Order of flats
The order of flats is: B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭ G♭ C♭ F♭
But you can remain only: B E A D G C F
How to memorize the order of flats
There are several mnemonic tricks to memorize the order of flats B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭ G♭ C♭ F♭:
- Memorize the word BEAD plus three letters GCF.
- Another trick to memorize the orders of flats with the next sentence: Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles Father
- Another way to remember this is BEAD Go Catch Fish.
- Or with this sentence: Before Eating A Doughnut, Get Coffee First.
Why to learn by heart the order of flats?
With the order of flats always in mind you will be able to:
- Knowing all altered notes in your music score (music notes with accidentals, flats in this case)
- Finding the name of the key signature.
Knowing all altered notes
Imagine you have 4 flats in the key signature:
With the order of flats in mind, you immediately know the altered notes you will find in the score: B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭
G♭ C♭ F♭ and you will know that the previous score is just like this:
Finding the name of the key signature
With the order of flats, you can find the name of the key signature:
Imagine you have this (4 flats in the key signature)
With the order of flats, you have this: B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭
You find the second to last flat in this sequence: B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭, here it is A♭ (A flat), so you know that the name of the key signature is A flat Major.
The order of flats in the cycle of fifths
You will notice that the order of the flats appears clearly in the circle of the cycle of fifths, find the letter B and walk around the circle counterclockwise: