• 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 the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of 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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