Tones and Semitones

Now you understand pitch on a grand orchestral scale. We turn to the smallest intervals in western music the tones and semitones.

The letters of the alphabet are separated by tones and semitones.

E to F is a semitone. Twice a semitone is a tone.

F to G is a tone. The alphabet is not equidistant.

F to G is twice the distance of E to F.

 Tone Tone Semitone Tone Tone Tone Semitone 

The ruler of pitch

Western music is divided into 12 equidistant semitones.

How do we write the interval between F and G?

We introduce new notation.

A semitone higher than F is F#. A semitone lower than G is Gb. F# and Gb are the same pitch. They represent the semitone between F and G.

The step-like alphabetic ascension of tones and semitones is familiar to all who play the piano keyboard.

The Ruler of Pitch
 Db Eb  Gb Ab Bb  Db Eb