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Encyclopedia > Flat (music)
Figure 1. The notes A flat and A double flat on the treble clef.
Figure 1. The notes A flat and A double flat on the treble clef.

In music, flat means "lower in pitch." More specifically, in music notation, flat means "lower in pitch by a semitone (half step)," and has an associated symbol (), which looks like a lowercase "b"; the note A flat is shown in musical notation in Figure 1. The Unicode character '♭' (U+266D) can be used to display a flat sign. A clef (French for key) is a symbol used in musical notation that assigns notes to lines and spaces on the musical staff. ... Music is a form of expression in the medium of time using the structures of tones and silence. ... Music notation is a system of writing for music. ... In music, pitch is the perception of the frequency of a note. ... A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ... Music notation is a system of writing for music. ...

Under equal temperament, C flat is the same as, or enharmonically equivalent to, B and F flat is the same as E. There also exist double-flats, which look like and lower a note by two semitones, or a whole step. Less often one will encounter half, three-quarter, or otherwise altered flats. Equal temperament is a scheme of musical tuning in which an interval, usually the octave, is divided into a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). ... In music, an enharmonic is a note which is the equivalent of some other note, but spelled differently. ...

In tuning, flat can also mean "slightly lower in pitch". If two simultaneous notes are slightly out of tune, the lower-pitched one (assuming the higher one is properly pitched) is said to be flat with respect to the other. This page is about the musical process of tuning, for musical systems of tuning see musical tuning. ...

Play an A and an A flat

See also



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