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enharmonic equivalent scales??

Posted by ayoung88 
enharmonic equivalent scales??
January 20, 2008 03:41AM
Hi I'm new to this site and by the looks of it I might it my question answered??

I'm drawing a blank on this and I think I know the answer but, when you have to write a triad for a C flat Major scale, do you start with the root note being C or B because it is the same as B Major scale?
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
January 20, 2008 07:10PM
Hi! Welcome to the site!

Because it is C-flat and not B (there is a difference which I will explain in a minute) you would start with the root on C-flat. Then to get a triad, you would add thirds on top of C-flat, so C-flat E-flat G-flat. Notice that C-flat to E-flat is a major third and E-flat to G-flat is a minor third.

Now for why sometimes it's C-flat and sometimes it's B:
When you start writing a piece of music (with a key), you would right it in a key that has the simplest key signature, while still sounding exactley the same as its enharmonic equivalent. For example, you wouldn't write a piece of music in G-sharp, you would write it in A-flat! (because this is how it musicians can communicate, by remembering the same names for the same scales, as well as having a simpler key signature. Imagine trying to talk to a musician about keys and everytime you said D-flat, he/she wouldn't know what you meant because he/she only knew about C-sharp!)


That explains why sometimes it's B (the simpler form), now lets move on to why sometimes it has to be something like C-flat or G-sharp:
Let's say you're writing a song and it's in the key of G-flat. If you look at the key signature for G-flat, it has 6 flats that are on G, A, B, C, D, and E.
There's the C-flat!
Now, you might ask, why don't they just put Gb major as G-flat, A-flat, B-flat, B, D-flat, E-flat, F? Well, then I'll say: Imagine trying to notate that, if you look at the scale notated (if it had B-natural instead of C-flat) then it wouldn't look even, as it normally would if the B was a C-flat. Also, you'd have 2 B's! You can't write that as a key signature unless you put a flat sign and a natural sign on the B, which would look really dumb and no one would understand it! So, if you were to build a major chord on the 4th of the scale of G-flat, then you would build it on C-flat, not B.

There are also many other instances where you would have the key of C-flat, or having something like B-doubleflat, G-doublesharp, A-quartersharp, A-quarterflat, etc. The possiblities get complicated real fast.

Bottom line, we need a better notation system!


Personally, I don't think we should have enharmonic notes, I think the musical alphabet should go A B C D E F G H I J K L. (So that every tone get's it own name and that some tones don't seem less important than others because they have a sharp or a flat) This is so that music doesn't focus on the diatonic scale with key signatures, but with the chromatic scale.


Sorry for such a long explanation for such a simple problem.
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
January 21, 2008 08:07AM
Something important to remember with enharmonic pitches, is that before equal temperment became standard, Cflat and B were NOT the same pitches! Sure, they were close enough that the untrained ear wouldn't hear a difference, but they would be tuned slightly differently, and far more important, they would function completely differently. In fact, some keyboards were designed with separate keys for what we would now call enharmonic pitches. The reason this information is important today? Because besides keyboards and fretted instruments, virtually nobody actually uses equal temperment, but they use what is known as just intonation, which permits much better intonation. Somebody using just intonation, upon seeing, say, an E# instead of an F, should instantly have an understanding of how (based on context) the E# functions differently than an F, and accordingly how it should be tuned differently.
gdog
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
December 26, 2009 10:02AM
what is the enharmonic equivalent of c flat and e flat
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
December 26, 2009 10:43AM
gdog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> what is the enharmonic equivalent of c flat and e
> flat

B and D#


Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
December 26, 2009 10:55AM
Anthony Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Personally, I don't think we should have
> enharmonic notes, I think the musical alphabet
> should go A B C D E F G H I J K L. (So that every
> tone get's it own name and that some tones don't
> seem less important than others because they have
> a sharp or a flat) This is so that music doesn't
> focus on the diatonic scale with key signatures,
> but with the chromatic scale.

