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(♯) sharp


Sharps and double-sharps in piano music.

Sharps and double-sharps (x) on the piano staff.

Image © Brandy Kraemer
Definition: A sharp is an accidental that indicates a slight increase in pitch. It’s seen as a noun, a verb, and an adjective:
  1. (n) A sharp is a symbol (♯, also ‘#’ in type) placed in front of a note, increasing its pitch by a half step. D# is a half step higher in pitch than D; and D is a half step higher than C#.

  2. (v) To “sharpen” a note means to raise its pitch by a half step (see double-sharp).

  3. (adj.) The word sharp can describe a pitch that is slightly higher than desired (or “off-pitch”), even if the pitch does not match an actual sharp note. For example, when tuning a piano, a particular string might sound “a bit sharp,” and would need to be “flattened” to match the correct pitch.

See () flat.

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