Order of sharps

The order of sharps is: F♯ C♯ G♯ D♯ A♯ E♯ B♯

But you can remain only: F C G D A E B

Order of sharps

How to memorize the order of sharps

There are several mnemonic tricks to memorize the order of sharps F♯ C♯ G♯ D♯ A♯ E♯ B♯:

  • A funny trick is to memorize the next sentence: Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Birds.
  • Another trick to memorize the orders of sharps: Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle
  • Or memorize the three letters FCG plus the word DAED, but that means nothing...But the order of sharps is the same as the order of flats but reversed.

Why to learn by heart the order of sharps?

With the order of sharps always in mind you will be able to:

Knowing all altered notes

Imagine you have 3 sharps in the key signature:

order of sharps, example 1

With the order of sharps in mind, you immediately know the altered notes you will find in the score: F♯ C♯ G♯ D♯ A♯ E♯ B♯ and you will know that the previous score is just like this:

order of sharps, example 2

Finding the name of the key signature

With the order of sharps, you can find the name of the key signature:

Imagine you have this (3 sharps in the key signature)

order of sharps, example 1

With the order of sharps, you have this: F♯ C♯ G♯

You find the last sharp in this sequence: F♯ C♯ G♯, here it is G♯, and you add a half step united states of america (semitone united kingdom) to know the name of the key signature: G♯ + 1 half step (semitone) = A. So with 3 sharps in the key, the name of the key signature is A Major.

The order of sharps in the cycle of fifths

You will notice that the order of the sharps appears clearly in the circle of the cycle of fifths, find the letter F and walk around the circle clockwise:

circle of fifths


External links to learn more about :

1 - https://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory9.htm
2 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accidental_(music)
3 - https://musicterms.artopium.com/a/Accidentals.htm


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