#1
So i was looking at some threads and i know alot of them references semitones and such.

I have no clue what those are. i know there parts of a scale but that bout it. and for 4's and 5's i dont what they are either.

someone plz help ty
#2
4s and 5s are Intervals. 4ths is a note 4 notes above the root of the scale. So in a C major scale, C D E F, F is your 4. Same applies to 5th, cept its your 5th note of the scale. C D E F G, G is your fifth
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#3
There are 2 kinds of semitones, chromatics and diatonic.

Chromatics are the easy ones, since you only need to add a # or a b to the note.
For instance, A# and A are 1 chromatic semitone apart. Cb and C# ar 2 chromatic semitones apart, etc.

Diatonic are more difficult, since they require a change in the degree and requires you to understand the relationship between each degree, preferably when they are natural, like in C major, so it's better to understand.

A diatonic semitone would be B-C, they change degrees, but are a semitone apart (the smallest intervalic distance between 2 notes).
You can see that B-C has the same "distance" as B-B#at least in 12-TET, but they differ because the first one is a Diatonic semitone and the last one is a Chromatic semitone

EDIT:I forgot to say, semitones are a way of measuring distances between notes.
The distance is intervalic, meaning tha (just like intervals) the distance is only theoretical and is represented by the degree (name or letter) and it's species, basicly the actual distance, but in relation to the degrees.
Semitones are intervals really, the diatonic semitone being a minor 2nd and the chromatic semitone being an augmented unison, but to simplify we call them "semitones".
Last edited by gonzaw at Jan 25, 2009,
#4
Quote by gonzaw
There are 2 kinds of semitones, chromatics and diatonic.

Chromatics are the easy ones, since you only need to add a # or a b to the note.
For instance, A# and A are 1 chromatic semitone apart. Cb and C# ar 2 chromatic semitones apart, etc.

Diatonic are more difficult, since they require a change in the degree and requires you to understand the relationship between each degree, preferably when they are natural, like in C major, so it's better to understand.

A diatonic semitone would be B-C, they change degrees, but are a semitone apart (the smallest intervalic distance between 2 notes).
You can see that B-C has the same "distance" as B-B#at least in 12-TET, but they differ because the first one is a Diatonic semitone and the last one is a Chromatic semitone

Diatonic semitones are not that difficult, you just need to know that there's a semitone between E-F and B-C. So when you try and flatten or sharpen a note by a semitone and you get E# or Cb you know it would be simpler to call it F or B.
Last edited by 12345abcd3 at Jan 25, 2009,
#5
Post #3 TS.

Don't know if it was obvious in gonzaw's post but I'll put up the descriptions anyway.

Chromatic semitones are two adjacent pitches which share the same letter.
Diatonic semitones are two adjacent pitches which have adjacent letters.
#6
Quote by 12345abcd3
Diatonic semitones are not that difficult, you just need to know that there's a semitone between E-F and B-C. So when you try and flatten or sharpen a note by a semitone and you get E# or Cb you know it would be simpler to call it F or B.


For a beginner it is more difficult to understand than chromatic ones, since you need to know that B and C are 1 semitone apart, or that E and F are 1 apart too, and for that you would need to learn the major scale, and other stuff, etc..
#7
Quote by gonzaw
For a beginner it is more difficult to understand than chromatic ones, since you need to know that B and C are 1 semitone apart, or that E and F are 1 apart too, and for that you would need to learn the major scale, and other stuff, etc..

I suppose, though the major scale wouldn't be necessary.

I don't think there's that much need to seperate the two types so much, though, because they are both the same interval.

When I learned semitones and tones (this was when I was like 6, learning the piano) I didn't learn the two types, so I have a question. Surely, the diatonic semitones would change if you changed key because in the key of D, for example, the semitones are between F#-G and C#-D.