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Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Forum

Where can I find fingering charts on the web?
How do I play E#? Fb? B#? Cb? Double sharp? Double flat? Natural sharp? Natural flat? Double natural?

Will you send me a fingering chart?
Will you send me free sheet music?

What are some common misspellings that I should be aware of?
Which octave number corresponds to which octave?
What do "8va" and "15ma" mean?
Can I advertise on the Forum?

 

Where can I find fingering charts on the web?

You can start with the fingering charts in this site, which are fairly comprehensive, span full ranges of all common band/orchestral instruments and several others, and provide several types of fingerings (from alternate fingerings to trill and tremolo fingerings and some extended technique fingerings, like quarter tones and multiphonics). If you don't find what you seek in this site, try the links page or Google. [Work is under way to compile and add to this site a brief bibliography of books, publications, and web sites with fingering charts and technique.]

How do I play E#? Fb? B#? Cb? Double sharp (x)? Double flat (bb)? Natural sharp? Natural flat? Double natural?

  • E# is the same as F-natural.
  • Fb is the same as E-natural.
  • B# is the same as C-natural.
  • Cb is the same as B-natural.
  • "Double sharp" is symbolized by an "x" and means to raise the note by two half steps (Cx = D, Dx = E, Ex = F#, Fx = G, Gx = A, Ax = B, and Bx = C#).
  • "Double flat" is symbolized by "bb" (two flat signs) and means to lower the note by two half steps (Cbb = Bb, Dbb = C, Ebb = D, Fbb = Eb, Gbb = F, Abb = G, and Bbb = A).
  • When a singly sharp (or flat) note follows a doubly sharp (or doubly flat) version of the same note letter, the single sharp (flat) is often notated as a natural sign followed by a sharp # (or flat b) sign. For example, if a Fx is followed by F#, the F# may be notated as either F-natural-sharp or just F#. The extra natural symbol is used as a reminder that one of the two sharps (or flats) has been cancelled.
  • If a natural note follows a doubly sharp (or doubly flat) version of the same note, a double natural may appear on the second note. For example, if Ebb is followed by E-natural, then the E-natural may be notated as either E-natural-natural or just E-natural.

Will you send me a fingering chart?

No. You can browse through the Fingering Charts in this site.

Will you send me free sheet music?

No. Search the web for free sheet music.

What are some common misspellings that I should be aware of?

  • cite/site/sight: You cite people, forum messages, books, or web sites by noting them as a source of information. Mountain views can be spectacular sights.
  • definite, definitely: these words definitely do not have an "a". Think "finite."
  • embouchure: French. "the position and use of the lips, tongue, and teeth in playing a wind instrument" (from www.m-w.com)
  • finger, fingering: neither has a "u"
  • repertoire: this spelling comes straight from French
  • rhythm: has two "h"s
  • saxophone: has only one "a" but two "o"s (not saxaphone)
  • tongue, tonguing, tongued: the "u" is often omitted or misplaced.
  • tremolo: has two "o"s

Which octave number corresponds to which octave?

The Woodwind Fingering Guide uses the Acoustical Society of America Octave Designation System, which calls middle C = C4. The Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary shows this system (shaded yellow) and other octave numbering systems.

Each octave's lowest note letter is C, and the highest is B. Thus the sequence C, D, E, F, G, A, B fills an octave, and the next note (C) has the next-highest octave number. For example, C4 is the note just above B3. The octave numbers depend only on these letters and not on accidentals (sharps, naturals, and flats) applied to the letters. This matters for notes near the ends of the octaves. For example, B#3 and C4 are both enharmonically the same note: middle C.

What do "8va" and "15ma" mean?

"8va" is "octava", the Italian word for "eighth" or "octave". This common abbreviation is placed above (or below) notes to indicate that they should be played one octave higher (or lower). Sometimes "8va basso" or "8vb" is used in place of "8va" to mean "an octave below," leaving "8va" for "an octave above."

"15ma" is "quindecima", the Italian word for "fifteenth" or "two octaves". Similar to 8va but used very rarely, 15ma is placed above (or below) notes to indicate that they should be played two octaves higher (or lower).

Can I advertise on the Forum?

No. The Forum's purpose is primarily for informational discussion. Advertising is strictly forbidden.

 

 

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by Timothy Reichard
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