• Michelle Ostrove

What Does The Term “Enharmonic” Mean?

You should think of music as a language all it’s own. Let’s look at the letters C and K in the English language; they have different letter names but can sound exactly the same (cat and kick). The word enharmonic in music has the same concept.

An enharmonic is two pitches (tones) that sound exactly the same but the note name is different. Pitches such as F# (F sharp) and Gb (G flat) are written differently in music notation but sound exactly the same. So if a singer sings F# or Gb it will sound exactly the same.

On the piano, all of the black keys have one sound but two names. The black key can be a sharp (#) or a flat (b). When you are playing a piece of music, a note can be written as an F# or a Gb (depending on the key signature), but the sound will be the same because you are playing the same black key. Some of the white keys are enharmonics as well: Cb (C flat) & B or B# (B sharp) & C…Fb (F flat) & E or E# (E sharp) & F.

Let’s just say enharmonic is a fancy word for something quite simple: it simply means an alternate music spelling. It is two ways to indicate the same note.


What is a cat's favorite song? Three Blind Mice!

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