9 Enharmonic equivalents

Notes that represent the same pitch, but are located on a different line or space (thus having a different letter name), are called enharmonic equivalents. What do you think the enharmonic equivalent of A flatĀ is?


In other words, every note on the piano keyboard can be “spelled” at least two different ways. Notice the white keys can be spelled three different ways!


It is important that you understand the concept of enharmonics for future lessons. Although the same note on the piano, enharmonics such as Ab/G# are different in music notation (on the staff).


Diatonic vs. chromatic half steps

A diatonic half step has different letter names (e.g., C to Db).

A chromatic half step has the same letter names (e.g., C to C#).

(The terms “diatonic” and “chromatic” will be revisited in a later lesson dealing with scales.)

MTSB: Lesson 1, Practice enharmonic equivalents