BASIC RUDIMENTS
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BASIC RUDIMENTS. Tones, Semitones and Accidentals. On the keyboard, a semitone is the distance from one key to the closest neighbour key. Accidentals are symbols which raise or lower the pitch of a note. These accidentals change the pitch by a semitone:. Flat. Sharp. Natural.

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BASIC RUDIMENTS

Tones, Semitones and Accidentals


On the keyboard, a semitone is the distance from one key to the closest neighbour key.

Accidentals are symbols which raise or lower the pitch of a note. These accidentals change the pitch by a semitone:

Flat

Sharp

Natural


A sharp raises a note one semitone.

E

B

C

D

F

G

A

C

D

E

G

A

B

F


A flat lowers a note one semitone.

F

C

D

E

G

A

B

E

D

F

A

C

B

G


A natural cancels a flat or sharp.

G

D

A

C

G

A

C

D

A sharp note is lowered a semitone with a natural.

A flat note is raised a semitone with a natural.


WRITE IT RIGHT!

On the staff, accidentals always go in front of the note they affect.

The inside of the accidental symbol must be placed on the same line or space as the note.



NOTE THE RULE!

An accidental changes all the notes on the same staff line or space for an entire measure unless it is cancelled with another accidental.

This D is in the same bar but not on the same staff line as the previous D flat.

This F is in the same bar but not in the same staff space as the previous F sharp.

This F is in the same bar and on same staff space as the previous F sharp

The natural cancels the previous D flat.

The barline cancels the previous F sharp from the previous bar

F

D

F

D

F

F

F

D


A chromatic semitone uses notes with the same letter name.

F

G

F

F

Chromatic Semitone

Diatonic Semitone

A diatonic semitone uses notes with different letter names.

MEMORY HELP:

“Diatonic” and “Different” begin with the same letters.


To write a note a chromatic semitone above a given note:

C

C

Draw a note on the same line or space as the given note.

Add an accidental to make the note a semitone higher than the given note.


To write a note a chromatic semitone below a given note:

A

A

Draw a note on the same line or space as the given note.

Add an accidental to make the note a semitone lower than the given note.


To write a note a diatonic semitone above a given note:

C

D

Draw a note on the closest line or space above the given note.

Add an accidental to make the note a semitone higher than the given note.


To write a note a diatonic semitone below a given note:

A

G

Draw a note on the closest line or space below the given note.

Add an accidental to make the note a semitone lower than the given note.


A whole tone is the distance of two semitones.

WRITE IT RIGHT!

2

1

2

1

1

2

C

D

B

Always use neighbour letter names to write whole tones.

F

G

C


Enharmonic notes are notes at the same pitch with different names.

G

F

C

D

E

B



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