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Thread: What’s the point of anharmonic?

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    Default What’s the point of anharmonic?

    I know what it is, but don’t understand the point of why a composer would notate a section as such.L and then go back to the original key.
    Last edited by Uncledave; Dec-27-2020 at 23:38.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Usually because it makes notation and reading easier in a given situation. For example, when Chopin wrote his Prelude in D-flat major and wanted to write the middle section in the parallel minor he spelled it enharmonically as C# minor because that has four sharps in the signature, which is much simpler than the eight flats required for D-flat minor.

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    I can see instances where that make sense for notation clarity. But then I’ll see an example like in Schubert’s third impromptu. The entire piece is in Gb except in the coda he writes a two bar phrase enharmonically in C — a phrase repeated exactly and just prior in Gb. Then after this two bar phrase he’s back in Gb to finish. What’s going on?!

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncledave View Post
    I can see instances where that make sense for notation clarity. But then I’ll see an example like in Schubert’s third impromptu. The entire piece is in Gb except in the coda he writes a two bar phrase enharmonically in C — a phrase repeated exactly and just prior in Gb. Then after this two bar phrase he’s back in Gb to finish. What’s going on?!
    The signature change makes sense because there is no good way to notate the bass line of the passage in G-flat. The three available options, Ebb-Dbb-Bb, Ebb-C-Bb, or Ebb-Dbb-Cbb are all bad. In the first two cases a major second has to be notated as a diminished third, in the third case one has three double flats in a row, ending with a ridiculous C double flat.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Dec-30-2020 at 15:17.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    Originality is a device untalented people use to impress other untalented people and to protect themselves from talented people.
    — Basil Valentine

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    Oh I see it now. The bass isn’t precisely the same as the same phrase just earlier. Thanks!

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