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double sharp

DUH-bul sharp


An accidental symbol (𝄪) placed to the left of a note indicating that the note is to be raised by two half steps (two semitones). 
The double sharp symbol alters the pitch of the note to which it is attached as well as any subsequent occurrence of the same note (identical line or space) in the same measure. Notes with the same pitch name, but a higher or lower octave, are not effected. Any note with a double sharp that also has a tie across a barline carries the double sharp to the note on the other side of the barline. Notes in the new measure that are not tied to altered notes from the previous measure revert to their original pitch and are performed using the current key signature. It should also be noted that a double sharp will always be shown with the double sharp symbol, regardless of the key signature. For example, if the current key signature shows one sharp (e.g. an F sharp in the key of G Major), adding one sharp symbol to an F sharp on the top line of the staff would not create a double sharp. Only the addition of the double sharp symbol to that note would indicate a double sharp.
To cancel the effect of a double sharp, a single sharp symbol is used to indicate that the pitch a specific note is to be raised a half step (one semitone). There is a rarely used symbol that combines the natural symbol and sharp symbol. There is no specific name for this, but the natural symbol would be found in a measure with a double sharp to lower the pitch of the indicated note by a half step (one semitone). The natural symbol is intended  cancel the first sharp symbol of the double sharp shown on the previous note in the measure and and the sharp symbol indicate that the pitch would only be raised by a half step (one semitone). In the examples below, the recommended notation is the preferred notation since it indicates the correct pitches and is easier for the performer to read.


Double Sharp Notation

Recommended Notation
(Removing the effect of a double sharp with a single sharp) 

Alternative Notation
(Removing the effect of a double sharp with a natural and sharp) 

See Also

[French] double bémol (m)
[German] Doppelkreuz (n)
[Italian] doppio diesis (m)
[Spanish] doble sostenido (m)


Last Updated: 2016-05-23 19:14:43