Are you in search of a full piano key chart? You will find one below. We’ve already looked at a simple piano keyboard diagram (free piano keyboard chart) here but this time we take things a little further. With this free chart we explain sharps and flats in more detail.
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We’ve already seen that the notes on a piano are named after the first seven letters of the alphabet. When learning the keys on a piano the first notes to learn are A B C D E F G. These are the naturals. They are usually the names given to the white keys on a piano. Notice I said “usually”. This is because white keys can also be sharp and flat. Many piano students do not know or are confused by this point. Many of them think that a black key means a sharp or flat while the white keys are neither sharp nor flat. Not so. While all black keys are either sharp or flat, white keys can be sharp or flat as well.
Let’s examine this further.
Look closely at the piano key chart above. In this piano keyboard chart most of the keys have two note names. For instance, the note one semitone higher than C is C sharp, but since it is one semitone lower than D it is also called D flat. In the same way the note one semitone higher than D is D sharp, but since it is one semitone lower than E it is also called E flat.
Technically, a key can have a limitless number of note names. It’s all about steps or tones. For instance, (as can be seen in the piano key chart or piano keyboard chart above) C is one semitone (one half step) higher than B and can be called B sharp. But since it is two semitones lower than D it can be called D double flat as well. Using this same principle the note one semitone higher than E is F, but it can also be called E sharp. F can be called G double flat or even D triple sharp!
If two notes have the same pitch but are represented by different letter names and accidentals, they are enharmonic. F, E sharp and D triple sharp are enharmonic equivalents. Enharmonic notes are usually used by composers to make the note’s place in the harmonies of a piece of music clearer to the performer. So if necessary, a composer may very well prefer to write an E sharp or even a D triple sharp instead of an F.
In a diatonic scale an individual note may not occur more than once. Here are two examples. In the key of G the major scale is G A B C D E F-sharp. Instead of calling the note G flat, we call it F sharp. This is because we have already used the letter G in the scale. G cannot be used twice.
Here’s another example. The notes in the key of F major are F G A B-flat C D E. We do not call B flat “A sharp” in this scale since we need that note name to represent the note A which has already been used. Also, the letter B had to be part of the scale.
Spend time going through the piano key chart on this page. Using the information presented here you should be able to find any key easily.
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