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sharps and flats

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  • #110180
    catherine-rogers
    Participant

    I don’t know just when music notation was invented–I know it goes way back to maybe medieval times, but I’ve forgotten a lot of my music history class–but does anyone know how we ended up with the symbols b for flats and # for sharps? And isn’t it convenient that there are keys on the (typing) keyboard we can use for those symbols? Just curious.

    #110181
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    What an interesting question Cathy. What’s left of my memory tells me that using lines to indicate pitch started with Gregorian Chant. So maybe we’re talking 5th century. It started with one line. As time went on more lines were added until there were so many it was like looking at striped wallpaper. So the original line was eliminated. This was the C which is the ledger line below the treble staff and the ledger line above the bass staff, thus separating all these lines into two staves. Where the flat, natural, and sharp symbols came from I have no idea.

    #110182
    gorman-jones
    Participant

    If I remember correctly,

    #110183
    Mel Sandberg
    Participant

    Carl, I have a question of my own: à la your explanation of the grand staff having too many lines, and the

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