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5: Sharps & Flats

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Lesson 5: Sharps & Flats

This lesson teaches the names of the black-key pitches, using sharps and flats.

Before taking this lesson, you should know: the names of the white-key pitches on the keyboard (Lesson 3: Pitch Names and Lesson 4: Letters Game).

In music, sharp means "raise the pitch" and flat means "lower the pitch". Here are the symbols for sharp and flat:
= sharp (raise the pitch)
= flat (lower the pitch)

We use "sharp" and "flat" to name the black pitches. For example, the black pitch just above C is called C sharp (C♯). But this black pitch is also just below D, so it can also be called D flat (D♭). Here it is on the keyboard:

C C♯ D♭ D

Now we can name all the black pitches:

C C♯ D♭ D D♯ E♭ E F F♯ G♭ G G♯ A♭ A A♯ B♭ B C

Notice that every black pitch has two names; it can be named with either sharp ♯ or flat ♭. Study the keyboard above until you understand how to name all the pitches, white and black.

Next:
Learn about half-steps and whole-steps in Lesson 6: Half-Steps & Whole-Steps, which you will need to understand scales, chords, and melodies.

Lessons

1: Introduction
2: Practicing Songwriting
3: Pitch Names
4: Letters Game
5: Sharps & Flats
6: Half-Steps & Whole-Steps
7: Steps Game
8: Scales
9: Major Scale 1-2-3
10: Major 1-2-3 Games
11: Major Scale 1-5
12: Major 1-5 Games
13: Chords: Major Triads
14: Major Triad Games
15: Minor Triads
16: Minor Triad Games
17: Major Scale 1-8
18: Major Scale Games
19: Keys
20: Roman Numeral Chords
21: Scales Above 8
22: Diatonic Triads
23: Using Diatonics
24: Tonic Function
25: Subdominant & Dominant
26: Diatonic Function Analysis
27: Natural Minor Scale
28: Natural Minor Games
29: Minor Key Triads
30: 7th Chords
31: 7ths Games
32: Suspended-4th Chords
33: Time: Beats & Measures
34: Starting a Song: Hook Chords
35: Melody: Chord Tones
36: Treble Staff
37: Treble Staff Game
38: Note Lengths
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
40: Rhythm: Rests
41: Key Signatures
42: Diatonic 7ths
43: Non-Root-Bass Chords
44: Major Pentatonic Scale
45: Embellishing Tones
46: Melody Rhythm: Rolling Stone
47: Pitch & Frequency

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