View Poll Results: Do you prefer keys in flats or sharps?

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  • Flats

    10 31.25%
  • Sharps

    5 15.63%
  • No preference

    17 53.13%
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Thread: Do you prefer pieces in Flats or Sharps?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Couchie's Avatar
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    Default Do you prefer pieces in Flats or Sharps?

    Probably more directed at people who play instruments, but do you prefer pieces in flats or sharps?
    Doch dieses Wörtlein: und, -wär' es zerstört,
    wie anders als mit Isoldes eignem Leben wär' Tristan der Tod gegeben?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    I prefer the flat keys sharp and the sharp keys flat. As for regular keys, I prefer when they fit my Jeep or my cabin. Much beyond that I don't have use for keys, being a guitar player.

    I do have a keychain, though:

    B-aa0l.jpg

  3. #3
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    Probably more directed at people who play instruments, but do you prefer pieces in flats or sharps?
    Isn't C sharp the same as B flat?

  4. #4
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Isn't C sharp the same as B flat?
    Not quite, they're a minor third apart. On a piano A sharp is the same as B flat. And C sharp is the same as D flat.
    "It is surprising how easily one can become used to bad music" - F. Mendelssohn

  5. #5
    Senior Member Livly_Station's Avatar
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    The word "sharp" is cooler than "flat", so people like sharp better. Understandable.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    Not quite, they're a minor third apart. On a piano A sharp is the same as B flat. And C sharp is the same as D flat.
    D'oh! I got them the wrong way round. I meant B sharp and C flat.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Couchie View Post
    Probably more directed at people who play instruments, but do you prefer pieces in flats or sharps?
    It depends on the instrument. But it is the mark of good musicians to be able to play evenly across all keys.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Sep-24-2021 at 16:23.

  8. #8
    Senior Member amfortas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    D'oh! I got them the wrong way round. I meant B sharp and C flat.
    Still wrong. B sharp would be C, and C flat would be B. So they're a half tone apart.

    You're doing this on purpose, right?
    Alan

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  10. #9
    Senior Member Forster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amfortas View Post
    Still wrong. B sharp would be C, and C flat would be B. So they're a half tone apart.

    You're doing this on purpose, right?
    No, really I'm not. I'm not a musician and am not looking at a keyboard which would help me make the point I want to make, which is that I can't see how one can 'prefer' sharps or flats when they're so closely interrelated - even being the same note (if only I could get the right pair...C sharp and D flat perhaps?)

    NB The poll may say "keys in flats or sharps" but the title of the thread says "pieces in flats or sharps".
    Last edited by Forster; Sep-24-2021 at 17:16.

  11. #10
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    For playing the tenor viol, I prefer six specific keys: F, G and C major and the parallel minor keys. For playing the recorder, it all depends: The alto recorder in G is better for sharp keys, the alto recorder in F (the "normal" alto recorder) is better for flat keys.

  12. #11
    Senior Member mbhaub's Avatar
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    When I play piano I prefer sharp keys - for some reason it's easier. When I play bassoon it doesn't matter - any key is fine. But those double sharps and double flats!!!! When I play snare drum, cymbals or bass drum I don't care.

    I can tell you that string players by far prefer sharp keys. Years ago in a college orchestration class the professor demonstrated this clearly: he had arranged a Bach piece for strings twice: in D flat and C sharp. The players struggled big time with the D flat version, but played the C sharp version remarkably better. Then going back to the D flat it was miserable again. Strings just don't like flats. In the Chicago Symphony recording of Franz Schmidt's 2nd symphony when even that great orchestra hits the part in G flat you can hear them suddenly struggle with intonation.
    "It is surprising how easily one can become used to bad music" - F. Mendelssohn

  13. #12
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    In sightreading, I prefer sharps, mainly because most transpositions for alto sax end up in sharp keys, so that's what I'm used to. But when I'm playing without music, I'll think of the key that's easiest to remember. Like Eb is easier for me than thinking in D#, and Bb is easier than A#.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Haydn70's Avatar
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    Don't b sharp.
    Don't b flat.
    Just b natural.
    “If it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for all, it is not art.”

    Arnold Schoenberg

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    What if you wear flats with pointy toes?

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  18. #15
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    The key of F I find most difficult to play on the keyboard. There's that one lone Bb, typically played by the thumb. The key of Bb is a little easier with the addition of the Eb. From there, I don't find much difference in playing any other key.

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