[Bell Historians] G flat major

Andrew Higson andrew_higson at ...
Mon Jun 13 14:13:16 BST 2005

I thought Scriabin was a sort of beetle - especially with the Egyptologist 

Nigel's right, of course. If other temperaments are used the F#/G flat 
distinction is important. I had the pleasure of playing an organ once that 
had double sharp keys - one for F# and one for G flat, boy, did I get 
confused! This is probably lost on the "if it goes round and goes clunk, 
I'll ring it" brigade though.

Although it still grates with me, it does the essential whichever note is 
used, that is to give some idea what note is being listened to.


(psst, Nigel - we could market both f#s and g flats as essential and boost 
bell sales!)

> Andrew Higson, who presumably does not play Scriabin wrote:
> <That's all wrong!
> Ever tried playing anything in G flat? As a key signature it is
> somewhere
> you only get by transposition during a piece from, er, er, well
> another key
> anyway.>
> Scriabin wrote some sonatas and preludes in Gb major. There is some
> logic to this, depending upon the tuning and what you are trying to
> convey in a piece of music. F# and Gb major are halfway round the
> circle of 5ths and therefore have the same number of accidentals: 6.
> In the best tuning systems, the keys with corresponding numbers of
> sharps and flat have very similar intonation and the same value of
> major 3rd. For example, in Thomas Young's (the egyptologist and
> inventor of "Young's Modulus) tuning, the keys of "D" and "Bb" both
> with 2 accidentals have a major 3rd value of +396.09 cents. The key
> of F#/Gb has a Pythagorean major 3rd with a value of 407.82 cents.
> I have adopted a similar system to that which Dickon has proposed:
> sharp of international,say F#+20 is Gb, and say F#-20 is given as F#.
> G# major is not a problem as long as you can accept the Fx (F double
> sharp) as the leading note in a ring of 8.
> Andrew may not agree, but I have not broken any musical rules! I am
> merely conveying the desired "key-flavour" !
> Nigel Taylor
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