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Author Topic: Flat and Sharp preferences  (Read 116 times)

JerryK

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Flat and Sharp preferences
« on: May 21, 2019, 10:14:33 AM »
Is it me?  I may be unusual.
BH and other music programs usually offer sharps or flats as a choice when transposing existing chords.
Maybe my 65 years on this planet took me via some strange route, I don't know but I definitely prefer A, B and E to use flats; with F and C using sharps.  For me, Gb is as wrong as E# would be.  Probably the musical theorists out there will tell me that's wrong and maybe it should depend on the key I'm playing in but it's how I roll, on paper anyway.
I think the new Capo feature gives the #/b choice.
Any chance I can have mine as a preference please?

arlo

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Re: Flat and Sharp preferences
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2019, 11:03:21 AM »
When you use the transpose buttons, they add flats when going down and sharps when going up. So if you transpose down from F to E, the first click will show flats, and you could leave it there if that's what you like. But technically you should go down again, then back up to correctly show the key of E with sharps.

The reason each key uses either sharps or flats is that a diatonic scale should use each letter once in a given key. So writing an E major scale as E F# G# A B C# Eb E would be incorrect because it skips the D and doubles up on the E.

I assume you're more used to seeing Eb than D# because the keys that Eb is used in are more common than the keys that D# is used in. But it is the same pitch, after all. :)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 11:28:34 AM by arlo »

JerryK

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Re: Flat and Sharp preferences
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 03:02:02 AM »
Yeah, I get that but for starters, we're talking about chords and not scales.
My preferred method has never given me cause for confusion, such as your diatonic scale reasoning seeks to avoid.  Quite the reverse.  It's always A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, Ab, in any key.
And anyway, the theoretical method you propose could fall apart when the song contains a key-change. Then any/all chords could be 'wrong', in this context, from the key-change onward.
Just to be clear, my preference is to ALWAYS show Ab as Ab, not G#, regardless of key.

My preference may be the non-musical-theory one but in some respects, it's simpler.  It seems unnecessary to refer to the same chord by two different names.   We are talking about chords, not pitches - perhaps a subtle distinction - but, by the time you add the embellishments of minor, 7, Major7, dim, +, 7/9, b5, /bass-note ... whatever, the resultant chord name can be quite hard to take in on-the-fly. If it also has 2 possible root names, that's brain-power I can do without expending, in an instant, while I might also be singing.
I did, once, long ago, set out to learn music theory/music to aid with my goals of learning this or that popular song but literally every piece of sheet music I bought, several each from different publishers (yes, I'm that old) was wrong - often very badly wrong.  I soon discovered that my ear was far more reliable.

I feel I may lose this one but it is my preference and if I don't ask, I definitely won't get it.
Thanks for listening as always.

arlo

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Re: Flat and Sharp preferences
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2019, 03:38:48 PM »
Quote
Yeah, I get that but for starters, we're talking about chords and not scales.

But the chord names come from the scale names ... there's one chord built on each element of the scale.

Quote
I feel I may lose this one but it is my preference and if I don't ask, I definitely won't get it.

Yes, true enough! But I think that your system is too personal to bake into the app functionality. Of course you can always manually edit your chord names to write them however you want.

JerryK

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Re: Flat and Sharp preferences
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 09:25:40 AM »
But the chord names come from the scale names ... there's one chord built on each element of the scale.
True but that takes no account of the complexity of less-than-straightforward chords and trying to take them in quickly.  If Ab[something] is always Ab[something] and I'll never have to deal with G#[something], that makes by gig easier for me.

Yes, true enough! But I think that your system is too personal to bake into the app functionality. Of course you can always manually edit your chord names to write them however you want.
Only if I don't want to Personal Transpose the song or to change key on-the-fly for a guest vocalist at open-mic.  We're not all proper musicians out here.  Many of us are just scraping by.  In fairness, BH has definitely improved on the piece of paper.