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How about moving sharp, flat, natural to the right of the music note?

Mizue Murakami

Sharp & flat to the left & right of music note

Today's blog I'm writing may be controversial. I may get a lot of backlashes. But I'll write this blog anyway.

I've been teaching piano and music for a few decades. And I've been noticing some students (especially beginners) have a hard time reading sharped or flatted notes. When they see a flat or sharp sign, they immediately think it's a half step up or down. Yes, that's correct. But from which note? They are not even looking at the actual note they need to apply the sharp or flat because the sharp or flat sign appears in front of that particular note. Their eyes don't pass by the sharp or flat sign to see the actual note that they first need to figure out. Some students get frustrated. And they just add sharp or flat from the previous note. 

The music notations got evolved last few hundred years. Well, actually not many changes though. And now with the digital age, there are fewer people who are willing to learn to read music. We should re-organize, make changes, and make music reading easier for more people. 

So, I would like the music publishing industry to start debating about issues such as the location of sharp, flat, and natural sings. I think it would make music reading more friendly if we place sharp, flat, & natural sings on the right side of notes. But then, I thought, "Wait a minute. It's going to crash with a dot (if the note is a dotted note). So, how about moving the dot to the left? 

But most publishers would say, changing that is too much work. It's easier to make these beginners learn how to read properly, just like learning a new language. I agree with that also. But I just wanted to put out this thought I've been having for a while. Perhaps already a lot of music teachers must be thinking that as well quietly just like I have been.

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