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# Lesson 9: More on sharps and flats

## Want to join the conversation?

• What mnemonic is everyone using? For the sharps I'm using Fast, Cars, Go, Down, Alleys, Every, Block. For flats I just remember B, E, A, D, G, C, F. because it is the same as sharps backwards.
• A music teacher once told me this saying:
Sharps:
Father Christmas Gives Dad An Electric Blanket
Flats:
Blanket Explodes And Dad Gets Cold Feet.
Hope that helps!
• What is the rule of thumb to determine what key a piece of music is in based on the key signature? IE) F# indicates the piece is written in G
• In Mozart's Minuet above, why the corni and the trombe have to be transposed to D [with no key signature]? Why not write them in D major [sharp on F and C]? And what is the meaning of D.A.?
• Is there a reason as to why we use flats and sharps instead of regular notes?
• We use sharps and flats to represent the black notes (half steps from the white notes), because there's no other way to write a note between the lines and spaces on paper.
• So let's say that we have a bass clef and 4 sharps in the key signature. Based on the order of the sharps, does that mean every F, C, G and D we see in that piece is a sharp? So for example F#, C#, G# and D# unless it is otherwise said in the piece correct?
• Yes. An easy way to remember the order of sharps or flats is this:
If you go from left to right, you get the order of flats. If you go from right to left, you get the order of sharps.
• is there a certain of notes you can play until you end a song or can you keep it going as long as you want?
• If you are composing a piece of music, you can make it as long as you want (although people may not want to listen to a ten hour-long piece). If you are playing a song that someone else wrote, it is proper form, at least in the classical genre, to end the song where the composer intended.
• Hi! This question might be a bit irrevelant, but how long would it usually take to become proficient in sight reading? I am learning to play the piano, as of now, so would I have to learn how to play without looking at the keys?
• Actually, no. I play piano myself and hardly ever look away from the keys. Whether you are excellent at sight reading and don't even have to know where your fingers are, or you are able to memorize the music and keep your eyes on the keys, I suggest trying out both methods and seeing which one is the best fit for you. It takes a little bit of practice to have sight reading become a regular thing for you, though.
• So If I wanted all the A's to be A# I couldn't place the # at the beginning on the A line? Only all F's can be sharp unless I follow the pattern and make more sharps?
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• Correct. If you wanted all the A's to be sharp by following this pattern, you'd need all the other sharps in the key signature. You couldn't just have a # on A, you need the others.