#1
When I get sharps and flats when writing out major scales, how do I know which one to use?

I'm having problems with C# because I'm writing them all out.
#2
i do not understand

edit: nevermind i know what your saying, I would use the circle of fifths

http://music.shsu.edu/files/music_theory.pdf

scroll down to section 5 (V), key signatures, it shows you which sharps/flats are in what key/major scale
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Last edited by sacamano79 at Apr 30, 2008,
#3
the major scale is diatonic so it has to have every letter a-g in it once so in keys/scales you have no choice but to write the notes as sharps or flats

C# major is C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#

but for instance the in the key of Gmajor there is 1 sharp and you would right it like this

G A B C D E F# G because it needs 1 of everynote

it cannot be G A B C D E Gb G

the Gb and F# are enharmonic. which basically means they are different notes but have the same sound in a nut shell

some instruments can play these notes as 2 different sounds but not the guitarEDIT not the 12 tet system we use nomally. on a fretless or 19 tet you can
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Last edited by lbc_sublime at Apr 30, 2008,
#4
all i know is you can only use each name once, so if you have C you have to have Db instead of C# if that is the note you have. C# has all 7 sharps i believe ... correct me if im wrong

EDIT: ^ theres a good post lol
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#5
dude, first learn the sharps order.

F-C-G-D-A-E-B (make some phrase to learn em)

then think on the scale you wanna do (For example B) and in the note below it (below B is A) Then count the sharps order until you get to A (FCGDA) And those notes make the key to B major scale

did ya understand?
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#6
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
When I get sharps and flats when writing out major scales, how do I know which one to use?
You use every letter once (in every 7-tone scale, so most scales you will use). For instance, you would write F major as F G A Bb C D E rather than F G A A# C D E.
#7
Yeah I understood it had one of every letter but doesn't the major scale go whole whole half whole whole whole half? If I did that for C# wouldnt it go C# D# F F# G# A# C C#???
#9
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
Yeah I understood it had one of every letter but doesn't the major scale go whole whole half whole whole whole half? If I did that for C# wouldnt it go C# D# F F# G# A# C C#???



you are not using every letter once you have 2 C's and and 2 f's

i know these are different notes but that is why you use every letter once not evrynote once in case that clears anything up

just like the Gmajor example i gave you you can't use Gb and G there has to be the F in there and in the case of Gmajor it is F#

EDIT the Gb and F# are played at the same fret that is why they are enharmonicbut you are forced to use #'s or b's because of the way the scale is formed

you will notice some scale have to use flats or sharps to achieve using every letter once it will just come to you in time probably not that long either
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Last edited by lbc_sublime at Apr 30, 2008,
#10
Quote by lbc_sublime
you are not using every letter once you have 2 C's and and 2 f's

i know these are different notes but that is why you use every letter once not evrynote once in case that clears anything up

just like the Gmajor example i gave you you can't use Gb and G there has to be the F in there and in the case of Gmajor it is F#



^ right

1 letter name to represent each individual scale step. You will never have a letter used more than once.
#11
Thanks for the help guys towards my last post I started to understand and now I fully understand how to write the major scales out. I've written/still writing them all out.

Just wondering, would I write an E# major scale? I've got the enharmonic ones covered but I was just wondering if I should do E# and B#?
#12
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
Thanks for the help guys towards my last post I started to understand and now I fully understand how to write the major scales out. I've written/still writing them all out.

Just wondering, would I write an E# major scale? I've got the enharmonic ones covered but I was just wondering if I should do E# and B#?

You can certainly write it as E# and B# do exist, it'd look like this if I'm thinking clearly (x is double sharp):
E# Fx Gx A# B# Cx Dx

But it's enharmonic to the F major scale, which you'll see instead of E#; I've never seen a piece revolving around the E# scale.
Last edited by :-D at May 1, 2008,
#14
Quote by demonofthenight
Just out of curiosity, when would you use a E# or B# scale?

Like I said, I've never seen it used just out of practical considerations. I'd also be interested if somebody's ever seen a use for either one though.
#15
Quote by :-D
Like I said, I've never seen it used just out of practical considerations. I'd also be interested if somebody's ever seen a use for either one though.

