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Bernadette Peters - Broadway's Best
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#beginquote# Of course, no sharps or flats is the key of C. Flats lower a pitch by 1/2 step. Sharps raise a pitch by 1/2 step. The first sharp to be written on the staff is the F#, key of G. To add the next one, you go down four (including the F#) to the C#, key of D. To add the third one, you go up five (including the C#). This would put you above the staff on the G#, key of A. To add the fourth one, you go down four again (including the G#) to the D#, key of E. If you added a fifth, which is done, but not commonly, it would take you to the A# above the staff. But since that would require you use a line that is not on the five line staff, you write it on the second space A, which is the key of B. Even more rarely used is the sixth, which is tricky. You need to remember that the A# you previously wrote is technically above the staff and you need to come down five (including the A#) to the E#, key of F# (remember E# is also known as F, so up 1/2 step from there is F#). Flats follow a similiar pattern, but their key is determined differently. As stated earlier, the first flat is a Bb and you just need to know it is the key of F. The second flat's position is determined by going UP five (including the Bb) to the Eb. Go back to the previous flat and this is the key of Bb. The third flat is determined by going DOWN four (including the Eb) to the Ab, key of Eb. For the fourth flat, again go up five to the Db (including the Ab), key of Ab. For the fifth flat, gown down four to the Gb (including the Db), key of Db. In short: When writing sharps, up four, down five. First sharp is F# (fifth line). Go up 1/2 step from the last sharp to determine the key. When writing flats, up five, down four. First flat is Bb. Go to the second-to-last flat to determine the key. One flat - key of F. No sharps or flats, key of C. Hope this is what you were looking for. #endquote#
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