I can see in notes always half-tones sharp and also flat...
but I can't see and hear any difference between ?

can someone explain me pleaese ?

I mean, isn't c# the same like d-flat ?
and if so, why it's written sometimes with sharp, and oterwise also with flat ?

I am from europe, so here we write for flat a little b ... hmmmm

thx a lot,
bernhard
C# = Db

It's just an alternative name, which I think is used when you come to writing something to do with scales or something, I can't remember, I don't study too much theory.
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We use the 'b' in the US too... I thought they were the same noise as well, just you can't call it the same as in writing a scale or something? I'm not much of a theory person.
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it doesn't really matter as long as you're playing the same note.
Yep, they're enharmonic.
It means it sounds the same but each one of them is found on a different scale/chord. (a scale can only have sharps or flats, not both).
Depends what key you are playing in. eg in E major you would have a D# but in say Bb the same note would be written as an Eb. I guess the ascending/descending thing would apply to accidentals (notes outside the scale).
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Quote by JamieB
C# = Db

It's just an alternative name, which I think is used when you come to writing something to do with scales or something, I can't remember, I don't study too much theory.
It's because every scale has to have one of every note. Like you can't have a G and a G#, it has to be Ab. Assuming there isn't an A in there as well.
In a diatonic scale, an individual note name may only occur once.
In the key of F for example, the major scale is: 'F, G, A, B♭, C, D, E, (F)'.
The 'B♭' is called 'B♭' rather than 'A♯' as we already have a note named 'A' in the scale.
The scale of F♯ major is: 'F♯, G♯, A♯, B, C♯, D♯, E♯, (F♯'; we use the 'A♯' instead of 'B♭' as we need the name 'B' to represent the 'B' note in the scale, and 'E♯' instead of 'F' as we need the name 'F' to represent the 'F♯' note in the scale.
Last edited by buckethead_jr at Sep 27, 2007,
It's because every scale has to have one of every note. Like you can't have a G and a G#, it has to be Ab. Assuming there isn't an A in there as well.

EXAMPLE: The Key of G major: G A B C D E F# G

You would NEVER write this as : G A B C D E Gb G

WHY? Because in staff notation, each line and space has a name on note per line, one note per space. In the first example, the key signature has the top line of the staff (treble clef) with a sharp (#). Therefore ANY time we see a note on the top line, or the bottom space (F) we play F#. We don't have to write in the sharp sign with each note. If we wrote Gb in the key of G, we would need to write a flat (b) EVERY TIME we played that note.
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Just makes it easier to write out in notation.
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It's all about the cycle of 5ths.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths

that and coincidentally enough it end up with each letter being used once for classical scales.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C D E F G A B C
G A B C D E F#G
D E F#G A B C#D
A B C#D E F#G#A
E F#G#A B C#D#E
B C#D#E F#G#A B
F#G#A#B C#D#E#F#

something like that, not all of it tho.
The cycle of fifths is good looking into, it's a great mechanism.
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EXAMPLE: The Key of G major: G A B C D E F# G

You would NEVER write this as : G A B C D E Gb G

WHY? Because in staff notation, each line and space has a name on note per line, one note per space. In the first example, the key signature has the top line of the staff (treble clef) with a sharp (#). Therefore ANY time we see a note on the top line, or the bottom space (F) we play F#. We don't have to write in the sharp sign with each note. If we wrote Gb in the key of G, we would need to write a flat (b) EVERY TIME we played that note.

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Depends, actually. On an even-tempered instrument like the piano, yes, C# and Db are the same note. On a stringed instrument like a violin, they're actually slightly different, which is why it's actually impossible to perfectly tune a guitar.
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Seeing as someone has mentioned equal tempering, it's worth going into a little explanation.

For about 300 years (In Western art music - or 'classical'), tuned instruments such as the piano have been "Tempered". The reason for this is that C# does not quite equal Db.

The waveforms for each of these notes are slightly out of sync, and if true C# and true Db are played together, one would hear a dissonance (Similar to the throbbing when you tune a guitar using harmonics, and the two strings in question are not quite in tune).

This meant that instruments such as the pipe organ, which were tuned during construction, rarely played in keys with lots of sharps and flats (Such as B = 6#'s; or Fminor = 4b's), because the inconsistent intervals between the notes of the scale (Which were produced using the same keys on the keyboard for G#/Ab etc) resulted in dissonances.

'Tempering' the keyboard (Which would have been an instrument such as a harpsichord or virginal, possibly a fortepiano - this is before the invention of the piano, remember!) is a method of tuning these accidentals (C#, Eb, F#, G#, Bb) 'wrongly' to make a compromise between, say, D# and Db.

This is the origin of the title of Bach's 'Well Tempered Clavier' book, which has pieces in all 24 keys (All 12 semitones, major and minor). I confess until relatively recently I thought that it was just a cute name for a standard anthology :-P

We are so conditioned to this system of notes now (and it saves having another 12 or so keys on the keyboard/frets on the fingerboard) that the discrepancy between semitones is barely noticeable (If you ignore microtonal music, and certain Eastern forms of classical music).

In short, yes, C# and Db are the same note, the two different forms are "Enharmonic" and their use depends on what key you are in. Also, sometimes in piano music chords may use a # sign in a key that is made of #'s (And vice-versa), or even double flat and sharp signs (!) to make the chords look a bit more 'normal' - i.e., looking like a triad. But that's a whole different can of worms.

Hope this helped!
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Depends, actually. On an even-tempered instrument like the piano, yes, C# and Db are the same note. On a stringed instrument like a violin, they're actually slightly different, which is why it's actually impossible to perfectly tune a guitar.

That make no sense whatsoever. A guitar and actually should be equal tempered just as a piano is, whenever used with other instruments that are equal tempered.

Many people tune their guitars in just tuning. When working alone, this makes for much more satisfying harmony between notes in many cases, in some it actually makes things worse.

However when working with a piano, a guitar should always be tuned in equal temperment for decent results. It sounds horrible to mix the two if the guitar is in just tuning.

... end of.
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wooow, I am impressed my friends, I've got sooo many anwers to my questions, THAT'S AWESOME - THANK YOU SO MUCH, I will read everything very good, and try to understand.

Hmm, I've never heared something about Enharmonics, but I will try to understand and think about that - writing notes is not really one of my strenghts.... but it's a shame, I am really sorry about that, and want to go back to the roots, and try to get as much knowledge as possible so I do understand....

hey guys, you all rock here - it's really amazing to get so much help,
god bless you all,

keep on rock'n,

bernhard
Yeah, they're enharmonic. It has to do really just with what key is being written in.
i didnt read to the others posts so sry if im regurgatating (sp?) old news, if a song is in the key of G major u will have all F's being # so ur mind is already fixated on a key which has a sharp in it and it is easier to play thru a piece of music imo when all the notes have the same accidental in front of it. so basically in a sharp key its easier to see all #'s to the human eye rather than some sharps and flats.

Hope this makes sense lol
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