C flat...

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Dusty201087, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Dusty201087

    Dusty201087 Kenyon class of 2014

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    Does it exist? I'm sure it has to if you write scales correctly, but B sharp and seem to be thought of as a myth by most people.
     
  2. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    It's an enharmonic spelling. If you were in, say, Eb minor, you could write it as...

    Eb F Gb Ab Bb Cb Db

    ...which is a lot easier to read than...

    Eb F F# G# Bb B C# (or any similar combination of sharps and flats).

    The notes are the same (on fretted instruments anyway), but the first way makes scores set in obscure keys easier on the braincells.

    Hope that makes sense!
     
  3. Arminius

    Arminius SS.org Regular

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    I know next to nothing about theory, so take this with a grain of salt. If I remember right, one could say that C is B sharp, but for all intents and purposes it doesn't exist. I think :scratch:

    Edit: :ninja:'d
     
  4. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    They do exist. Every scale has to be A something, B something, C something, so on. In other words, every scale needs one letter of the musical alphabet.

    So, by this logic, a Cb scale is EVERYTHING flatted by a half step. Even though Fb is the same as E, and Cb is B.

    Hope that explains it.
     
  5. Dusty201087

    Dusty201087 Kenyon class of 2014

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    Thanks guys :) I needed to prove someone wrong :lol:
     
  6. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    No problem :yesway:
     
  7. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    Cb is 7 flats, of course it exists. Check the circle of fifths:

    [​IMG]

    Really, every note you can think of has its own key, even if it's E#x (E triple sharp), which is E#x Fxx Gxx A#x B#x Cxx Dxx. Obviously, there aren't key signatures for keys with triple and quadruple sharps involved, but that doesn't mean that the key doesn't exist. Of course, it's so much easier to write the key of G (one sharp compared to twenty-five :lol:), but there are situations where what you're doing is modulating to keys that aren't on the circle of fifths. For example: say you're in C# major (or A# minor), and you modulate to the dominant key, which is G# major (or E# minor/E# major, if you're going from A# minor). Well, hey, what are the notes of G#? G# A# B# C# D# E# Fx. There are no key signatures that contain a double sharp, but this key is completely viable, particularly when approached through modulation, as I just stated.

    Cb has a universally recognized key signature, so you don't need to worry about weird keys with double and triple flats, but remember to keep your mind open.
     
  8. TonalArchitect

    TonalArchitect Augmented Chords!

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    :shrug:

    I just thought it had the purpose of showing sharping/flatting notes without changing the note name.

    For instance, take an E major chord E G# B, to make it an augmented chord, you sharp the fifth: E G# C, but writing E G# B# shows very clearly what happened to B.

    :2c:
     
  9. scottro202

    scottro202 I'm walkin' here!!!

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    That, too.

    Let me explain.

    E to B is a 5th. E anything to B anything is a 5th. E ## to B is still a 5th. It's a double diminished 5th, but it's still a 5th. So, in an augmented triad like you said, it still has a 1-3-5.

    If you use all the generic triads, you will see.

    ACE
    BDF
    CEG
    DFA
    EGB
    FAC
    GCD

    Notice how EGB is a triad? That's why you would say an E Augmented chord is EG#B# instead of EG#C, even though C and B# are the same pitch.
     
  10. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    I've never understood the whole chord building thing with the chromatic circle of fifths. Certainly it can be used for that, but it's so much easier to memorize how to build a chord than it is to refer to a diagram. :shrug:

    When writing parts, though, if it's monophonic, people are most likely going to want to see C in place of B#.
     
