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Why sharp and not flat?


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#1 Edwardo

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 13:54

At the end of the third bar of Chopin's Ballade No 1 (which is in Eb major, I believe), there is an octave F# in the right hand.  I'm at a loss to understand why this isn't written as a Gb.  My theory is VERY rusty.

 

(I tried to paste an image but this site is a bit useless when it comes to displaying images)


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#2 BadStrad

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 14:56

The piece is in G minor. F# is the leading note of G minor.
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#3 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 15:28

Aren't simple answers just the worst!


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#4 Edwardo

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 15:51

The piece is in G minor. F# is the leading note of G minor.

Aside from the other person's rather snarky response, can you explain what the rules are for enharmonic accidentals in different keys?  In my obviously very simple brain I assumed that if a piece had a key signature in flats, accidentals would be decorated as flats.  


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#5 BadStrad

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 16:02

In minor keys the notes are as per the key signature, but with the seventh sharpened. Hence the F is sharpened. It could not be written as G flat as that would result in two occurances of "G" in the scale of G minor.

(Hope that helps).
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#6 Edwardo

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 16:14

In minor keys the notes are as per the key signature, but with the seventh sharpened. Hence the F is sharpened. It could not be written as G flat as that would result in two occurances of "G" in the scale of G minor.

(Hope that helps).

 

That does indeed help.  As does learning that it's in G minor and not Eb major!


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#7 BadStrad

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 16:21

In case you were left wondering about the A flat... The A flat in the first bar is part of a Neopolitan 6th chord in G minor - which creates a tonal ambiguity until the harmony comes in, confirming the tonality of G minor.
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#8 Bremmer

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:07

 

In minor keys the notes are as per the key signature, but with the seventh sharpened. Hence the F is sharpened. It could not be written as G flat as that would result in two occurances of "G" in the scale of G minor.

(Hope that helps).

 

That does indeed help.  As does learning that it's in G minor and not Eb major!

 

BTW can I delicately point out that If it were in a major key with that key signature, it would be in B flat major, not E flat. E flat major has 3 flats not two, ( always one more than it's name ). Circle of fifths, essential reading for musicians ;-) LOL

 


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