• Why Scholars Think You Should Know The Cb and E# Notes

    in Beginners,Piano,Scales

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    In this lesson, I’ll be showing you why music scholars think you should know the Cb and E# notes.

    C#:

    …is known by almost everyone (even those who started learning yesterday). Same thing can be said about Eb:

    But the moment you talk about Cb and E#, it raises eyebrows and this is because there are certain note spellings that so many musicians don’t know on the keyboard and this is because of the general perception of sharps (#) and flats (b).

    Contrary to the understanding of sharps and flats, we’ll be looking at the proper definition of sharps and flats from a theoretical standpoint and after that, you’ll understand see the Cb and E# notes and understand their importance as well.

    “What Are Sharps And Flats?”

    Sharps and flats are symbols used in the modification of pitch. The pitch of a note is said to be modified when it is either raised or lowered.

    Let’s look at these symbols closely.

    A Short Note On The Sharp Symbol

    The sharp symbol (#) raises the pitch level of a note by a half-step.

    For example, the note C:

    …can be modified by the sharp symbol (#), which raises its pitch level by a half-step. Raising C by a half-step produces C#:

    The addition of the sharp symbol to the letter name of any given note, raises its pitch by a half-step.

    Raising F (by a half-step):

    …produces F#:

    Raising G (by a half-step):

    …produces G#:

    Raising A (by a half-step):

    …produces A#:

    …and so on.

    Attention: To take your knowledge of music theory to another level, I recommend that you get our 500+ page course: The “Official Guide To Piano Playing.” Click here to let us know.

    The Flat Symbol — Explained

    The flat symbol (b) lowers the pitch level of a note by a half-step. For example, the note D:

    …can be modified by the flat symbol (b), which lowers its pitch level by a half-step. Lowering D by a half-step produces Db:

    The addition of the flat symbol to the letter name of any given note, lowers its pitch by a half-step.

    Lowering G (by a half-step):

    …produces Gb:

    Lowering A (by a half-step):

    …produces Ab:

    Lowering B (by a half-step):

    …produces Bb:

    …and so on.

    Attention: To take your knowledge of music theory to another level, I recommend that you get our 500+ page course: The “Official Guide To Piano Playing.” Click here to let us know.

    “So, Where Are The Cb and E# Notes On The Piano?”

    From our understanding of sharp and flat symbols as pitch modifiers, it’s clear that Cb and E# notes are modified from the natural C and E notes.

    Cb is basically a C note:

    …that is lowered by a half-step. Lowering C by a half-step produces Cb:

    …while the E# note is an E note:

    …that is raised by a half-step. Raising E by a half-step produces E#:

    So, here is the Cb note:

    …and the E# note:

    Why Scholars Think You Should Know The Cb and E# Notes

    The Cb note (which is rare):

    …is always considered as B (which is common):

    The same thing applies to the E# note:

    …which is always misspelled as F:

    If you’re in the league of musicians who consider Cb as B and E# as F, then you need to pay attention to two reasons why music scholars think you should know the Cb and E# notes.

    Reason #1 – Cb Is The Fourth Tone Of The Gb Major Scale

    In the key of Gb major:

    Cb:

    …is the fourth tone.

    Although the Cb note is misspelled as B:

    …most of the time and this is because B is the more common spelling of the fourth tone of the Gb major scale, it is important to note that the fourth tone of the Gb major scale is NOT B:

    …it is Cb:

    Reason #2 – E# Is The Third Tone Of The C# Major Scale

    In the key of C# major:

    E#:

    …is the third tone.

    The E# note is usually misspelled as F:

    …most of the time and this is because F is the more common spelling of the fourth tone of the C# major scale. However, it is important to note that the third tone of the C# major scale is NOT F:

    …it is E#:

    Final Words

    The use of the Cb and E# spelling is inevitable in music theory; as long as the keys of Gb major:

    …and C# major:

    …are in perspective.

    It’s also important to note that the seventh tone of the F# major scale:

    …is E#:

    So, the next time you come across Cb and E#, I’m very certain they won’t raise those eyebrows anymore.

    Keep up the great work.

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Reney

    This is interesting. Thanks for the info.
    One love

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