Is it Acceptable to Build Chords on Accidental Notes in Classical Music?

Asked by: Jenna Henderson

What are accidental chords?

In music, an accidental is a note of a pitch (or pitch class) that is not a member of the scale or mode indicated by the most recently applied key signature. In musical notation, the sharp (♯), flat (♭), and natural (♮) symbols, among others, mark such notes—and those symbols are also called accidentals.

Should I use sharps or flats for accidentals?

When you have sharps in the key signature, you’ll most likely use sharps as accidentals. You’ll choose your accidental depending on where you want to move afterwards. The case usually is sharp when you move up, flat when you move down.

How do you play accidental music?

So in the next bar any B's that are written unless otherwise marked will be B flat. Because that is the note in the key signature. Accidentals are like the sriracha of music composers.

Why do accidentals sound good?

The double sharp raises a natural note named by two piano keys while the double flat lowers a natural note name by two piano keys these double accidentals fill in our gaps.

Why do composers use accidentals?

Composers use accidentals because playing within one set key all the time is boring. Borrowing notes from other keys and modulating from one key to another are musical devices that provide tension and drama within the sonic story of a piece of music.

How do you write accidental chords?

When writing a 7th, the accidentals are written lined up vertically (one above the other). So add those accidentals to the 4 note chord first. The other accidental, the “middle” accidental (either on the 3rd or the 5th) is written to the Left.

Does an accidental apply to all octaves?

Per standard notation, an accidental applies to the given note in all octaves of that bar on that staff.

Do accidentals carry across Clefs?

No. Each accidental applies only to ONE KEY on the keyboard. Each accidental applies only to one line or space within a staff. If the same key is shown in both clefs, you need an accidental for both.

Do accidentals carry through the measure?

An accidental carries through the bar affecting both the note it immediately precedes and any following notes on the same line or space in the measure. Accidentals are not repeated on tied notes unless the tie goes from line to line or page to page.

Do accidentals change the key?

Short answer: yes, that’s the whole point of accidentals. The written alteration is the actual note to be played, overriding and completely ignoring key signature for the rest of the bar, so the lower D and F are natural D and F, the upper C, D, F and G are all flats. The transposition doesn’t matter.

What is a courtesy accidental?

A courtesy accidental, also called a cautionary or reminder accidental, is one that, according to the rules of accidental occurrence, isn’t strictly necessary before a note. But there are times when the composer wants to remind the player that an accidental is (or is not) in effect for a particular note.

Which accidental raises a note?

sharp (♯)

accidental, in music, sign placed immediately to the left of (or above) a note to show that the note must be changed in pitch. A sharp (♯) raises a note by a semitone; a flat (♭) lowers it by a semitone; a natural (♮) restores it to the original pitch.

How long does an accidental last in music?

Accidentals last only until the end of the measure in which they appear. In the example below, note C sharp (in bar 1) is cancelled by the bar line. This means that note C in bar 2 (beat 1) is no longer affected by the sharp.

Does a natural cancel a previous accidental?

The natural accidental (♮) can either raise or lower a note’s pitch because it cancels previous accidentals to return a note to its natural pitch. In the case of a pitch that has been altered within a measure, the natural sign will cancel the alteration of the pitch.

Does an accidental change the name of the note?

The accidental changes the pitch, so that the note is either higher or lower than the original natural note. Accidentals are written in front of the notes, but in text, accidentals are written after the note names.