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D# - Eb

Rogerthecat

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Why do I find the same sounding notes, D# - Eb for example in the same piece of music? I know this is probabley a basic simple question for some, but I have not been able to find a simple answer.


Many thanks
 

nigeld

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If, for example, the music starts off in E major (4 sharps) and then goes down a semitone into Eb major (3 flats), then it will contain D# during the E section and Eb in the Eb section.
 

Tenor Viol

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It’s a complex area.... we use a system of tuning called ‘equal temperament’. In that system notes such as D# and Eb are what is known as ‘enharmonic equivalents’. They are the same pitch, but which you use depends on the harmony at that point in the music. There will be a wiki on equal temperament if you have a look.
 

nigeld

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And sometimes I think the publishers are just making our lives difficult. I played a piece recently that had a Gb and an F# in the same bar.
 

saxyjt

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Finally, if you have an Eb followed by a D, it's clearer to read Eb then D rather than D# then D Natural to cancel the #.
 

jbtsax

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Major and minor chords to the 7th are spelled line, line, line, line or space, space, space, space unless there is a "non chord tone"

Major and minor scales are spelled line, space, line, space, line, space, line, space or space, line, space, line, space, line, space, line

If a D# messes up this arrangement an Eb is used instead. If an Eb messes up this arrangement a D# is used instead.
 

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saxyjt

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Major and minor chords to the 7th are spelled line, line, line, line or space, space, space, space unless there is a "non chord tone"

Major and minor scales are spelled line, space, line, space, line, space, line, space or space, line, space, line, space, line, space, line

If a D# messes up this arrangement an Eb is used instead. If an Eb messes up this arrangement a D# is used instead.

If that's supposed to clarify anything, I'm afraid it doesn't. Really!

I am personally an advocate of making scores as readable as possible, not a field of landmines! :eek:
 

jbtsax

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If that's supposed to clarify anything, I'm afraid it doesn't. Really!

I am personally an advocate of making scores as readable as possible, not a field of landmines! :eek:
I do understand. I remember back when I would argue why don't they write a C instead of B# so it is easier to read. After learning the fundamentals of music and music theory, I understand why it has to be B# though it doesn't make it easier to sight read. Besides, they are no longer "landmines" once you become more familiar with those notes.
 

saxyjt

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I think I understood Einstein's theory of relativity (when unstudied it) quicker than I get music theory[BGCOLOR=transparent]! :oops:[/BGCOLOR]

[BGCOLOR=transparent]Ok, a few years went by, so perhaps I would have got it immediately back then. Sadly I wasn't on the market for it at the time... It's not really that it's complicated, but so cumbersome! o_O[/BGCOLOR]

Full steps, half steps, change of origin, sharps and flats, keys, chords, major, minor... Notes with up to 3 different names! I have to say that I'm struggling... A lot! I can't get my mind to think along those lines. When around musicians, it feels like I'm mentally deficient. :confused:
 

Nick Wyver

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These problems often occur when folk who write scores confuse what they've written with actual music, ie. the stuff you can hear. They should remember that what they're writing is an aid to producing the music and, in my opinion, should be as easy to interpret as possible. So it should be tailored to whatever level of musician is tasked to do this interpreting. So no double sharps or flats for anybody apart from super whizzo classical graduates thank you. I haven't got it here at the mo so apologies if my memory is not exact - but there's about 8 bars in the Glazunov Concerto that littered with flats and double flats and is a real pig to read. If you convert to the relevant sharp key it becomes a doddle. I don't care if it's not correct by whatever standard of music notation the editor held as gospel, it's about reproducing the sounds on a saxophone by the easiest means possible.
 

Tenor Viol

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I agree with you there @Nick Wyver - I recently had to play an orchestral arrangement of some stuff and it was absolutely littered with accidentals, but the key was 'C'. It would have been much easier to read and understand if they'd have made the key something like Db maj and the clutter would have gone.
 

Rogerthecat

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Thank you all, maybe not such a simple question after all, some great points here, and I do get a lot of the points with regards making it easier to read " Eb following a D rather than a D#" as an example, and yes jbtsax I couldn't agree more, but as an explanation for my brain I am going with "nigeld" and his:

"And sometimes I think the publishers are just making our lives difficult. I played a piece recently that had a Gb and an F# in the same bar"

Thanks again
 

Zugzwang

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Windows, that I’m playing this term, is in C for me, and has bars 2,3&4 go D# C# E B, D# Db Fb Ab. (because the chord changes behind)
It’s so much harder to read than to play, (and the argument for learning by heart).
 

Tenor Viol

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I don't care what you say, a C natural just doesn't belong in a C# scale. It has to be B#. :old:
It's always an interesting congitive dissonance playing cello when asked to play a bottom B# as the bottom string on a cello is C (below bass clef)... takes a few moments to sink in... Had that playing some Mahler last week
 
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Pete Thomas

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I was on a recording session once that had me (in a horn section unison) playing a long note (concert Gb/F#) along with a string section. The strings were changing chord from an Ebm to a D major and we actually had to change intonation as they changed chord and our note went from Gb to F#. It took a few takes to get it right as the trumpet player insisted on being "locked in" to the pitch he started at and found the concept of just intonation difficuklt to grasp.
 

Colin the Bear

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I can understand his difficulty. That video on youtube might be worth down loading on your phone and playing to one of my fellow ludites.
 
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