Whats an Accidental?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Timbo, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    Sorry if this is wrong place, didn't see a better place..
    But yeah, what exactly is an accidental?
  2. If IIRC, an accidental is when a note appears in a piece of music that is from a different key you are playing in. For example: if you were playing a song in Eb Major, you would have the flats of A, B, and E. An example of an accidiental would be if at sometime you had to play an E natural.

    EDIT: Accidental = Playing a note not in the key signature youre playing in.
  3. In sheet music, it's a note that is sharp or flat....but not from the key the song is in.

    Look at an A major scale:


    Now look at the sheet music for a song in that key.
    The C# and F# and G#occur naturally, they will have sharps (or flats) on the ledger lines by the staff. That's how you tell what key the song is in.

    But if the song has a spot where an Eb is played, for whatever reason, just that note has a flat symbol by it. It's an accidental.
  4. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    I see. Thanks for clearing it up. So the reason for using accidentals would be to what, color the song up?
  5. It could be:sticking in passing notes as you walk up: E-F-F#-G

    or sticking a chord in, to add color as you suggest, say an A7.

    Or anything to add variety or accomplish something outside of a plain vanilla major scale.
  6. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    I see.. I see.. Thanks again. :bassist:
  7. Getao


    Jun 17, 2004
    Menlo Park, CA
    also, sometimes the natural key center of the song will change for a very short period of time, so the key itself wouldn't change.
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I think it is interesting that nobody chose the simpler key of C to use as an example key.
  9. there just trying to show off ;) :D
  10. No, it was because C doesn't have any natural sharps or flats to compare the accidentals to...
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Yeah, but you could have said:

    The C major scale is CDEFGABC, right? Well, any note that isn't in the key -- for example, any sharp or flat -- is an accidental.

    Two sentences, bub.

    Two sentences.