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Old 03-01-2017, 02:51 PM   #1
Megan
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Bb or A#

When playing arriving on a B note and then the next note calls for A# , my finger on the B note obviously moves to the black key for A# which is also Bb . Now my simple question is, why is the note printed on the music sheet as an A# and not Bb, as my finger had to move from a B note.

Hope that's not too muddled. If you follow what mean.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:26 PM   #2
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Bb and A# are the same key on the piano, and the same pitch in general in equal temperament, but which one is written depends on the note's function in the scale or chord you are playing. For example, if you are playing a harmonic B minor scale, you would play these notes:

B C# D E F# G A# B

It's A# here, because you raise the 7th note of the natural minor scale by a half step to get the harmonic minor. (Every letter gets used once.)
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Bb and A# are the same key on the piano, and the same pitch in general in equal temperament, but which one is written depends on the note's function in the scale or chord you are playing. For example, if you are playing a harmonic B minor scale, you would play these notes:

B C# D E F# G A# B

It's A# here, because you raise the 7th note of the natural minor scale by a half step to get the harmonic minor. (Every letter gets used once.)

Thanks Chris, The key sig. is F# and C# So does that mean I am using the scale of B harmonic minor ? I no longer have my old tutor to ask. But I feel I should have remembered this. Think I concentrate on practice and not enough theory.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:04 PM   #4
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That is the key signature of B minor, so it's possible.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan View Post
Thanks Chris, The key sig. is F# and C# So does that mean I am using the scale of B harmonic minor ? I no longer have my old tutor to ask. But I feel I should have remembered this. Think I concentrate on practice and not enough theory.
Yes A# is the 7th note of B minor and that also fits with the key signature. For a piece in F major then your A# would have been a Bb which is the key signature of that key.

The easiest way to think it is to forget the accidentals temporarily and appreciate that you have to have a consecutive series of letters in a scale, you cannot repeat a letter. For example in either B minor or major the series runs B C D E F G A B so the 7th has to be A# not Bb.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:39 PM   #6
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Yes A# is the 7th note of B minor and that also fits with the key signature. For a piece in F major then your A# would have been a Bb which is the key signature of that key.

The easiest way to think it is to forget the accidentals temporarily and appreciate that you have to have a consecutive series of letters in a scale, you cannot repeat a letter. For example in either B minor or major the series runs B C D E F G A B so the 7th has to be A# not Bb.
Thank you Peter, it is all a lot clearer once again.

The analogy is like learning a language, I have been concentrating too much on the vocabulary, which is the actual practicing and not enough on the grammar , which is the theory.
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