Let’s learn about the natural sign (♮).
We have already looked at the other accidental signs, namely sharp signs and flat signs. In a nutshell, a flat sign before a note means that its pitch should be lowered by a half step or semitone, while a sharp sign indicates that the pitch should be raised by a half step or semitone.
A natural is an accidental which cancels previous accidentals. For instance, let’s say a previous note in a piece of music is Bb, if a natural symbol precedes the new note, you are to play B. To explain this further, the key of G has one sharp, F#. To indicate that the note, F should be played and not F#, a natural sign will be placed before the note.
If a note is in D sharp, a natural symbol will bring the note back to its natural tone which is D. If a note is in E flat, a natural will bring it back to its natural tone which is E.
What a Natural Sign Looks Like (How to Draw)
So what does this sign look like? Here we go: ♮. It looks almost like a sharp sign, but some of its lines are not as long. The space in the middle of this sign is placed on the exact line or space as the notehead it affects. Its height is about three staff spaces.
When the measure ends, the natural, like other accidentals, no longer has any effect. It is canceled by the bar line. In the subsequent measure you are to resort to the note that the key signature indicates. For instance, in the key of F, which has one flat, Bb, if a natural sign precedes the note B, you have to play B for the rest of the measure. But when a new measure starts, you are to start playing Bb once again.
How about if one wants to cancel out a double sharp or double flat? It is acceptable to write a single natural. Two naturals (♮♮) can be written as well, but a single one is normally used.
A note is natural when it is neither flat nor sharp (nor double-flat or double-sharp). White piano keys are called naturals. There are seven of them, namely, C-D-E-F-G-A-B. After B, the next natural note is C and it continues with the same pattern. These 7 notes make up the C major scale, sometimes regarded as the natural major scale because all its note are natural, whereas every other major scale has at least one sharp or flat.
When you come across a natural sign in a piece of music, the key to be played will always be a white one, unlike sharps and flats which can be black or white.
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