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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000692.txt from 2001/02

From: "Dee D. Hays" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Enharmonic perplexity
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2001 16:40:34 -0500

----- Original Message -----
From: "Wildfire Coconut" <>
Subject: Re: [kl] Enharmonic perplexity

> if a composer wants you to play a g natural then why doesn't he just
> out a g natural rather than an F double sharp?
> natalie

It has to do with how chords are constructed and named.

Let's start with a simple example. The C major chord is C E G. Now if you
want an augmented C major chord, you raise the third note by 1/2 step which
yields C E G#.

Now let's see how a double sharp could come about. For example, a Bmajor
chord is B D# F#. If you wanted an augmented Bmajor chord then you raise
the third note of the chord by half a step, which yields B D# Fdouble sharp.
It would be incorrect in a chordal sense to write the chord as B D# G.

Another instance in which they can come up are harmonic and melodic minors
in sharp keys. In the harmonic minor, the 7th note of the scale is raised
1/2 step from what it would be based on the key signature. If that note is
sharpped to start with, then the resulting additional 1/2 step would make it
a double sharp. Again using the enharmonic name of the note would result in
an incorrect "spelling" of the scale.

Dee Hays

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