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Thread: How to read the flats and naturals in this line of piano music.

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    Post How to read the flats and naturals in this line of piano music.

    I have questions about the flats and naturals in the following line of piano music which is part of Ave Maria on page 8 of "First 50 Classical Pieces" my 11 year old son is learning.

    Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated:




    1 - This flat designates all B4's on this line as B-flat?
    2 - This flat designates all B2's on this line as B-flat?
    3- This natural cancels previous sharps/flats on this B3 (even though no B3 is sharp or flat is preceding this line)?
    4- Obviously this designates a G4-sharp here.
    5- Again, why the need to cancel sharps/flats when none of been designated for B3 previously?
    8- This B3 also a natural, no need to mark it as such (why mark the previous as such)?
    9- This "naturals out the previous G-sharp, making this a natural G?
    12 - This is again a D-flat because it hasn't been cancelled since marked a D-flat at 11?
    13 - This is again a B-flat because it hasn't been cancelled since marked a B-flat at 10?
    14 - Again marked as a D-flat but why since it was never cancelled? Wouldn't the D-flat designation at 11 carry over to 12, 14 and 15 with no further marks needed?
    15 - This must be a D-flat, no?
    16 - This is a B-flat, as is 13, since 10 is marked B-flat and never cancelled?

    Again, thanks in advance with any help here.
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    Since I posted this, I realized a BIG mistake I was making with 1 & 2, not recognizing them as key signatures.

    That clears up a lot. However, I still am perplexed by one mark on that page, the mark I have designated as #10, the B3-flat.

    Why does that have to be designated a flat if the entire key-signature is B-flat (except where the natural is indicated at 5, which extends to 8 in the same stanza but should stop there, no?

    Why does the B3-flat at 10 have to be designated as a B-flat.

    Thanks again, in advance.

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    It's a reminder that you're back to B flat after the natural in the previous bar. That's why the natural is repeated at 5 because normally it would go back to flat after the bar change. Having had two lots of naturals, the composer (or editor) is helping you by pointing out that 10 is back to flat (as you would expect).
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Thank you very much, Taggart. I really appreciate it. I'm finding this stuff all really interesting. Do you have a book recommendation on this subject?

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