Author Topic: Sharps 'n' Flats  (Read 3859 times)

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snyprrr

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Sharps 'n' Flats
« on: May 01, 2012, 06:30:30 AM »
I'm writing this piece (all chords) where each chord technically has nothing to do with the one that came before, or goes after. So, my question is: How do I keep the sharps and flats 'clear'?

EXAMPLE:

Chord1 has one note that is sharped. Then, Chord2 has that same note (in the treble), but has the natural note in the bass...


Oy, I have a feeling I don't have the words to explain my dilemma. OK,... can I deal with each chord separately?,... so that each chord is simply written as simply as possible to reduce confusion?,...so that if there is a D# in Chord1, that doesn't mean that the D in the next chord is sharped? Is this something I have to state in the 'Forward' to the piece?: Play Each Chord Exactly as Written?

Then... what about Chord1 having sharps, and then Chord2 has flats?

Oy,... now I'M confused! ???

HELP!! :o

Offline petrarch

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 04:35:25 PM »
I'm writing this piece (all chords) where each chord technically has nothing to do with the one that came before, or goes after. So, my question is: How do I keep the sharps and flats 'clear'?

EXAMPLE:

Chord1 has one note that is sharped. Then, Chord2 has that same note (in the treble), but has the natural note in the bass...


Oy, I have a feeling I don't have the words to explain my dilemma. OK,... can I deal with each chord separately?,... so that each chord is simply written as simply as possible to reduce confusion?,...so that if there is a D# in Chord1, that doesn't mean that the D in the next chord is sharped? Is this something I have to state in the 'Forward' to the piece?: Play Each Chord Exactly as Written?

Then... what about Chord1 having sharps, and then Chord2 has flats?

Oy,... now I'M confused! ???

HELP!! :o

It is common to find modern music scores that do away with the convention that a flat or a sharp affects all the same notes in the same bar (some modern music does away with bars entirely anyway). If you want to follow the convention, you use the natural sign to indicate that whatever accidental came before a previous instance of that note no longer applies.
//p
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snyprrr

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 05:44:46 AM »
It is common to find modern music scores that do away with the convention that a flat or a sharp affects all the same notes in the same bar (some modern music does away with bars entirely anyway). If you want to follow the convention, you use the natural sign to indicate that whatever accidental came before a previous instance of that note no longer applies.

I've been trying to follow the convention,... I can get easily confused with the shell game I'm playing with these chords...

Offline Luke

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 11:10:16 AM »
As Petrarch says, it's very common in contemporary scores to find pieces notated so that each accidental only affects the note it directly precedes. Thus dispensing with the need for natural signs. All you need is a simple note to that effect at the front of the score or in a footnote. It usually uses pretty much the words I just did - 'Each accidental only applies to the note it directly precedes' or something similar. Sounds to me like this might be the better way for the music you are describing - it suits music where note repetition is as a minimum.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 11:21:48 AM »
Hoy! A Luke sighting! : )
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 03:43:45 PM »
As Petrarch says, it's very common in contemporary scores to find pieces notated so that each accidental only affects the note it directly precedes. Thus dispensing with the need for natural signs. All you need is a simple note to that effect at the front of the score or in a footnote. It usually uses pretty much the words I just did - 'Each accidental only applies to the note it directly precedes' or something similar. Sounds to me like this might be the better way for the music you are describing - it suits music where note repetition is as a minimum.

Dude!    Speak more whereof thou knowest!  Or something like that!   0:)
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snyprrr

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 06:01:07 AM »
As Petrarch says, it's very common in contemporary scores to find pieces notated so that each accidental only affects the note it directly precedes. Thus dispensing with the need for natural signs. All you need is a simple note to that effect at the front of the score or in a footnote. It usually uses pretty much the words I just did - 'Each accidental only applies to the note it directly precedes' or something similar. Sounds to me like this might be the better way for the music you are describing - it suits music where note repetition is as a minimum.

As with many other things, Choose a way and stick with it! ;)

I have a feeling I'm going to have another question soon... a lot of the chords here have seconds and ninths,... what's the rule about mixing sharps and flats on a single chord? :o

Offline Cato

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 07:27:37 AM »
As with many other things, Choose a way and stick with it! ;)

I have a feeling I'm going to have another question soon... a lot of the chords here have seconds and ninths,... what's the rule about mixing sharps and flats on a single chord? :o

Well, depending on whether you are using a key signature, it might simply depend on orthography or the chord.

A cluster for examply of G#, A, Bb could sensibly only be notated that way.

Similarly, e.g. G# - Bb - D would perhaps be easier to read than G# - A# - D  or Ab - Bb - D, although the latter would be the way to do it, if you are using C minor.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline Luke

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 10:20:54 AM »
Hoy! A Luke sighting! : )

Dude!    Speak more whereof thou knowest!  Or something like that!   0:)

Hello boys  ;D What's been going on? I wish I had more time for this place, but right now I simply don't. It's been this way for some time and I suppose I should accept that it's going to stay this way too. Not an easy thing to accept, though, and I do come back as often as I can. Composing is on the backest of burners, which is agonising. Had a mini-commission for something for two flutes, piano and cello; also probably going to get The Lamb put on sometime next month. But all other projects on hold for now, though I'm burning to do them.

Come to think of it, this should be on my thread, shouldn't it? Haven't even looked at that one for ages...what a sorry state of affairs!!

Missing the old days....  :(  :'(

Offline Luke

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2012, 10:22:56 AM »
As with many other things, Choose a way and stick with it! ;)

I have a feeling I'm going to have another question soon... a lot of the chords here have seconds and ninths,... what's the rule about mixing sharps and flats on a single chord? :o

Oh, and - no single rule: context is all. If working outside tonality, just do what is most easily legible, sensible, logical and satisfying, I'd say.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 10:25:59 AM »
Be good to your performers, notationally, and they'll be good to you.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Cato

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 10:30:04 AM »
Be good to your performers, notationally, and they'll be good to you.

Oh, and - no single rule: context is all. If working outside tonality, just do what is most easily legible, sensible, logical and satisfying, I'd say.

Amen! 

Again, if it is easy to read, then you have followed "the rule" that rules all others!
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Offline petrarch

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2012, 11:53:02 AM »
Be good to your performers, notationally, and they'll be good to you.

+1
//p
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snyprrr

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2012, 11:08:45 AM »
If I'm writing a line that, in its trajectory, is a downward spiral, would I be using flats instead of sharps to denote accidentals? Though there are some seemingly upward swings, the whole thing is going DOWN.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2012, 11:15:19 AM »
Generally, what tends to read easiest is:

If the altered note resolves down, use a flat. If it resolves up use a sharp..
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

snyprrr

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Re: Sharps 'n' Flats
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2012, 06:03:22 AM »
This piece I'm working, it's kind of 'bassy', and 'descending' and 'dark'.

Should I ONLY (pretty much) use flats and naturals, and stay away from sharps? Is that a stylistic concern that really doesn't matter here nor there? How can I tell if I want to use sharps or flats (oh, I know I'm missing something here)?