No B# or E# in Music?

I've heard that, in music, B# is equal to C while E# is equivalent to F...

So, let's say you want to raise B a "semitone". That would have to be C, right? So if you do that, wouldn't it be considered raising it a semitone AND a tone at the same time?

Thank you : - )

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    B# and E# are the same pitches as C and F, respectively, but in the context of a piece of music, they're not the same thing. For example, let's say you have a piece of music in the key of D. F and C are sharp, and everything else is natural. So let's say the composer wanted to put in an accidental between a B natural and a C sharp so that the three notes were chromatic (basically, he wanted a note a semitone above the B natural and a semitone below the C sharp). They would notate the middle note as a B# because, when ascending a chromatic scale, it is usually correct to notate all of the accidentals as sharps, not flats. When descending, they are usually notated as flats. But in this case, the composer probably could have gotten away with notating the B# as a C natural.

    The same rules apply with C flat and F flat. You don't see them very often, but they can pop up in music. And as for your last question, yes, raising B a semitone would be a C (or a B#, depending on the context). However, it is not considered raising B a semitone and a tone at the same time. That would be impossible because a semitone is a half-step, or one note higher or lower chromatically than your starting note. Raising B a tone (or a whole step) would be a C#. Think of it as a piano. B and C are right next to each other on the piano, right? Since there is no piano key in between the two, they are a semitone apart. To be a tone apart, you would have to have one piano key in between the two notes.

    Source(s): Music classes and experience
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.