But that ignores the fact that (I guess) 99% of the music most of us want to hear (or compose) is tonal, based on 7-note scales. Some tones are indeed - by definition - more "important" than others, in that some are "diatonic", some "chromatic" - and that contrast is important to how we hear and interpret tonal music. (Indeed how most musically uneducated people would actually define music as "music" in the first place.)
IOW, our theoretical system derives from music as we like to hear it (on average over 100s of years), not vice versa. Music that happens to "sound good" (according to popular majority) has 7 "inside" notes and 5 "outside" ones.
Of course. a lot of that choice derives from what we're used to anyway - fixed tradition - not from much that is "natural". But then the 12-tone octave is no more natural - in fact less natural - than 7-note scales.

A 12-note system would be immensely more complicated and confusing than our current 7-note system. It would only make sense (and very good sense!) for composing atonal 12-tone music (like Schoenberg's serialism). That is certainly a valid way of making music, though (lke it or not) not a particularly popular one...


Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
December 26, 2009 10:57AM
Anthony Wrote:

> Bottom line, we need a better notation system!
>


Not really, just better understanding of the one we have :-)


>
> Personally, I don't think we should have
> enharmonic notes, I think the musical alphabet
> should go A B C D E F G H I J K L. (So that every
> tone get's it own name and that some tones don't
> seem less important than others because they have
> a sharp or a flat) This is so that music doesn't
> focus on the diatonic scale with key signatures,
> but with the chromatic scale.

It's already been done. In twelve-tone music, the notes are named 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (also T or A) and 11 (also E or B ).

Because this style of music seeks to make no note more important than others, they are simply numbered. But with traditional Key-Based music, some notes are more important than others - which is why the system evolved the way it did. The real mistake is trying to continue to use a system designed for one style of music for music that seems on the surface to be quite similar, but really isn't. But, also no need to re-invent the wheel.

There are some people trying to create a "twelve note staff" for similar reasons - so that the first space is F, and the next line is F#, not G as we do now.

It's maybe a good idea for a new instrument and new style no one's ever heard of yet, but trying to replace a system that's as widespread historically and now geographically as standard notation, ain't gonna happen.

Then you have things like Diatonic Harps, which can't play chromatically, Appalachian Dulcimers (same problem), and you have stuff like Shape-Note singing, etc.

If you're interested in music notation, you should check out some of these other things.

Best,
Steve





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2009 11:26PM by stevel.
me
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
January 23, 2011 06:42PM
whats the enharmonic of B sharp on a C scale?
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
January 23, 2011 08:21PM
It's C.

Please start a new thread when asking a question. The most recent post here was over a year ago.

Steve
Re: enharmonic equivalent
March 09, 2011 05:13PM
Hi,

I have just been introduced to the word ENHARMONIC EQUIVALENT. WHAT is it? WHAT is the history of it: OR do I really need to know that? HOW do I use it. and WHERE can I find it?

HELP

Gloria
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
March 09, 2011 05:43PM
You are asking for a dictionary definition. Please consult a dictionary, but don't hesitate to ask another question if there is something in the definition that you don't understand.

- Jim in Austin, TX
mike
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
August 12, 2011 10:02AM
Hi, I am not musically educated. just a little piano when i was a kid. I have this question about "inputing" the notes on garageband. i am trying to learn this. the music sheet that i have has a G flat major key signature. however, garageband only has F# major key signature which is the enharmonic chord of G flat. if i want to input the notes into garageband, do i just input them as they are written on the music sheet considering that i am using the enharmonic chord (F# maj) instead of the original G flat major? or do i need to adjust the notes? thank you very much
Re: enharmonic equivalent scales??
August 12, 2011 12:46PM
You need to place the notes on the line or space below.
Eg, a note written on the G line in a Gb key sig, needs to go on the F space below in an F# key sig.

You may need to take account of accidentals too. So if your Gb music happens to contain (say) a D natural (raised from Db), striclty speaking in the F# key, that should be a Cx (C double sharp). But I reckon writing it as D natural would do for your purposes.
Fb might also occur as an accidental in Gb, and that should appear as E natural in your F# key sig - ie on the line or space below, like all the other notes, but with a change of accidental symbol.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2011 12:50PM by JonR.
:SRe: enharmonic equivalent scales??
January 01, 2012 11:36PM
I have b flat on a scale and what is the enharmonic equivalent to that?
Re: :SRe: enharmonic equivalent scales??
January 02, 2012 08:24AM
A# is enharmonically equivalent to Bb.

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