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Semitones and Tones are the most basic units of musical intervals, or musical distances.


Semitone is the smallest, or nearest possible distance between two notes on the piano. For example, the note that is of the nearest possible distance away from the C, is Db or B; these notes are said to be a semitone away from C - Db is a semitone above C, while B is a semitone below C

Let's try another example: the closest note to E is either Eb or F; the note F is said to be a semitone above E, while the Eb is said to be a semitone below E. Refer to the illustration below: 

Once you understand what semitones are, it is easy to understand tones. Tones, as the term semitone might suggest, refer to a musical interval of two semitones. For example, G, being two semitones above F, is said to be a tone higher than F. Refer to the illustration below: 

Now that you understand what semitones and tones are, you are ready to move on to our next lesson on Scales & The Major Scale!

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