of the tests in the course I am taking asks if the signature shows six sharps, what key is it in and what are the sharps. The answer is that it is in the key of F sharp and the six sharps are F,C,G,D,A and E. But how can you sharp an E, there is no black key next to it?

Thank you.
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Progressing, slowly, but progressing.

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#995445 - 11/17/04 09:27 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
E# is the same key as F, but it's name is still E#.

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#995446 - 11/17/04 09:38 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
E# is the F key. Fb is the E key.
B# is the C key. Cb is the B key.

The idea is the half step. See Enharmonic.

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#995447 - 11/18/04 03:11 AM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Cryptkeeper Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/29/04
Posts: 114
Loc: Belgium
Like lightning says, don't think of sharp and flats like 'it the black key above or the black key below the note'

Sharp means you have to go half a step up, flat means you have to go half a step down.
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#995448 - 11/18/04 06:32 AM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
mound Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 782
Loc: Rochester, NY
The piece I'm working on right now (Malaguena) has a bunch of E#'s in it.. I tell ya, when I first started digging in, I kept missing them \:\)


This is called "Enharmonic spelling" of notes - when you "spell it" differently depending on the key of the piece.

Check Here for more on that.

-Paul
_________________________
"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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#995449 - 11/18/04 08:22 AM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210
My guess is that Daren should now be at the point of thinking "Who invented this system anyway? And why in the world this way?" \:\)

I certainly was there then (not very long ago), and I was thinking "Lets see, if there were only 6 notes in the diatonic scales, then ...."

But when you accept it, it grows on you, and it doent seem nearly so awkward later on.

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#995450 - 11/18/04 10:42 AM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
DarenT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/18/04
Posts: 96
Loc: Vancouver, BC
"My guess is that Daren should now be at the point of thinking "Who invented this system anyway? And why in the world this way?"..........Right on!

" Like lightning says, don't think of sharp and flats like 'it the black key above or the black key below the note'

Sharp means you have to go half a step up, flat means you have to go half a step down."........Excellent clarification. Why don't the teachers talk like this!

Thank you everybody. I can now get on with trying to actually play the music.
_________________________
Progressing, slowly, but progressing.

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#995451 - 11/18/04 03:19 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
"Why don't the teachers talk like this!"

Most do. Mine sure did.

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#995452 - 11/21/04 06:23 AM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
ONCE UPON A TIME
When the first keyboard musicians were bashing white ivories way back in the year dot (sometime after the Middle Ages) somebody came up with the idea of adding an extra note or two to add a bit more zing to those chappies who were damaging ear-drums in the mononous key of C - very wearing on the equanimity of Castle stay-over mother-in-law!!

Well, some open spaces were discovered in which to squeeze the extra notes - in particular between the TONE steps of the C Major scale.

Some lyre-twanging peasant is credited with having worked out a versatile chromatic scale of 12 basic notes each a semitone apart. The Well-tempered scale - Rah! RAh! Gadzooks!!

But then came the rub.

"There is no space on our alphabet 5-line stave for all these extra notes " quoth Montmorency Twit - President of the May-Day Fairies". What are we going to do?" he gasped.

It should be pointed out that the keyboard lads were so used to reading their boring music in the key of C, that the thought of a change of stave was furthest from their minds. But what to do?

Cometh the moment.... enter the most diabolical villain in musical history.
Snake-in-the Grass crawled out from under a stone and amazed the conservative company with a villainous plot to hang on to the antiquated but familiar 5-line stave.

President Twit could but beam and handed the floor to Snake.

"So few today use the extra notes" hissed the Snake and followed
"It would be absurd to alter the 5-line stave for the sake of a tiny minority".
His slit-eyes narrowed as he observed his words gaining support - time for the punch-line.
"Why don't we name the extra notes as vassals of the 7 white notes".

Everyone clapped and the motion was carried - a parting word of thanks and the serpent slithered back under his rock.

Sadly.... THEY DIDN'T LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

And so we have the laughable 2004 Computer Age situation where the author of this thread asks a neat qustion "But how can you sharp an E, there is no black key next to it?"

A key such as F# Major with 6 sharps is a "nonsense" because there are only 5 black keys.

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#995453 - 11/21/04 09:35 AM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Bob Muir Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/01/03
Posts: 2653
Loc: Lakewood, WA, USA
btb, a semitone up or a semitone down is just a semitone. Black and white have nothing to do with it. Once sharps and flats are defined properly (aka, not defined in reference to black keys), then it all makes perfect sense. At least it does to me.

I'm currently learning "I Wonder as I Wander" in Bb-minor (five flats). When I see the note D in the sheet music, I don't think of Db. Since I'm in that scale, when I see D in the music, I think of and reach for the black key between C and D.

For each new piece I learn, I try and get one in a scale that I'm unfamiliar with to make it easier to learn my scales. That way the scale has musical context to me.

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#995454 - 11/21/04 09:06 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi Bob,

You give a good face to accidentals.

Easy sight-reading with single note outlines but
increasingly more difficult with accidental rich key signatures and multi-fingered notes in both hands.

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#995455 - 11/22/04 08:15 AM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Here's something I always found helpful with "complicated" key signatures.

It's actually EASIER to play the black notes! Truly, they're so conveniently located. Try playing a D major scale, then play the C major scale. Isn't the D major scale actually easier to play? That F# and C# are so conveniently located right underneath your fingers? In C major, you have no "landmarks" to follow, nothing irregular to ground you or spring from.

I think we all freak out when we see all those sharps and flats but honestly, they're just notes, and I really do find that most of those key sigs (but not all) are actually easier to play than C major. Don't be fooled, and don't get into the habit of freaking out at complicated key signatures, because it will be a pain forever if you do.

One big tip: when you're learning a new piece, play the scales for that key signature a couple of times before you start to play the piece. That will help get your fingers ready for the sharps or flats. I find that really helps me.

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#995456 - 11/22/04 03:40 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
ragtimebg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 180
Loc: California
keys with lots of sharps and flats are harder to read and get right the first time through (for me, at least, who never gets anything right the first time through)...but by and large they do play easier than C--I've tried to play the Maple Leaf rag in G, instead of A flat...no way..
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I have a new mistress. She's black and curvy and pretty and sounds great and has great legs. I call her "Petrof".

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#995457 - 11/27/04 12:59 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
pianafetish Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/04
Posts: 139
Loc: Greenville, NC
i have a tip for you: go to MSN.com and type in 'Virtual Piano Chords' and go to one of their many websites if you want to know where certain keys [chords] are located on the piano.

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#995458 - 11/27/04 01:04 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
Lightnin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/17/04
Posts: 210

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#995459 - 11/27/04 01:11 PM Re: Key of "F" Sharp
pianafetish Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/04
Posts: 139
Loc: Greenville, NC
thank you, Lightnin'. that's EXACTLY what i was talking about.

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