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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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The Names of the Black Keys

When you have the names of the white keys firmly planted in your memory, it is relatively easy to remember the names of the black keys. The black keys are all sharps and flats of the white keys.

Locate note D on the MIDI keyboard. Then go up to the nearest black key. Play this note to hear that it is slightly higher (sharper) in pitch than note D. This note is called D sharp. When written, it is expressed as the note letter followed by a sharp sign: D#.

Return to note D. Now go down to the nearest black key. You will hear that this note is slightly flatter in pitch than note D. This note is called D flat. When written, it is expressed as the note letter followed by a flat sign: Db. When represented on the staff, the ...

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