#1
Just need to clear up some confusion.

Is there any "proper way" to name a scale if the root note is an enharmonic?

For example, why is the Bb scale not A#?

Or can it go both ways, and what decides the naming?
#2
the A# major scale would go A# B# C## D# E# F## G## as you can see Bb is much simpler, Bb C D Eb F G A, you're right that they are enharmonically equivalent, but because you need to use each scale note to write the major scale, 2 flats is much easier than 10 sharps. Hope this helps...
#3
^ That.

Sometimes, like in the case of Ebm and D#m, there isn't a big difference or difference at all in the number of sharps and flats. At that point, it's up to the composer.
#4
You always name it with the scale that has the fewest flats or sharps. In the case of F# or Gb major, or Eb or D# minor either can be used as they have the same number of sharps or flats (six to be precise).
#5
you almost always go with whatever is simplest, it would be silly to start calling 'C major' 'Dbb major' and including about 14 flats, though it is technically possible...

there are some rare contextual situations where the most simple form is no used e.g. if you're in D major and may a key change UP one semitone (which would be weird i know) then you would have to use the 9 sharps of D#major as opposed to the 3 flats of Eb major since you have just transposed up it'd be wrong to start using flattened notes.
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#8
Quote by fade177
the A# major scale would go A# B# C## D# E# F## G## as you can see Bb is much simpler, Bb C D Eb F G A, you're right that they are enharmonically equivalent, but because you need to use each scale note to write the major scale, 2 flats is much easier than 10 sharps. Hope this helps...


Ok... so why does the A# scale have B# instead of C, but the Bb scale has C instead of Db?

And why does the A# scale have so many sharps all together, instead of only having the two the Bb has?

Hope that makes sense.
#9
Because you have to have one of each note in a scale (eg. D E F etc.).
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#10
Quote by rock_n_roll124
Ok... so why does the A# scale have B# instead of C, but the Bb scale has C instead of Db?


Because C =/= Db

Quote by rock_n_roll124

And why does the A# scale have so many sharps all together, instead of only having the two the Bb has?


Because with 2 sharps you cant make an A# scale, as mentioned above.
(unless you say A# C D D# F G A which is hideous and false)

I really dont get the problem.
Last edited by deHufter at Aug 23, 2009,
#11
Quote by rock_n_roll124
Ok... so why does the A# scale have B# instead of C, but the Bb scale has C instead of Db?

And why does the A# scale have so many sharps all together, instead of only having the two the Bb has?

Hope that makes sense.


Major scales are named diatonically. This means they have to use every note name exactly once while following the pattern of WWHWWWH (Whole step, whole step, half step, etc.). Also, scales that use sharps will use ONLY sharps and scales with flats will use ONLY flats. A Bb major scale is Bb C D Eb F G A. Bb to C is a whole step, C to D is a whole step, etc. It follows the pattern. The A# major scale (enharmonic to Bb) must follow the same pattern. (Note: the symbol 'x' is used for double sharps, NOT ##) We start with A#. A whole step from A# is B#. A whole step from B# is Cx. A half step from Cx is D#. A whole step from D# is E#. A whole step from E# is Fx. A whole step from Fx is Gx. A half step from Gx brings you back to your root, A#. This makes your scale A# B# Cx D# E# Fx Gx. You'll find the notes are the same as the Bb scale, just named differently.