Black keys on the piano

Black keys on the piano

The black keys of the grand piano, piano and piano are derivative steps-notes. They are called the same as white ones, but with a prefix – thanks to this, you can set what sound the key produces.

The black keys on the piano correspond to different notes than the white ones.

The purpose of the black keys

Black keys on the pianoThis is what the black keys on a piano are called:

  1. Sharp is the black key located to the right of the white key.
  2. Flat is the black key located to the left of the white key.

A flat and a sharp on a piano indicate a decrease and increase in sound by half a tone, respectively. The name of a particular key depends on which white “neighbors” are close to it. Black C-sharp is to the right of white C. It can also be called D-flat, because there is a neighboring white D on the right.

Location of black keys on piano and upright piano

One octave has 5 black keys. Each black key on the left and right is surrounded by one white key. But there are fewer black keys compared to white ones. There are no black keys between C and Do, Mi and Fa. C plays the role of B sharp, and F is used as C sharp on the piano.


Sounds that have the same pitch but are written differently are enharmonic equal, or enharmonic.

Interesting Facts

The history of the existence of keyboard instruments has accumulated many interesting facts:

  • There are instruments where instead of black keys there are white keys and vice versa. These mainly belong to ancient products – for example, the clavestin.
  • The first keyboard instrument was invented in Greece 2,300 years ago, and it did not have black keys. Therefore, the possibilities of ancient musicians were limited – it is enough to try to play only on white keys.
  • The first black keys appeared in the 13th century, and over the next 700 years their arrangement improved. Thanks to this, Western European music received an unlimited number of chords , various keys, and new key signs.


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