The names of simple notes

до, ре, ми, фа, соль, ля, си

are not declinable (несклоняемые). The names of the modifiers диез (sharp), бемоль, (flat), бекар (natural), etc. are declinable

знак диезa, три бемоля

What about composite note names, such as до-диез, си-бекар, ля-бемоль? Which of the following sentences is correct?

Произведение заканчивается на до-диезе, оставляя ощущение некой недосказанности.

Произведение заканчивается на до-диез, оставляя ощущение некой недосказанности.

As a bonus, is there a general pattern for declinability of composite nouns where one part is not declinable, but the other is?


Both are correct.

The constituents, if any, may agree both with the name of the note (which is usually considered neuter) and with the name of the modifier (which is masculine).


И только си-бемоль сверкало /neuter/ черно-зеленой амальгамой, а чаще зияло отсутствием: отсутствием движения, воздуха, самой жизни.


Когда в дуэте с Маргаритой певец осторожно подбирался к верхнему /masculine/ ре-бемолю, то на его лице был написан такой ужас, что партер ни (sic!) на шутку испугался.

Declinability is defined by the part in the composite word with which the other constituents agree. Both parts decline if share gender and number; the non-agreeing part does not decline if not.


Ты поедешь на синей Ладе-Калине, красной Ладе-Спутник или белой Ладе-Жигули?


Ты поедешь на синей Калине, красном Спутникe или белых Жигулях?

Лада is the agreeing word (singular feminine), so Калина (also singular feminine) declines with it, Спутник и Жигули (singular masculine and plural) do not.

  • This is a very comprehensive answer, thank you. Jun 18 '12 at 13:24
  • 1
    партер не на шутку испугался
    – kirilloid
    Jun 18 '12 at 20:24
  • @kirilloid: it's a citation, though a correction would be of use, thanks.
    – Quassnoi
    Jun 18 '12 at 20:25

The second sentence is right. Unfortunately, I can't find the rule, but.. as I noticed, we can say just "до-диез" as an answer for question 'what'.

For example, 'what is written there?' - 'до-диез'. 'what is in the end of the composition?' - 'до-диез'. But we decline it in sentences like 'there is no....' - "Здесь нет до-диеза".

I think, 'диезЕ, бемолЕ' is like an informal speech which sometimes can be refered as a mistake.

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