Cross (musical notation)

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In music, the cross denotes the increase of a root tone by a semitone . The ending -is is added to the note name of the altered note (e.g. F sharp for raised F ). This suffix is ​​an abbreviation of the Greek word diesis , which in ancient times already denoted a semitone. The character is written as a double cross with two vertical, parallel longitudinal lines and two diagonally upward transverse lines. The character is either on a line or a space on the staffwritten and altered the tone on this pitch. If the tone to be raised is on an auxiliary line , the cross is placed in front of the auxiliary line.

A cross increases the C to the C sharp

The symbol is used in two ways:

  • as an accidental , it is placed directly before a certain note; it is only valid in the measure in which it is notated and only for the designated octave range
  • as an accidental it is immediately after the clef and is valid either until the end of the piece or until it is resolved by another accidental; it also applies to all octave ranges.


In the older chorale notation , only two accidentals emerged from the 10th century, always referring to the root note B: the b rotundum ("round B") or also b minor denoted the lower tone variant, the b quadratum or b durum ("Square B") the higher. From the b quadratum both the cross developed and the natural sign .

Representation in computer systems

In the international Unicode character coding system , the cross ♯ is in position U + 266F ( musical sharp sign ).

The character double cross # (U + 0023 number sign , a number sign and not to be confused with the double cross in the musical notation) is a separate character and not identical to the cross in the musical notation. However, it is often used as a substitute for the cross.

In LaTeX the cross is by the syntax \sharpgenerated achieves the following result .


Several programming languages , most of which were developed for the .NET platform, have the cross in their names. Examples:

  • C # (pronounced: C sharp )
  • F # (pronounced: F sharp )
  • J # (read: J sharp )

However, since the increase sign cannot be entered directly on any standard keyboard, the pound sign is usually used instead for practical reasons.

See also