The only practical application I can see is in just intonation, in which case it would sound different to F major, but under modern systems, and with modern applications in mind, there is no real use for it. Unless you wanted to show off your amazing knowledge of course.
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#16
Quote by Taydr
The only practical application I can see is in just intonation, in which case it would sound different to F major, but under modern systems, and with modern applications in mind, there is no real use for it. Unless you wanted to show off your amazing knowledge of course.
Hmmm I hope ordinary didnt get to you

I've never understood just intonation, it confuses the hell out of me. Could you explain? Equal temperement makes me really appreciative of bach.
#17
Quote by demonofthenight
I've never understood just intonation, it confuses the hell out of me. Could you explain? Equal temperement makes me really appreciative of bach.

I know it had something to do with all intervals being related by whole-number ratios, but I don't remember exactly what the implications of this were.
#18
Quote by demonofthenight
Hmmm I hope ordinary didnt get to you

I've never understood just intonation, it confuses the hell out of me. Could you explain? Equal temperement makes me really appreciative of bach.

Nah, I just occasionally like putting up really stupid key signatures like E# Major in music class, just to annoy the theory newbs.

Just intonation is a more precise way of playing notes. Essentially notes like E# sound about a quarter of a tone higher than F. In E# major every note would sound approximately a quarter tone higher than the notes in F major. Bit hard to explain.
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#19
Quote by :-D
I know it had something to do with all intervals being related by whole-number ratios, but I don't remember exactly what the implications of this were.
The implications was that each note of the scale was not exactly 100 cents away from each other note, causing some notes to be intune and others to be out of tune. This means you'd need a different piano for each different key, if you wanted to accuratly transpose something.

How you would write music and how it effects the consonance and dissonance in music is beyond me. Thank god for equal temperment.
#20
Quote by demonofthenight
The implications was that each note of the scale was not exactly 100 cents away from each other note, causing some notes to be intune and others to be out of tune. This means you'd need a different piano for each different key, if you wanted to accuratly transpose something.

Yes, that was it! Thanks for clearing that up.
#21
Quote by demonofthenight
The implications was that each note of the scale was not exactly 100 cents away from each other note, causing some notes to be intune and others to be out of tune. This means you'd need a different piano for each different key, if you wanted to accuratly transpose something.

How you would write music and how it effects the consonance and dissonance in music is beyond me. Thank god for equal temperment.

Pretty much. Though out of tune is a bit wrong seeing as in just intonation they would be in tune.

You would write music exactly the same as with ET. The consonance and dissonance wouldn't be affected if you had an entire band playing in JI, but if you added an instrument like a piano, you get some "interesting" effects.

Unfortunately, my band leader likes me to play trombone with JI, even though everyone else is using ET. Normally though, I just play ET to fit in.
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#22
Quote by Taydr
Pretty much. Though out of tune is a bit wrong seeing as in just intonation they would be in tune.

You would write music exactly the same as with ET. The consonance and dissonance wouldn't be affected if you had an entire band playing in JI, but if you added an instrument like a piano, you get some "interesting" effects.

Unfortunately, my band leader likes me to play trombone with JI, even though everyone else is using ET. Normally though, I just play ET to fit in.
Lawl

A piano tuned to just intonation will sound different in each key, this is what confuses me. Like aparently Eb in just intonation is the brightest key, but F# is the darkest and D minor is the saddest or something. How would anyone know how a note sounded over a chord? All my knowledge of intervals would go out the window, cause a b6 over one chord would sound different to another chord. It all makes perfect non-sense to me.
#23
Quote by demonofthenight
Lawl

A piano tuned to just intonation will sound different in each key, this is what confuses me. Like aparently Eb in just intonation is the brightest key, but F# is the darkest and D minor is the saddest or something. How would anyone know how a note sounded over a chord? All my knowledge of intervals would go out the window, cause a b6 over one chord would sound different to another chord. It all makes perfect non-sense to me.

A piano tuned to just intonation would just be bloody confusing. The amount of keys would more than double. But then again anything to do with just intonation is a pain in the ass. As you say: "It all makes perfect non-sense".
Ka pu te ruha ka hao te rangatahi.
#24
Nah, I just occasionally like putting up really stupid key signatures like E# Major in music class, just to annoy the theory newbs
I'm pretty sure you can't actually have a key signature for E#. Our system of notation only allows 7 accidentals in the key signature. This is for the same reason as using every letter once and only once - to make reading and writing music simpler.

How would anyone know how a note sounded over a chord? All my knowledge of intervals would go out the window, cause a b6 over one chord would sound different to another chord.
I think it would all be pretty similar, just slight differences. I guess you would eventually learn the characteristics of each key, and how to use them.
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#25
Quote by demonofthenight
How would anyone know how a note sounded over a chord? All my knowledge of intervals would go out the window, cause a b6 over one chord would sound different to another chord.
F over Am is going to sound the same as Bb over Dm unless you have perfect pitch.

