Enharmonics in orchestration

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Chord Arpeggios
Enharmonics

In mm. 1-2, you may wonder why the lowest cello note is written as a D♯ instead of an E♭. The notes E♭ and B spell an augmented 5th interval, which is somewhat awkward to read. By using the enharmonic equivalent (D♯), the interval becomes a 6th, which is much easier for a cellist to read and understand.

What if we had notated the interval as E♭ and C♭? This would certainly be a 6th, however, the cellos alternate every two measures between this interval and A. The distance between C♭ to A is a diminished 3rd, which is also awkward. Overall, we feel D♯-B is the better choice.


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