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Semitones - It All Starts Here!


Semitone is the smallest interval in the musical system we use, i.e. equal temperament. No additional sound can be inserted between two sounds constituting a semitone! Semitone exercises and training can be found in the 
INTERVALS section, and now let us start with a little theory.

Usually the semitone is described on the basis of the natural semitones of the C-major scale, i.e. pairs of neighbor sounds E and F, and B and C. This is how it looks on the keyboard and on a staff:

 piano bc ef
b c notes                 e f notes
As you can see, there is no key between them. This is why other intervals are often defined with semitone number. Of course, a semitone can start with just any sound. Please take a look at the following examples:

from D

piano d eb 

d eb notes

from F#
piano fsharp g

fsharp g notes

from A

piano a bb

a bb notes


With the help of a keyboard it is easy to understand how a semitone is created: it always consists of two sounds or keys that are closest to one another. The minor second (diatonic semitone) is a basic semitone used to identify other intervals, and as such is important to be familiar with. Semitone can constitute basis for any interval, and as we all know every melody is made of intervals :) Thus, it is worth to test your interval knowledge – to do it please visit our INTERVALS section.