Learning a new piece of music is a lot like cooking from a cookbook. You have to know how to read a recipe, and understand the techniques and ingredients.
Experienced cooks read through the recipe beforehand and make sure they have all of their ingredients on hand before starting. Novices jump right in.
You are going to learn the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, as an expert. Don't worry, this course was designed to make doing the right thing the default, and if you follow the steps and pay attention, your Moonlight Sonata will eventually sound like the Moonlight Sonata of your aspirations.
To get you started, you will need to know what a sharp is. You may think you know this already, and maybe you do, but a refresher doesn't hurt.
The piano keyboard is set up with a repeating pattern of 7 white keys and 5 black keys. The white keys are often taught by their location in reference to the groups of 2 and 3 black keys. In English, the white keys are named with the first 7 letters of the alphabet. The black keys don't have independent names (mini course for learning the names of all the keys here).
A sharp is the first key to the right of any white key. A sharp can be a black key or a white key. All black keys have a sharp name (and a flat name-watch the videos) but only two white keys, E sharp and B sharp, can be called a sharp.
A double sharp is a sharped-sharp. Namely 2 keys to the right of a white key. It looks like a little "x" on the same line or space of the original note.
Make F a double- In the case of the Moonlight Sonata, there are several places where F double sharp is notated. F double sharp is the G key, or two keys to the right of the F.
On a piano keyboard, one key to the right is a VISUAL and SPACIAL description of a sharp, but from a TONAL or AURAL standpoint, it is a semitone or half step higher in pitch, or sound.
Sharps and flats which are written in the key signature apply for the whole piece, whereas a sharp, flat or natural used in a measure of music applies only to notes only in the measure.
If you want to use the cooking analogy, sharps and flats in a key signature are like salt added to the sauce while cooking but an accidental in the music is like a sprinkle of salt on a morsel of food.
It happens that the Moonlight Sonata is in the key of C sharp minor, and the sharps in the key signature are F sharp, C sharp, G sharp, and D sharp. But, as you play the piece, you will see that A sharp, E sharp, and B sharp are also in the score.
Confused? That's OK. It will make sense to you as you are playing the piece, and if you are unsure about a note, watch the video. Every key is shown one at a time. By the time you are finished with the piece, you will be playing all of the keys like an expert!