12. Tones and Semitones
Grade 1. lesson 12 tones and semitones
What are tones and semitones?
To help to understand, it will make it easier if we use part of the piano
The eight keys used here from C to C are the keys you will find in the scale
There are five pairs of Tones, and Two pairs of Semitones.
The letter T stands for 'Tone' and the letter
S is for 'Semitone'
The smallest distance between two notes is a semitone.
You will see on the piano keys, between E/F and between B/C
there is no black key.
therefore, these two pairs of white keys are a semitone
All the other keys have a black key between the white keys, so they are a tone.
Tones and Semitones in Major Scales
T T S T
Why did we call the first note Root?
Because there are eight notes in a Major Scale.
The first note is the Tonic, a vocalist would refer to this note as 'doh'
as in the singing scale 'doh ra mi fa soh la te
R.The R stands for Root, it means the first note in the scale is the Root
also called the 'Tonic Note'
T. The T stands for Tone, meaning there is another note between the two
S. The S stands for Semitone, meaning there is no note between the two
The eight notes of the Major Scale can be divided into two groups containing four notes.
Each of these groups are called a
The word (Tetra) is Greek which means 4.
chord = a string of notes.
The pattern of R T T
S T T T S
If you follow this pattern, making sure you play the semitones in the correct place,
you will be able to play all the major scales, starting on any key.
It's great! try it out for yourself...
Music Theory Lessons Grade 1
Containing 18 detailed
This book contains all the information for tones and semitones
required for grade one examination, set in lesson12 of this
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When writing music in any key other than the C Major, we need to use the
Sharps, flats, and Naturals.
This is because of the Tones and Semitones.
So, let's take a look at some notes using these signs.