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Encyclopedia of Microtonal Music Theory

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enharmonic equivalence

[Joe Monzo]

In the 12-edo scale, the capacity for two notes with different "spellings" and musical functions to be represented by the same actual degree of the scale. For example, in the 12-edo tuning, C# and Db are enharmonically equivalent, i.e., the same note.

Below is a lattice diagram showing a "standard" Eb-to-G# 12-tone pythagorean tuning in white, its syntonic-comma equivalents (i. e., same spelling) in the lightest shade of grey, and enharmonic equivalents (i. e., different spellings represented by the same 12-edo degree) in darker shades of grey:

This usage of enharmonic equivalence also occurs in other tunings. For an example, see the final graph in the "decimal" entry.

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