1.8 Half and whole steps


Category: Harmony | Tags: Intervals


In all music, you play tones with different pitches. The difference between a higher and a lower tone is called a distance. If you play two keys on the piano that are far apart, the distance between these tones is large. If you play two keys that are directly next to each other, this distance is small.

In this chapter you will learn about the smallest distance between two tones on the piano. And how this smallest distance is called. In the video, you will learn about half and whole steps. In the exercises, you learn to recognize half and whole steps yourself.

A half or whole step is also called a half or whole tone. A half step or half tone is also called a semitone.

1. What are half and whole steps?

A half step is the distance from any key to the very next key up or down, with no key between.

A whole step is equal to 2 half steps, with one key between.

Half and whole steps are important building blocks in music. They are used to make intervals and scales.



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What distances are half and whole steps on the piano?

note example

2. Practise

Harmony exercise 1a: practise recognizing whole and half steps.

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