Talk:Sharp (music)

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Move request[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal to move Sharp (music) to Sharp. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was don't move. —Nightstallion (?) 12:34, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Support. Unitl recently, this article was at Sharp, with the majority of the links pointing here perfect. Then, however, someone moved the page to Sharp (music) and made Sharp re-direct to Sharp (disambiguation), which makes there a ton of links to dis-ambiguate. Georgia guy 15:05, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Against. It's probably the most common use of "sharp" as a term, but I still think it belongs here simply because there are so many other uses. Do the disambiguation. - Rainwarrior 05:43, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Support per Wikipedia:Disambiguation#Primary topic: "When the primary meaning for a term or phrase is well known (indicated by a majority of links in existing articles, and by consensus of the editors of those articles), then use that topic for the title of the main article, with a disambiguation link at the top. Where there is no such consensus, there is no primary topic page," as I think we could reach that consensus and the links are already there and there it is unlikely we'll have an article about the quality of objects such as knives and needles. However, I don't think the task of correcting links is any reason to or not do anything. Hyacinth 09:42, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose. This [???] is not likely the most common usage of the term. So in this case having the DAB at Sharp is really na poor choice. In fact, Sharp (disambiguation) should be moved to Sharp. 02:52, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the term "sharp" is too generic, and I first thought of the electronics corporation instead. JIP | Talk 17:39, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Cleanup required is not a reason for not putting pages at the correct name. Vegaswikian 06:45, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Double Sharps[edit]

I found, after some searching, a quote about why double sharps are used. When I came to this page, I was wondering why double sharps are used - I knew what they were, I just didn't know why they were used. Here's the quote and the citation:

"Using double or triple sharps or flats may seem to be making things more difficult than they need to be. Why not call the note "A natural" instead of "G double sharp"? The answer is that, although A natural and G double sharp are the same pitch, they don't have the same function within a particular chord or a particular key. For musicians who understand some music theory (and that includes most performers, not just composers and music teachers), calling a note "G double sharp" gives important and useful information about how that note functions in the chord and in the progression of the harmony." - link

My question is how do I determine whether this quote is copyrighted and if so, do I just rephrase it in my own words and cite the original? If it's not copyrighted, do I just copy and paste it or is that bad form? Thanks in advance. Rcronk (talk) 19:38, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Since the quote is wordy, not very accurate, and not very informative, I don't think you should bother. If it were worthy of inclusion in this article, though, the main things you would need to know are who you would be quoting and whether this person is "notable". TheScotch (talk) 09:11, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
I had exactly the same question. To me, the above seems better than nothing, but if you know that this explanation is "not very accurate" then I guess you would know the accurate version. How about adding it to the article? (talk) 03:59, 4 April 2009 (UTC).
I would like to second the motion to bring the quote into the article. As a mere dabbler at note reading I was asking myself the question as to why bother having a special note for a natural note one tone higher. The quote answered my question. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

There are chromatic and diatonic double sharps, and it's best to begin by considering diatonic double sharps. The diatonic scale has seven notes, and we name these notes with the first seven letters of the alphabet. No matter what key we're in, we must logically use all seven letters, and they must be assigned to one note of the diatonic scale only. So if we happen to be in the key of G-sharp major our first note is a kind of G (G-sharp), and thus our seventh note must be a kind of F. There is only one kind of F a half-step below G-sharp, and that is F-double-sharp. Now you may ask, why be in G-sharp major though? Why not call it A-flat major? That strategy obviously wouldn't work for G-sharp minor as the relative minor of B major. Remember also that this is not simply a matter of nomenclature. Unless you're in equally tempered tuning an F-double-sharp is not the same pitch as a G-natural. TheScotch (talk) 04:58, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Accidental (music)[edit]

See the discussion at Talk:Accidental (music)#Inflections vs accidentals concerning the definition of "accidental" and its relation to sharp and flat signs and key signatures. Hyacinth (talk) 21:18, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Acronym Fail[edit]

"Birds Eat Angleworms Do Gophers Catch Fish"? Are you kidding me? The Wiki page on flats has these:

  1. Big Enchiladas Always Drip Gooey Cheese First
  2. Better Educated Animals Don't Go Catching Frisbees
  3. Blanket Exploded And Dad Got Cold Feet
  4. Before Eating A Donut Get Coffee First -- (talk) 08:24, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean? Hyacinth (talk) 03:20, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

I was taught Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle because, backwards for the sharps, the sentence still makes sense. Battle Ends, And Down Goes Charles' Father. It makes it far easier than learning two unrelated ones. (talk) 03:13, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I have chopped out that long list of mnemonics almost entirely, as the article was turning into a dumping ground for more and more of these. I left just one in as a concession. Please, pretty please, can people refrain from adding more and more back in again. Scil100 (talk) 07:59, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Additional citations[edit]

Why, what, where, and how does this article need additional citations for verification? Hyacinth (talk) 03:20, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Sharp versus number sign[edit]

I've removed the "information" below from the main article because it made no sense to me. The paragraph was marked as unreferenced. I think this information has a high "Who Cares" calibre and does not belong in the article. I've preserved the text here in case someone can make it more noteworthy.

