editing disabled

previous top next (This page is part of a series on Kite's color notation)

Unless otherwise specified, all notes in sheet music are assumed to be white. Every non-white note is marked with a color accidental like b, g, ry, etc. The color accidentals trail the notes, so as to be distinct from the sharp/flat accidentals that lead the notes. Like sharp/flat accidentals, they apply to every such note in the measure. Here's Iyb – IVyb – Iyb – Vyb,9 in B♭:
Notation example 1.png
Unlike regular accidentals which apply to a note (e.g. A), color accidentals only apply to one specific "version" of that note (e.g. A flat or A natural). For example, the yellow accidental in the first chord applies to all the D naturals in that measure but not to the D flats. Like regular accidentals, color accidentals only apply to one octave.
To avoid clutter, one can optionally use a color signature. It's analogous to a key signature, which defines a default accidental for each version of the 7 notes, to "map" them onto the 12 keys. The color signature defines a default color for each of the 12 keys, to map them onto the 30 or so ratios. This default color is assumed to be white, so this example's color signature only needs 5 notes. When there's a color signature, color accidentals are only used for exceptions to the color signature.
Notation example 2.png
Minor key signatures are allowed, and are distinguished from the relative major key signature by the location of the white notes. In the next example, one sharp means E minor, not G major, because the E notes are white and the G notes aren't.
Notation example 3.png
The two G notes in the 1st chord of the 2nd measure both require color accidentals because they are in different octaves. Like regular accidentals, color accidentals only apply to one octave.
Large and small are implied by the color accidentals and regular accidentals. In G, a white B natural must be large, because the only white major 3rd is the large white 3rd. One wouldn't write "L" or "s" next to the notes just as one wouldn't write "major" or "minor". Magnitude is used only in relative notation, never in absolute notation.
These staff notation examples were made with the free open-source MuseScore notation software. Color accidentals are made by putting fingerings on the notes, then editing the fingering text.
“Without You” is in B♭and uses a 15-note scale.The score includes chord names.
Without You piano in Bb, no color sig.png

The same piece, using a color signature.

Without You piano in Bb.png

previous top next