i got this fam
as a general rule if you have a chromatic lower or upper neighbor note (defined as a pattern like A-B-A or A-G-A, where B/G is the neighbor note; basically a three-note pattern where the notes on the outside are the same and the note in the middle is related to it by step), then you're going to want it to be written as, for instance, A-Bb-A or A-G#-A instead of A-A#-A or A-Ab-A.
this can also apply to situations where there's just a chromatic half step but the first note of the neighbor figure isn't present. it's something you see a lot with grace notes - stuff like C#-D where C# is the grace note. basically, it's a safe bet
that chromatic half steps that don't go in a linear direction are probably named with 2 different note names, as in the neighbor figures above and the C#-D mentioned earlier.
examples from my own arrangements: Fun Land
, measure 9 and also 25, Hamour
measure 6 and 26, Spat's Theme
most instances of E-natural, Aquarium
most chromatics in the piece
sometimes, looking at chords helps. most chords can be stacked into groups of 3rds. so, for instance, in m. 3, we have Gb in the bass and a Bb against Db dyad in the RH. Bb has to be Bb because that's in the key signature and it's not a chromatic pitch. So, our options for how to write the Db and Gb are:
Bb, Gb, Db
Bb, F#, Db
Bb, F#, C#
Bb, Gb, C#
only one of these allows a verticality that stacks into 3rds, and that's the first one: Bb, Gb, Db stacks to Gb, Bb, Db which is a series of thirds
, the first half of m. 7 implies a chord using D, A, C, and either F# and Gb, and only F# allows this to stack into thirds (D F# A C), Sunny Peak
m. 16, E# allows a third with G# as opposed to a 2nd with Fnat, Credits
m. 3, the first beat's A-C#-E is a stack of thirds as opposed to A-Db-E
in minor keys, you'll see the pitch one half step below tonic represented often. Make sure this does not have the same letter name as tonic. in A minor you'll often see G# and it is G# and not A-flat. in C# minor you'll often see B# and it is B# and not Cnat even though Cnat is a nicer "note".
also it's common to see the sixth scale degree raised in minor but this isn't as
common as raised 7th.
examples: Go Ham Rangers
, all F#s are F# and not Gb and Eb is raised to Enat, Moonlight,
it is in C# minor and so B# is the raised 7th as opposed to Cnat, Spat's Theme
is in Bb minor and so the raised 7th is Anat
in general if you're moving in a linear direction up with chromatics, use sharps or naturals (naturals if you need them to cancel out a flat key sig). if you're moving down, use flats or naturals (naturals if you need them to cancel out a sharp key sig).
examples: Fun Land
, measure 15, Condor's Wings, Harmony's Theme
, measure 7
DAMMIT NINJA'D whatever I'm leaving this here