|In Unicode||U+266E |
(HTML : ♮)
A note is natural when it is neither lowered nor raised by other key signatures or accidentals. Natural notes are the notes A, B, C, D, E, F, and G represented by the white keys on the keyboard of a piano or organ. On a modern concert harp, the middle position of the seven pedals that alter the tuning of the strings gives the natural pitch for each string.
The scale of A minor or C major is sometimes regarded as the central, natural or basic minor scale or major scale because all of its notes are natural notes, whereas every other major scale in the circle of fifths has at least one of other accidental signs in it.
The notes F♭, C♭, E♯, B♯, and most notes inflected by double-flats and double-sharps correspond in pitch with natural notes; however, they are not regarded as natural notes but rather as enharmonic equivalents of them and are just as much chromatically inflected notes as most sharped and flatted notes that are represented by black notes on a keyboard.
The natural sign is derived from a square b used to denote B♮ in medieval music (in contrast with the round b denoting B♭, which became the flat symbol). The Unicode character MUSIC NATURAL SIGN '♮' (U+266E) should display as a natural sign. Its HTML entity is ♮.
But, naturals are assumed (by default) in key signatures and mentioned only in key signature changes.
However, in some cases, as in John Foulds' A World Requiem, naturals are omitted altogether in place of the canceled symbol. It seems to be aimed at reducing writing time and improving readability.
When used as an accidental, it is written to the left of the note head.
When used as an accidental, it is applied to the note after the natural sign in the same octave in the same bar.
A double natural is a symbol that has two naturals (♮♮).
In a case where one needs to cancel both flats or sharps of a double flat or double sharp, it is acceptable to write a single natural (♮) in modern notational practice. In older practice, two naturals (♮♮) can be written. (It's a 'double natural' sign.)
Similarly, to cancel one flat or sharp from a double flat or double sharp, the traditional convention is to use (♮♭ or ♭♮) or (♮♯ or ♯♮) instead of ♭ or ♯, respectively, but the naturals are generally omitted in modern notational practice: It is acceptable to use ♭ or ♯.
- Theoretically, the same principle could be considered when canceling the symbol of a triple sign(Triple flat/Triple sharp) or beyond.
- When changing a flat to a sharp or visa versa, the combined symbols ♮♭ or ♮♯ can be used.
- Benward & Saker (2003). Music in Theory and Practice, Vol 1, p.6. McGraw-Hill, Seventh edition. "Natural (♮)—cancels any previous sharp or flat and returns to the natural, or unaltered, pitch."
- "OnMusic Dictionary - Term". www.music.vt.edu. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
- Max Reger: Clarinet Sonata No.2 (Complete Score), pp. 33.: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
- Wen, Eric (2011). "E-quadruple flat: Tovey's Whimsy". Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie (in German). 8 (1): 77–89. doi:10.31751/612.
- Chopin: Études No. 9, Op.10 (C.F. Peters), pp. 429.: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project