Lesson 10 – Sharps

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Black keys don’t have unique names.  They are named in relation to the white keys.

Every black key has 2 names, depending on if you’re referencing the white key below it or the white key above it.
We use an accidental symbol called a sharp to raise the sound of a note by a semitone or half step.

A semitone is the smallest distance between any 2 notes on the piano (white or black.) No keys are skipped over when moving a semitone.  Look at the back of the keys to easily see the semitones.

In this image all of the black keys are labeled as sharps. The sharp raises the sound of a white key by a half step which lands on the black key up and to the right. Examples: F raises to F sharp.   C raises to C sharp and G raises to G sharp.

Sharp symbols are written in front of the notes when written on the staff, this is to ensure that we see the symbol before playing the note!

Lesson 10-B

Sharps can be used to raise the pitch of any note by a half step.  This can include notes that when made sharp, land on white keys.

Ex. B is raised a semitone to B# which is also a white key.

When a key has 2 names, we call these enharmonic equivalents.

The enharmonic equivalent of B# is C.

The enharmonic equivalent of E# is F.

White Key sharps are less common than black key sharps.  For this reason, the exercises in this lesson are in 2 parts.  You can choose to do both parts, or just one.

Now complete the worksheets in the coursebook and the Note Rush drills to securely learn and practice playing sharps and all of the notes we have learned so far in this course.

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