Accidental

Temporary change a note to one or two half-step higher or lower

In modern music notation, accidental are generally marked on the left side of a note to indicate that the note's pitch needs to be temporarily changed.

Accidentals are used differently from key signatures. Accidental generally lasts for one measure; Key signature will keep the note(s) sharp or flat until it encounters an accidental or another key signature.

There are five common accidentals:

  • Sharp (♯) indicates that the note needs to be raised by one semitone
  • Flat (♭) indicates that the note needs to be lowered by one semitone
  • Natural (♮) indicates that the note needs to be restored to its original pitch
  • Double-sharp (×) indicates that the note needs to be raised by two semitones
  • Double-flat (♭♭) indicates that the note needs to be lowered by two semitones

Example of Accidental

Accidentals, the basics - Music Theory Crash Course

Writer: Frankie Chan