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Introduction to accidentals
An accidental changes the pitch of a note by one or more semitones, upward or downward, without changing the name of the note.
There are five different accidentals: the sharp, the double-sharp, the flat, the double-flat and the natural. Accidentals can be placed at the beginning of the staff or within a measure. For more details on their use, refer to the courses devoted to accidentals and key signature.
The sharp raises the note of a chromatic semitone. The "sharpened" note is therefore higher than the "natural" note.
The flat lowers the note of a chromatic semitone. The "flattened" note is therefore lower than the "natural" note.
The natural cancels the effect of an accidental previously encountered and thus restores the note to its natural state.
The double-sharp raises the note of two chromatic seminotes.
The double-flat lowers the note of two chromatic seminotes.
Last update on 2021/05/07
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