PhatPhish

Enharmonic Equivalents

 

A single pitch can have more than one name, depending on the context in which it is being used - known as enharmonic equivalents.

For example, there is a gap of 2 semitones between C and D. The note in the 'gap' between the two notes could be called C# (a semitone higher than C) or Db (a semitone lower than D). They both sound the same, but the name used depends on how the note has been derived.

The table below lists the enharmonic equivalents for the notes in the chromatic scale, some of which are more common than others. A '##' or 'bb' (double sharp or double flat) is a note which already has an accent in its name, but which has been further accented.

C
B#
Dbb
C#
B##
Db
D
C##
Ebb
D#
Eb
Fbb
E
D##
Fb
F
E#
Gbb
F#
E##
Gb
G
Abb
F##
G#
Ab
A
G##
Bbb
A#
Bb
Cbb
B
A##
Cb

To get a better idea of how notes names are progressively sharpened or flattened as you move through the chromatic scale, the table could be viewed like this, where each column represents a single pitch from the chromatic scale, and the note names are the names that could possibly be applied to that pitch:

C
Dbb




B#
C#
Db





B##
C##
D
Ebb

D#
Eb
Fbb

D##
E
Fb


E#
F
Gbb


E##
F#
Gb



F##
G
Abb




G#
Ab




G##
A
Bbb
Cbb




A#
Bb
Cb




A##
B

 


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