14 Jan Lesson 12: Flats
In my last blog post, I discussed sharps, which are accidental symbols in music that raise notes by a half step. In this lesson, we’ll be looking at flats in piano music, which is a different type of accidental marking.
The flat sign is the opposite of the sharp sign. So, if a sharp raises a note by a half step, a flat lowers a note by a half step. The flat sign looks like this:
A flat on the piano is the key directly to the left of the original note. Most flats on the keyboard are black keys, as shown here:
However, there are two places on the keyboard where a half step down from a white key is actually another white key:
In scores, flats in piano music are marked with the symbol to the left of the note head, with the opening of the symbol aligned with the line or space the note head occupies, as shown here:
Try drawing a few flat signs by themselves first, followed by flat signs next to note heads on the staff. See also if you can find the flat of any white key you play on your piano, keeping in mind that sometimes the flat will also be a white key.
The next lesson will explain naturals, another accidental sign in music.
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