However, F over Am is going to sound very different than F over Dm.
#26
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
Thanks for the help guys towards my last post I started to understand and now I fully understand how to write the major scales out. I've written/still writing them all out.

Just wondering, would I write an E# major scale? I've got the enharmonic ones covered but I was just wondering if I should do E# and B#?



You could as a theoretical exercise. Chances are though that you will never see either of those key signatures. So out of interest, just to test your scale construction skills, why not.

Quote by demonofthenight
Lawl

and D minor is the saddest or something.



LOL dude

its funny how many people dont realize that "D minor is the saddest of all keys" is a JOKE from the movie spinal tap.

Quote by Ænimus Prime
I'm pretty sure you can't actually have a key signature for E#. Our system of notation only allows 7 accidentals in the key signature. This is for the same reason as using every letter once and only once - to make reading and writing music simpler.

I think it would all be pretty similar, just slight differences. I guess you would eventually learn the characteristics of each key, and how to use them.


That is correct sir.
Most people (if not all) will never see either of those as key signatures at the beginning of a piece of music. You can create those scales by following the scale formulas starting on those notes, but there is no practical reason to write in either B# or E#
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 1, 2008,
#27
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I'm pretty sure you can't actually have a key signature for E#. Our system of notation only allows 7 accidentals in the key signature. This is for the same reason as using every letter once and only once - to make reading and writing music simpler.

Indeed our system of notation only allows for seven accidentals. However it is still possible to write a key signature for E# major. By using double sharps we still only have seven accidentals. So the E# major scale would be: E# Fx Gx A# B# Cx Dx E#. The key signature would contain four double sharps, ands three sharps.\

The same thing can also be done for flats. Eg.
Fb major is Fb Gb Ab Bbb Cb Db Eb Fb. The key signature would contain one double flat, and six flats. As you can see this still only uses seven accidentals, and each letter is used only once.

I admit though it is a hell of a lot easier just to use the enharmonic equivalents.
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#28
By using double sharps we still only have seven accidentals. So the E# major scale would be: E# Fx Gx A# B# Cx Dx E#. The key signature would contain four double sharps, ands three sharps.\

The same thing can also be done for flats. Eg.
Fb major is Fb Gb Ab Bbb Cb Db Eb Fb. The key signature would contain one double flat, and six flats. As you can see this still only uses seven accidentals, and each letter is used only once
I'm pretty sure you can't use double sharps or double flats in a key signature either. Again, it's to make reading and writing easier.
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#29
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I'm pretty sure you can't use double sharps or double flats in a key signature either. Again, it's to make reading and writing easier.

I've never seen anything to say you can't, although it's quite possible. Either way it's better just to use enharmonic equivalents, saves everyone some trouble.
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#30
Perhaps it's theoretically possible to write a key signature for the key of E#, but it's also possible to throw a pencil in the air, have it land on the tip, go to and return from work, and find the pencil still on its tip.


Don't write something in E#. Anyone performing your music will walk out, or stab you with their PRS guitar.
#31
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Perhaps it's theoretically possible to write a key signature for the key of E#, but it's also possible to throw a pencil in the air, have it land on the tip, go to and return from work, and find the pencil still on its tip.


Don't write something in E#. Anyone performing your music will walk out, or stab you with their PRS guitar.

Like I said earlier, I only use E# when I want to prove a point to some idiot in my music class who thinks they know what they're talking about, when they can't tell me what note comes after F in an ascending C major scale.
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#32
Quote by Taydr
Like I said earlier, I only use E# when I want to prove a point to some idiot in my music class who thinks they know what they're talking about, when they can't tell me what note comes after F in an ascending C major scale.
No no no! You misunderstood me. E# has actual uses and its use is not ridiculous. However, the key of E# is (why wouldn't you call it F???).

What does come after F in a C major scale? How is it not G?
#33
Quote by bangoodcharlote
No no no! You misunderstood me. E# has actual uses and its use is not ridiculous. However, the key of E# is (why wouldn't you call it F???).

What does come after F in a C major scale? How is it not G?

I meant the key, not the note. Sorry for not making that clear.

It is G. Like I said idiots who don't know that try to tell me what theory is what. Annoys me no end.
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