The Musical Alphabet

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The musical alphabet is made up of 7 natural notes and 5 enharmonic equivalents, for a total of 12 notes.

Natural Notes

The 7 natural notes in the music alphabet are: A-B-C-D-E-F-G.

These notes repeat again and again. So, when you get to G, you start over again at A. You’ll know that a note is natural if it is just a letter by itself (like A). Sometimes, the natural sign if also added behind the note, like so: A♮

Accidentals (Sharps and Flats)

Accidentals, also known as sharps and flats, fit in between the natural notes in the musical alphabet.

  • When a note is sharped (#), it’s equal to the natural note + one half step.
  • When a note is flatted (b), it’s equal to the natural note – one half step.

So: A# = A + one half step.

Or: Ab = A – one half step.
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