What is B sharp and E sharp using the note name plugin?

• Nov 21, 2022 - 10:59

I am using the note name plugin to add the C D E, Doe, Re, Mi, or 1, 2, 3 to the music sheet.

However, I found at times, it shows a B sharp or E sharp, or a 7 sharp or 3 sharp. But they don't exist. (Please see screenshots 01 and 02).

So I just use C for B sharp and F for E sharp. It seems to work, but why is it B sharp and E sharp... like, is it supposed to be so, or is it a bug or feature? (like, could it have just shown a C and F directly instead?)


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I also just noticed in Screenshot 02 above, the note is actually written as E sharp on the Staff... so Mi Sharp or 3 Sharp is actually is faithful translation to a notename.

By the way, if I look up enharmonic, it didn't have such a table, but if I look into other languages, I do see such as table: (in the screenshot), so in fact, they show E# is the same as F, and B# is the same as C.

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Not sure what you mean about B# or not existing - certainly it does. And if you wish to represent that with numbers relative to C = 1, B# is definitely 7#.

B# is used in music for many reasons, one obvious one being, if you have a piece in C# minor, B# is the leading tone.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you. I looked at both the OpenScore and ClassicMan's music sheet, they both in fact used E# and F#... the question is, why don't they use F and C, but kind of use a synonym of E# and F#? (is it due to this song being C# Minor -- is it the same as E Major?). Wait... you said "if you have a piece in C# minor, B# is the leading tone"... is that same as saying "if you have a piece in C# minor, C is the leading tone"?

I kind of get it but am not sure: it looks like 4 sharps means it is E Major or C# Minor, and it also means we can start with E, and use all those sharps at C, D, F, A, and then we have Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do... smoothly... so I guess the composer cannot write the note as a "C", because that will mean we need to play the sharp. The composer can write it as C (original non sharp), or B#... equally acceptable?

In reply to by kennethpiano

C is not the leading tone in C# minor - B# is. A scale uses each letter name once. Otherwise it would be very difficult to read. We depend on scales going line space line space line space etc. And we depend on chords going line line line, or space space space. Spelling counts. Writing C when the correct spelling is B# makes it harder to read.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I added a second paragraph above... and when you say B# is a leading tone... do you mean B# is treated as a Do? Is it true that... when you play a major for 7 notes going up in sequence, or minor for 7 notes going up in sequence, the major would sound like Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti, but the minor would not sound like Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti?

You said C is not the leading note, but B# is... I thought C and B# are synonyms... this is a bit confusing... maybe it has to do with major and minor... The way I saw it, I have been looking at it as always Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti... and it just depends on which key to start with... so maybe I only know about majors...

In reply to by kennethpiano

I don't know for sure what you mean by "B# is treated a Do". What I can say is, the C# natural minor scale goes C# D# E F# G# A B C# - each letter name used exactly once, notes are alternating lines and spaces. If you raise the B to form a leading tone - the so-called "harmonic minor" scale, which is called that because it contained a major V chord (G#) and - that leading tone needs to be spelled B#, not C. Spelling it C is just plain wrong. You scale will have two C's and no B's, your G# chord will be line-space-line or space-line-space instead of line-line-line or space-space-space, your resolution of leading tone to tonic will look like it's not going up because they are the same line space instead of clearly having the tonic physically written higher than the leading tone.

B# and C are not synonyms - two words that meant the same thing. They are *homonyms" - two different words with different meaning that nonetheless happen to sound alike. So using C where B# is meant is just as wrong and hard to read as if ewe rote "1 2" you zing "won too" wrath or then "one two". Sounds the same if you read it out loud, but just plain wrong to write it that way, and it makes really hard to read.

In reply to by kennethpiano

C and B# sound the same, but are "spelled" differently and used in different contexts.

Let's start with the C Major scale. It is:

The minor scale is:
C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb

We could spell the notes as:
C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, C#

But we wouldn't, because then C appears twice in the list. That means it would be very hard to notate and read, because both C and C# appear in the same place on the staff. So we don't do that, we use Bb instead.

Similarly, the C sharp major scale is:
C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, B#
and not:
C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, C

B# cannot be notated as C because then there would be no way to differentiate between the 1st and 7th scale degree in a piece. So B# does exist, and it's not quite synonymous with C, as the correct spelling depends on the key.

In reply to by jamesrdrross

ok cool... looks like I need to learn about majors and minors and chords in order to understand this... I thought I was ok because I learned that the C to the next C is exactly double frequency, and so is this higher C to the next higher C, and it is true for D to higher D... it is always double frequency. This, plus the fact that whenever we go to the "next key" when there is a black key next, then it is the black key, when no black key, then it is the white key, then it is always going up in frequency as 2 to the power 1/12, meaning multiply by 1.0594630943592953 so if we multiply by this 12 times (7 white keys and 5 black keys), then it is exactly 2 (the doubling of frequency)... and so we in fact can make it just plain 12 keys... all in a sequence... so when we play Do, it is the first key, when we play Re, we have to "jump" twice, Mi, also jump twice, but Fa, we jump only once... I told this to a piano room rep at Kawai and he didn't know about it, but he knew about the major and minor... so I thought I was knowledgeable... but the stuff above that Marc and James mentioned, I need to learn about... seems complicated.

In reply to by kennethpiano

oh by the way, the reason I said E# doesn't exist is, because my music teacher in high school always said, C# means go to C, and then go to the black key to the right... so for E, which is Mi, it doesn't have a black key to the right of it, so that's why I say it doesn't exist. But sure, using the 1.0594630943592953 number above, it just means "go to the next step", so E# would mean an F. (the Fa key on the piano keyboard)

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