  11. All_¥our_Bass

    All_¥our_Bass Deathly Chuuni

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  12. Origin

    Origin Rainbow In The Dark

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    This
     
  13. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    :lol:
     
  14. Keytarist

    Keytarist SS.org Regular

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    I believe, that the enharmonic keys are made to avoid double flats and double sharps. So, I would write in Db Major rather than C# Major; none of these keys have double accidentals, but when you modulate to the dominant key, with C# Mayor you would have F double sharp, , however, using Db Major you wouldn't have any double accidental. Why?, because the dominant keys of C# Major and Db Major are:
    Db Major -> Ab Major (no double accidentals)
    C# Major -> G# Major (F double sharp)
    Double accidentals slow down sight reading. They are mostly used in other cases, for instance: When writing in G# minor (relative key of B Major), you would have to use F double sharp (Fx) for the mayor third of the dominant chord. In this case, the other option would be using Ab minor (relative of Cb Major), but that's odd.
     
  15. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    I would say no, unless someone can link me to something where it is used?
     
  16. Mr. Big Noodles

    Mr. Big Noodles Theory God

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    It's arguable. There's nothing to say that you have to write in Db major where the music goes into C# major. In fact, I prefer to think in C#, as opposed to Db. Of course, if I'm coming from Ab, then, yeah, Db is what I'm going to want to see. Really, though, it comes down to how you want people to read the music. In scenarios where you're very diatonic, yeah, it's stupid to write double accidentals everywhere. The key system was invented well before modulations to mediant keys were popular, and certainly before free chromaticism was a stylistic feature of art music, and there are arguments that our currently accepted system of notation does not adequately support the chromatic and microtonal styles that arose in the art music of the twentieth century. However, there are scenarios where seeing a double accidental is actually preferable to its enharmonic equivalent. Which one of these would you rather read?

    1.)[​IMG]
    2.)[​IMG]

    And this is in a fairly common key. In sight reading, you don't want to be looking at a bunch of accidentals.


    C sharp, courtesy of Debussy:
    [​IMG]

    C flat (actually Ab minor), courtesy of Beethoven:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. anne

    anne No privacy hedge.

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    Third-from-last line + next two measures of the Beethoven page:

    [A D F#] [A C# E] ::: [D] ::: [D Ab F Cb] [D Bb F Bb] [D Cb F Ab] ::: [Eb Bb G] ::: [Ab Eb Cb]
    cadential 6/4 V of #IV ::: #IV ::: dim7 of v#3 (on #IV) in a voice exchange ::: v#3 ::: i


    Last line of the Beethoven page:

    [Ab Eb C] ::: [Db Fb Ab] ::: [Bbb Db Fb] ::: [G Bb Db Eb] ::: [Ab Cb Eb] ::: [Db Bb Fb] ::: [Eb G Bb] ::: [Ab Cb Eb]
    i#3 ::: iv ::: bII ::: v#6/5 ::: i ::: ii6 (dim) ::: v#3 ::: i


    The second chord in the first progression [A C# E] and the third chord in the second progression [Bbb Db Fb] are the "same" notes when played on a guitar or piano, but they function completely differently. The [A C# E] is a dominant chord gravitating toward [D], but the [Bbb Db Fb] is a phrygian chord gravitating toward [Ab] (but it goes through [G Bb Eb] first, in this case). It's all about context. Cb, B#, Fb, E#, any double-flats, double-sharps, they are very real and functional!
     
  18. Customisbetter

    Customisbetter WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Contributor

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    it is a label, the tone does not exist.
     
  19. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    Labels is most of what music theory is all about and they are very important for chord function. If you expect any other musician to read and play your stuff you have to understand the difference between B and Cb, B# and C, E# and F, Fb and E and all the double flat stuff.

    Like Anne any said, the same chord spelled differently can have a different function. Thats the case with the Gr6 chord for example which is nothing more than a dominant 7th chord respelled but it resolves differently. Or augmented triads for example, if you take B+ which is B-D#-Fx and spell it B-D#-G, then what you have is actually a G+ chord.

    I remember when I thought I have discovered this awesome cadence using ivº-I. Turns out that was just the enharmonic spelling of viiº43.

    By the way, at one point there was an actually difference between sharps and flats. Our current tuning system just did away with it.
     
  20. anne

    anne No privacy hedge.

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    There still is if you're playing the right instruments.
     

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