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The sign indicating momentary departure from the current key signature by the raising or lowering of a note by means of a sharp or a flat or a natural. It holds good throughout the measure unless contradicted, and where it occurs attached to the last note of the measure and this note is tied to a note in the next measure, it holds good for that latter note also. In some 20th century music any accidental that occurs is understood to affect only the note before which it is placed; as was also often the case with music from the medieval period to the 17th century.

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