Beginning to Read Music
by John Craton
Raising and Lowering the Notes
Sometimes we want to play something that doesn’t fit the scale (or key) we are in exactly. This is done by placing a symbol before the note. (These symbols are called accidentals.) There are a number of different symbols used in music to do this, but the most common ones are as follows:
flat — lowers note by one half step sharp — raises note by one half step natural — restores note to its normal pitch
There also are symbols such as double-flats, double-sharps, and symbols for playing quarter-tones, but we will discuss these only when we encounter them.
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