Talk:B major

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This is the talk/discussion page for the "B major" article.

B is H[edit]

Why is B called H in Germany?? (Feel free to give a Wikipedia article that talks about this in detail.) Georgia guy 20:41, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I also want to know why. la gaie (talk) 21:10, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
As a german I feel urged to answer this. (I have studied musicology/ sciences of historical musicology)

First, there is no consense about this matter. Here comes the most plausible: The `H´ has its origin as a relict of the favored accident in late medieval music tradition. Since most of the tonalities in use were `flatted´ (your Bb was the normal accident at that period of time) the `natural´ - as a special sign - became immanent. Some musicologists assume that in those days the accident and the note B (our H) were actually the same for the practicians in the choires. With the uprise of the printing editions and with the great consistancy of that german master J.S.Bach - no one dared to call it `B´ anymore. Summed up: it came from the sign for the most used natural!--92.226.86.45 (talk) 23:46, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Key signature[edit]

The key signature for B major is the least sharp key signature with three "lines" of sharps. In the treble clef, putting the sharp for A on its expected position relative to the sharp for G would require a ledger line. In the bass clef it would be possible to do this, but because in piano music this would result in a disuniformity that might throw off sight-reading, the B major key signature is practically the same in the bass clef as it is in the treble clef. In the alto clef, which occurs in string quartets and orchestral music, the B major key signature is usually written in just two "lines" of sharps.

Unless i see a citation for this I'm going to delete it. --Ross angus 02:51, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


I've restored this, because I am very familiar with music theory, and I know it is true.

Which part do you consider dubious? - the paragraph you're referring to makes several points, all of which can be verified by looking at almost any score in the key of B major.

However, there are occasional scores in which the bass-clef key signature for B major is in fact notated in the way mentioned (that is, placing the A sharp on the higher line instead of the more common lower space). I think Respighi's "Pines of Rome" is an example (3rd section - "Pines of the Janiculum"), although I don't have my score available to look just now. If a citation is required to justify retaining this remark, I can find it by checking "Pines of Rome", or, if I turn out to be mistaken about that, I definitely can find another score that does this, because I am sure I have seen this several times. If this is challenged or removed again, I will look into my scores and come up with a couple of examples that back me up on this. M.J.E. 15:16, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


While there isn't anything completely incorrect, I find the paragraph a bit pointless. What does it matter whether there are two or three lines of sharps? I see no relavance. A few other points - use of the term "expected position." The word expected in this context doesn't make much sense, who is to say where people would expect the A sharp to come? Perhaps "on the position relative" would make more sense. Also the sight reading thing seems a bit of an assumtion. Yes it would be different, but again who's to say, if it had always been that way, what difference it would make. I would replace "string quartets and orchestral music" with violas as it is the only orchestral instrument that I am aware of that uses it. If it's staying in why not discuss the tenor clef? Its layout of the sharps is pretty different. --Ross angus (talk) 02:01, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Image links[edit]

31-May-2007: In 2006/2007, Wikipedia images required both attributes "thumb|250px" to show a caption, as in:

[[Image:MyPhoto.jpg|thumb|250px|right| My picture.]]

By itself, size "250px" ignores the caption "My picture" (confusing many people), which is considered bad form in computer languages (should warn & be corrected rather than ignore). Just remember to include "thumb" (or "frame") for a caption in an image-link.

Image hints in 2007:

  • Limit most images to "thumb|300px" to avoid crowded text-wrapping.
  • A small image followed directly by a big image often chops text.
  • To resize larger than the original ("oversizing"), omit "thumb" (oversized images cannot have captions in 2007, yet).
  • Beware "left|thumb" (for "right|"), because left-side images appear immediately to left of the text.
  • Most images (99.99%) should be quick JPEG for rapid display.
  • Avoid resizing PNG images (2007): might become 10x larger resized.

Overall, omitting "thumb" is the most common problem.

There are many formatting issues in the Wiki software (used worldwide), with a long list of problems to fix, but in the software world, errors often persist, only to be upstaged by a totally radical new software version, rather than just fixing the irritating problems fast. Note that numerous software systems (not just Wiki) have frustrating issues for years. -Wikid77 17:39, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Alto clef[edit]

What this article says about the alto clef is wrong. Key signatures in the alto clef have the same pattern as the treble and bass clefs, but with a different height. Let's look at all 3 clefs and see where each sharp is located:

  • Treble clef: top line, third space, space above the staff, fourth line, second space (down-up-down-down)
  • Bass clef: fourth line, second space, fourth space, middle line, first space (down-up-down-down, same as treble clef)
  • Alto clef: fourth space, middle line, top line, third space, second line (down-up-down-down, still the same pattern!)

Can anyone fix this?? Georgia guy (talk) 17:26, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I changed "alto clef" to "tenor clef". Double sharp (talk) 12:41, 13 March 2012 (UTC)