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Lesson 9: More on sharps and flats

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  • male robot hal style avatar for user WPfeifer45
    What mnemonic is everyone using? For the sharps I'm using Fast, Cars, Go, Down, Alleys, Every, Block. For flats I just remember B, E, A, D, G, C, F. because it is the same as sharps backwards.
    (6 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user ldwgvnbthvn
    In Mozart's Minuet above, why the corni and the trombe have to be transposed to D [with no key signature]? Why not write them in D major [sharp on F and C]? And what is the meaning of D.A.?
    (3 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Jacqueline Roman
    What is the rule of thumb to determine what key a piece of music is in based on the key signature? IE) F# indicates the piece is written in G
    (2 votes)
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  • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Ashley O'brien
    Is there a reason as to why we use flats and sharps instead of regular notes?
    (1 vote)
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  • duskpin seedling style avatar for user Amanda
    So let's say that we have a bass clef and 4 sharps in the key signature. Based on the order of the sharps, does that mean every F, C, G and D we see in that piece is a sharp? So for example F#, C#, G# and D# unless it is otherwise said in the piece correct?
    (1 vote)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user a101802
    is there a certain of notes you can play until you end a song or can you keep it going as long as you want?
    (1 vote)
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    • purple pi purple style avatar for user Actininium
      If you are composing a piece of music, you can make it as long as you want (although people may not want to listen to a ten hour-long piece). If you are playing a song that someone else wrote, it is proper form, at least in the classical genre, to end the song where the composer intended.
      (2 votes)
  • leafers sapling style avatar for user 孤軍 奮戰
    Hi! This question might be a bit irrevelant, but how long would it usually take to become proficient in sight reading? I am learning to play the piano, as of now, so would I have to learn how to play without looking at the keys?
    (1 vote)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user love_music33
      Actually, no. I play piano myself and hardly ever look away from the keys. Whether you are excellent at sight reading and don't even have to know where your fingers are, or you are able to memorize the music and keep your eyes on the keys, I suggest trying out both methods and seeing which one is the best fit for you. It takes a little bit of practice to have sight reading become a regular thing for you, though.
      (1 vote)
  • piceratops sapling style avatar for user 000
    So If I wanted all the A's to be A# I couldn't place the # at the beginning on the A line? Only all F's can be sharp unless I follow the pattern and make more sharps?
    -
    (1 vote)
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  • leafers seedling style avatar for user Carlana Van Houten
    i don't know what kind of acronym i can use for sharps on the key signatures, but i learned that the acronym for the flats is BEAD Gum Candy Fruit. any tips on an acronym to help remember the sharps?
    (1 vote)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user senuthmethmitha
    When there are 4 flats can we remember them as B.E.A.D
    (1 vote)
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Video transcript

- [Instructor] If we have music with two sharps in the key signature, those sharps are always F and C. Here is a minuet from Mozart's Posthorn Serenade. Notice the two sharps at the start of the movement. If we didn't have the two sharps at the start of the movement, look at all of the accidentals we would have to add. By putting the F and C sharps at the beginning of the line, the music becomes much easier to read. ("Posthorn Serenade" by Mozart) If we have three sharps in the key signature, the three notes that are sharped are F, C and G. This is the pattern. One sharp is an F. Two sharps, F and C. Three sharps, F, C and G. Four sharps, F, C, G, D. Five sharps, F, C, G, D, A. Six sharps, F, C, G, D, A, E. And seven sharps, F, C, G, D, A, E, B. With flats the pattern is one flat is always B as we've learned. Two flats, B and E. Three flats, B, E, A. Four flats, B, E, A, D. Five flats, B, E, A, D, G. Six flats, B, E, A, D, G, C. And seven flats, B, E, A, D, G, C, and F. I will analyze all of this for you in future lessons. Look at the second movement of Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony. Notice the five flats at the beginning of the line. Look at all of the notes that are affected by those five flats being in the key signature. ("Symphony No. 4" by Tchaikovsky)