Music Theory Reference

Semitone, tone, ♯ and ♭

Semitone is the smallest distance between two sounds in Western music. On a piano it is the distance between two keys next to one another (counting both the white and black keys). On a guitar semitone is the distance between two adjacent frets. Two semitones form a whole tone. Tones and semitones on piano Only the white piano keys have their own names. Names of the black piano keys (and of the matching notes) are formed by adding either ♯ (sharp) or ♭ (flat) to the adjacent white keys. Flats and sharps on piano and fret As you can see, a ♯ (sharp) raises a note by a semitone, and a ♭ (flat) lowers it respectively. As a result, a black piano key has two names.