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You are watching: B sharp is the same as

Hey… wait a second! If friend look at every the notes of a chromatic scale, you’ll see this: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C. Whereby is E or B Sharp?

The C major scale (7 notes)

This is where the man started. Notice how the planks are uneven!

This unevenness is what gives the significant scale its unique sound. The intervals go like this:

Full Step, full Step, half Step, complete Step, complete Step, complete Step, Half Step

Whether or no the an initial discovered notes comprised a significant scale room irrelevant, though, the allude is the it’s extremely likely that the note were no all the very same logarithmic street apart. See later on in the short article to hear why.

Whether it is known that the distance between each note was different at the time once they were “discovered” is unknown, but then, the reason of the weirdness of our music device came afterwards.

The Weirdness Starts

Fast front to today’s musical notation, musician’s agreed the there were much more than 7 notes between the banks of the river and eventually west musicians cleared up on 12 complete notes in a scale.

The trouble is that we didn’t redo the existing music notation! quite than beginning from scratch and going native A to together (which us should have actually done in mine opinion), us tried to meld the old device with the new.

So, rather of including letters, we chose to add “sharps” and also “flats”, together a method to define the “semitones” between notes.

So, we have actually 12 total notes, making 12 intervals, i m sorry looks more like this:

Our contemporary 12-note chromatic scale

Notice how the pink in the 12 keep in mind bridge room all specifically even. They monitor the very same logarithmic ratio all the means up (2^(1/12)) the scale.

Now let’s compare these two bridges side by side:

Let’s take a look in ~ the two bridges and also pay attention to a few things:

The beginning and finishing points are the same— in other words, the octave is the same distance in a 7 note scale vs a 12 note scaleThe C major Scale bridge (right) compared to the 12 note scale follows this pattern: 2 planks, 2 planks, 1 plank, 2 planks, 2 planks, 2 planks, 1 plank

So, earlier then, the musicians had a trouble where they wanted to include 5 an ext notes come the initial 7 note scale, yet where to put them? There was no gap in between E and also F and also B and also C, however there was room for another note in between the rest of the notes.

Thus, a likely reason why we have no E# or B# this particular day is because new music systems had to it is in designed to occupational with old music systems.

Is B spicy the exact same As C?

So, you may be wondering, if over there is no B sharp, then why execute you see it in music sometimes?

Well, the reality is that there is together a point as a B# and an E#, it’s just that they are the same notes together C and F. It is right, when you watch sheet music that claims B#, it will certainly sound specifically the same as if you play a C.

In fact, the means we theorem our current music depends on your being E#s and also B#s, it’s every a part of how every one of the notes interact together.

What renders far much more sense is to not think that a sharp together one half-note higher, however instead one semitone.

A semitone is the distance of one expression in the 12 keep in mind scale. 12 note = 12 semitones.

So, when a letter note has a sharp, prefer C, that means that C# is one semitone greater than C.

Conversely, a level would be one semitone lower.

What’s the function of E# or B#? Why perform we need multiple names because that the exact same note?

The price is every a part of the beautifulness the the one of fifths. Check out Musical-U’s website for a super detailed guide come the circle of fifths and how every the notes work-related together.

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What If The initial 7-Note Scale had actually Equal Intervals?

So, ago to our leg analogy, what if the initial 7-notes to be the exact same (logarithmic) distance ( 2^(1/7)) apart? In various other words, what would it sound choose to have actually only 7 notes in a range of equal temperament? (Check out Wikipedia for an ext detail on equal temperament)

In other words, what if the bridge looked favor this:

7-note range with equal temperament

To accomplish your curiosity (actually, probably greatly my curiosity), below is a sound clip that what it would certainly sound prefer if every the notes to be the exact same logarithmic street apart:

7-note same temperament scale

The note don’t really line up v the notes us are familiar with. However it sound interesting! Not exactly pleasing come the ear however definitely interesting.

It provides sense that back in the job without computers to aid us how complicated it would certainly be to number this ingredient out.