Triple sharps and triple flats

• Apr 26, 2020 - 22:13

While triple sharps and triple flats may be somewhat, if not, very rare, they are nonetheless existent. From time to time I experiment with Musescore, and even before I discovered this software, I composed a short piano work in G-sharp major, which requires an F-double-sharp in its key signature. Triple sharps and flats are a must have for Musescore for obvious reasons like one I'm about to explain below.

In the above paragraph, I mentioned my work in G-sharp major, which would be the enharmonic equivalent of A-flat major, only with sharps instead of flats. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to make it so that, based on the whims and moods of individual composers, that all keys with flats have enharmonic equivalents with sharps, and vice versa. C major and A minor, being the only two standard keys with an all-natural key signature, have the distinction (in my mind at least) of getting both a sharped enharmonic equivalent (B-sharp major, G-double-sharp minor), and a flatted one (D-double-flat major, B-double-flat minor).

For G-double-sharp minor to work like any other minor key in common musical conventions, an F-triple-sharp would be required for effect, especially in harmonic and melodic minor scales, chords, and in standard musical progression. Similarly, one must typically use a triple flat if he wants to create a G-double-flat minor chord in a D-double-flat major context.

I know there must be other uses for triple sharps and flats, but no further examples come to my knowledge. I know they're out there, and although it's impossible to know everything, I'd say they're a must have for Musescore.


In reply to by Marcus2

It is the place for proposing new features and discussion about how a certain feature could/should be implemented. Once there is a certain agreement about the approach, that result is entered into the issue tracker so a possible contributor may pick it up in the future.

Why is this reasonable? What about quadruple and quintuple sharps and flats? If you write pieces in triple sharp and triple flat keys, you will need them. How about triple and quadruple microtonal accidentals, to be able to cover the set of real numbers?

Is there a reason there are no works in G sharp major except what this iconoclastic user offers us? What about notes outside of the range of midi, or open space for concepts yet to be invented?

Is there any predicate of reasonability applicable here?

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

Writing in G# major is indeed an affectation and not normally necessary, although there are any number of Romantic-era works where the composer resorts to enharmonic respelling of keys that are almost equally awkward (e.g., the "Raindrop" prelude modulating between Db major and C# minor). But that aside, you can actually manage to write yourself into the desired for a triple flat just by using diminished chords in their traditional function & spelling. For example, a Cb diminished seventh chord is Cb-Ebb-Gbb-Bbbb, and this would be the usual spelling of the chord when it occurs as a passing chord between C minor and Bb minor in the key of Ab. Mind you, it's not how I'd spell that chord, and not only because of the triple flat. Even in simple keys like C major, I prefer to spell the passing chord between iii and ii as #iio7 rather than biiio7, because D#o8 has nice diatonic pitches like A & C. But, "they" say to spell descending passing chords with flats, so what are you going to do?

Again, I thank all of you guys for your useful feedback. And I'll use the issue tracker when I'm ready.

Also, I wouldn't describe myself as being iconoclastic with my use of G-sharp major, but rather groundbreaking or rebellious. (I hope I'm not bragging.) That goes similarly for Beethoven, who composed in a groundbreaking and rebellious manner as of his Piano Sonatas Nos. 21 ("Waldstein") & 22 and Symphony No. 3 ("Eroica").

In reply to by Marcus2

OOOOH! Like BEETHOVEN! GROUNDBREAKING and REBELLIOUS! WHooooooooooooaaaaaa! da-da-da-DAAAAAAA! How dull and limited I am to such boldness, how stuck and mired in my dusty music of the 18th century, monks and cathedrals! Yes, I've never heard music in G# major before! Although it sounds an awful lot like Ab to me, I'm sure my inability to see this new Emperor Concerto's new clothes is solely due to my inexperience and ignorance of the cutting-edge areas you are breaking through!

I was trying to be gentle and diplomatic in my language with "iconoclastic". Perhaps it was a mistake. No, "not bragging". Are you familiar with Donald Trump?

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I'm so sorry for taking your use of the term "iconoclastic" too seriously. :(

As for your question about Donald Trump, I don't consider him a braggart, and I am in fact a Trump supporter. Although I don't think it's wise to get into a political discussion on a forum about music creating/editing software and music itself.

In reply to by Marcus2

It’s one thing to compose music that is inherently - by its sound - groundbreaking. it’s another to simply choose to notate o es music in a way that the majority of people will not be able to read successfully. I mean, no one can prevent you from doing it, we can just say say that if you wish your music to be played by others so everyone can enjoy it and appreciate whatever groundbreaking qualities it has, it does behoove you to write it in a conventional way. Unconventional notation can be necessary when standard notation fails, but that simply isn’t the case here.

In reply to by Marcus2

Your little piece shows complete ignorance of correct voice-leading, but in a zealot's eyes, that's only because I'm so blind and stupid and voted for the wrong color people, right? If I recall, Obama didn't run a university that defaulted on a lawsuit to all its victims. Have you even heard of Trump University? Are you, in fact, old enough to vote?

In reply to by Marcus2

I haven't seen any musical opinions of yours, just ludicrous braggadocio and self-declared greatness, just like ...... What did you come to this site for, other than to showcase the same? College, and exposure to people who actually know stuff, will do wonders for you (it did for me).

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

Well, I'm glad we got that all taken care of. I was very much not aware of that fact, and I'm sorry for wasting forum space over here.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the forum descriptions are misleading, and the whole forum on this site (encompassing needs to be updated, badly.

In reply to by Marcus2

You are not wrong. I will sing right along with you on this song! The distinction between and is complex, and rooted in history, and this situation needs to be clarified, "badly" in your words. In spite of us who understand it (almost) completely,, it trips up people, particularly newcomers, in both places daily, if not hourly. This has been discussed endlessly. I would not say "misleading" (although the "your work produced with musescore!" forum is misleading in this day and age), but "very much insufficiently clear to outsiders/newcomers".

In reply to by Marcus2

"Not knowledgeable of piano literature? I wouldn't bet on that.

Graduate of OBAMA University?"

Thats like saying he uses Obama care? And there is no such a thing as trump care or any medical help from trump? Not exactly helping your statement, make sure you read your comments because I am utterly unimpressed by this conversation.

In reply to by Marcus2

People read by patter recognition. People know the use of double sharps as accidentals but have literally never once in their entire lives seen one is a key signature. So instead of simply reading the music normally, they’ll have to resort to taking out their secret decoder rings to translate each measure into standard notation before their hands will be able to find the notes. The vast majority won’t bother.

So unless your goal is to have your music not played, or played badly because of the mistakes people will make reading unconventional notation, I can’t see why you’d choose to do this.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Don't get me wrong, but believe it or not, I don't necessitate that my work become instantly well-known or popular. Many composers have faced criticism for their works at first. All I wanted was for my piece to be out there, and now it is. And we'll go from there...

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