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Enharmonic

An enharmonic is a musical term meaning that two notes or scales have the same pitches. For example, a D-flat major scale has exactly the same pitches as a C-sharp major scale, but the two scales are "spelled" differently; D-flat major is spelled using five flats (D, E, G, A, and B), and C-sharp major is spelled using seven sharps--that is, everything is sharp. Keys with fewer sharps or flats are preferred; thus, D-flat major is the more common, since it has 5 flats to C-sharp major's 7 sharps. Note, however, that C-sharp minor is much simpler than D-flat minor: the C-sharp minor scale has only four sharps (C, E, F, and G), while D-flat minor has six flats (D, E, F, G, A, and C) and one double-flat, B.

See also: music theory, music notation, accidental



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