February 24, 2006 6:51 PM Subscribe
Why are C and F the notes without corresponding flat keys on the piano?
posted by billtron to Media & Arts (67 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Or, conversely, why are B sharp and E sharp enharmonic with C natural and F natural?
I have tried to find the answer on line and through my musicologist friends, but to no avail. Everyone's perfectly willing to explain whole steps and half steps and the rudiments of music theory, but what I want to know is why the exceptions to the rule are C and F? Why not D and G? Was there some moment in music history when the Catholic Church declared C flat the devil's accidental? Was it an arbitrary decision among keyboard makers? Is it based on some ancient Greek tombstone?