The sharp sign () is often confused with the number (hash or pound) sign (#).[clarification needed] The key difference is that the number sign has compulsory true horizontal strokes while the sharp sign does not have them. Instead, the sharp sign has two slanted parallel lines which rise from left-to-right. Both signs may have true-vertical lines; however, these are compulsory in the sharp, but optional in the number sign (#) depending on typeface or handwriting style.

ʍαμ$ʏ5043 (talk) 09:43, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I believe it is interesting to know exactly how to write the sign. People may not notice the difference, and write it as a number sign. Of course, the context is enough to easily discriminate, so the error would have no consequence in the transmission of information. For instance, everybody would understand the term "informetion" notwithstanding the typo, but we typically wish to avoid typos even when they do not affect text decodification. Paolo.dL (talk) 11:39, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to restore some version of the above. I don't think the question of "how to properly draw the sign" really comes under the proper heading of trivia or "who cares." SBHarris 22:20, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Double sharp versus letter x[edit]

The double sharp is sometimes printed as a plain letter x. [1] There are many double sharps in "Le Festin d'Ésope" (No. 12), and they are all printed as x's. Double sharp (talk) 04:30, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Requested move: "Musical scale" → "Scale (music)"[edit]

I have initiated a formal RM action to move Musical scale to Scale (music). Contributions and comments would be very welcome; decisions of this kind could affect the choice of title for many music theory articles.

NoeticaTea? 00:12, 21 June 2012 (UTC)


Triple sharps occur in Charles-Valentin Alkan's concerto for solo piano, third movement. It occurs near the end of the third movement, when there is an F-sharp major key signature, in the context of A-sharp minor, where Ftriple sharp is used as an appoggiatura to Gdouble sharp. Another one occurs near the end of the last movement of Max Reger's Clarinet Sonata ([2]). Double sharp (talk) 14:54, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

No enharmonic equivalents?[edit]

From the article: "In other tuning systems [than equal temperament], such enharmonic equivalences in general do not exist."

Isn't that more to do with the design of the instrument than the tuning used? A piano tuned to just intonation plays an F flat and an E natural identically, doesn't it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:02, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

It does, but E and F are still different notes. The piano may play E instead of F, but that doesn't mean E = F. So a D minor triad would really be spelt incorrectly by such a piano, having E instead of F. Such enharmonic non-equivalence is how you get wolf intervals. Double sharp (talk) 03:48, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
Specifically, the 2 notes are written differently on the staff. Georgia guy (talk) 13:37, 28 September 2013 (UTC)
(If it wasn't clear, a piano tuned to just intonation would play E and F the same, because it is wrongly playing F as E. If you have E, you don't have the slightly different F, unless you have split white keys – and I don't think any just-intonation keyboards ever did.) Double sharp (talk) 13:39, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Nonetheless, one could use a 19-tone subset of quarter-comma meantone, including E and F, in which case the keyboard layout at 19 equal temperament should serve perfectly well. It splits the black keys – though I'd prefer a top/bottom split, and I'd standardise the sharps to be in front for consistency – and adds black keys between E/F and B/C (though I'd make them grey and half-length so that they stood out). In fact, if one chooses to flatten the fifths more, creating third-comma meantone, we get almost exact 19 equal temperament. Now all I need is to figure out a good 31-equal layout. Double sharp (talk) 16:37, 9 January 2016 (UTC)


Regarding "If two simultaneous notes are slightly out of tune, the higher-pitched one (assuming the lower one is properly pitched) is said to be sharp with respect to the other." Surely, regardless of which one is "properly pitched", the higher one is still "sharp with respect to the other." Can anyone deny this statement? So it's not necessary to have that proviso in parentheses, and the following is true and clear: "If two simultaneous notes are slightly out of tune, the higher-pitched note may be said to be sharp with respect to the other." It follows that "If two simultaneous notes are slightly out of tune, the lower-pitched note may be said to be flat with respect to the other." But this is for the page "Flat (music)." P0mbal (talk) 14:03, 4 November 2016 (UTC)


Is there any particular reason that most articles on WP use an image link to for the double-sharp instead of just the Unicode character 𝄪? I understand that some fonts might not contain this character, but that's true for a lot a symbols... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:00, 21 February 2018 (UTC)