11.Sharps and Flats on the Keyboard

Sharps 

A sharp sign is a symbol which indicates that we are to play a particular pitch one half step higher. The sharp sign looks like this: 

The letter ‘F’ with a sharp sign after it indicates that we are to play the pitch one half step higher than ‘F’. We call this key ‘F sharp’- (F#). 

Flats 

A flat sign is a symbol which indicates that we are to play a particular pitch one half step lower. The flat sign looks like this: 

The letter ‘B’ with a flat sign after it indicates that we are to play the pitch one half step lower than ’B’ We call this key ‘B flat’

It is common misconception that sharps and flats are the black keys. While it is true that some sharps and flats are black keys, not all of them are. As you can see in the preceding diagram that shows sharps and flats on white keys. 

Also, in the above diagram, the key one-half step to the right of ‘B’ is a white key. Since this key is already named ‘C’ it will therefore have two different letters. ‘C’ and ‘B sharp’ are two different letters for the same key. 

When two notes sound the same but are spelled differently, they are called enharmonic equivalents. ‘B sharp’ is the enharmonic equivalent of ‘C’.

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