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The notes C sharp and C double sharp on the treble clef.

In music, sharp, or Diese, means higher in pitch. More specifically, in musical notation, sharp means "higher in pitch by a semitone (half step)," and has an associated symbol (), which is often confused with the number (hash) sign (#). The hash sign has two horizontal lines and two slanted lines, while the sharp sign has two vertical lines and two slanted lines.

Under twelve-tone equal temperament, B sharp, for instance, sounds the same as, or is enharmonically equivalent to, C natural, and G sharp is enharmonically equivalent to A flat. In other tuning systems, such enharmonic equivalences in general do not exist.

Double sharps also exist; these have the symbol double sharp and raise a note by two semitones, or a whole step. Less often (in for instance microtonal music notation) one will encounter half, or three-quarter, or otherwise modified, sharps.

Although very uncommon and used only in modern classical music, a triple sharp ( double sharp) can sometimes be found. This raises a note by three semitones.

Four mnemonics for the order of sharps in key signatures are: French Canadians Get Donuts At Every Breakfast, Fat Cats Gulp Down All Early Birds, Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle, Fat Cats Go Dancing After Eating Breakfast, or Father Christmas Gave Dad An Electric Blanket. When read backwards, the previous sentences display the order of flats. (e.g. Birds Eat Angleworms Do Gophers Catch Fish).

In tuning, sharp can also mean "slightly higher in pitch" (by some unspecified amount). If two simultaneous notes are slightly out of tune, the higher-pitched one (assuming the lower one is properly pitched) is said to be too sharp with respect to the other.

In Unicode, the sharp symbol (♯) is at code point U+266F. Its HTML entity is ♯. The double sharp symbol (𝄪) is at U+1D12A. These characters may not display correctly in all fonts.

A half sharp, indicating the use of quarter tones, may be marked with various symbols including: Arabic music notation half sharp.svg.

See also

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Simple English

File:C
C sharp.


In music, sharp, or Diese, means higher in pitch. In musical notation, sharp means "higher in pitch by a semitone (half step)," and looks like this:()[1]. [[File:|frame|right|The notes C double sharp on the treble clef and bass clef.]]

Under twelve-tone equal temperament, B sharp, for instance, is enharmonically equivalent to (sounds the same as), C natural, and G sharp is enharmonically equivalent to A flat.

Double sharps also exist; these have the symbol and raise a note by two semitones, or a whole step. Less often there are half or three-quarter sharps.

Although very rare and used only in modern classical music, a triple sharp ( ) can sometimes be found. This raises a note by three semitones.

The Circle of fifths tells you how many sharps are in a key signature.

In tuning, sharp can also mean "slightly higher in pitch". If the same note is played on two instruments, and one is slightly higher, it is too sharp compared to the other.

In Unicode, the sharp symbol (♯) is at code point U+266F. Its HTML entity is ♯. The double sharp symbol (𝄪) is at U+1D12A. Some fonts do not show these symbols.

References

  1. The AB guide to Music Theory, part I.

Other pages

Template:Musical notation


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