Sharps and Flats

What are sharps (♯) and flats (♭) in music?

A sharp is what we call a note when we have to raise it’s pitch to play a certain scale. For example if I want to play the E minor scale, I would have to raise the F note to become F sharp (F♯). F needs to be raised because the minor scale has a whole step between the first and second notes, but the way the piano is laid out E and F are right beside each other; a half step apart.

A flat is when you lower a note to play a certain scale. Think of a flat tire, the note gets lower when it is flattened. A flat sign looks like a lower case ♭ beside the note. Ex. A♭