Let’s start from the Notes Alphabet.
Don’t rush. Read more than once, if needed 😉.
Firstly, we should learn the Alphabet. To be more specific – 7 first letters of the alphabet.
A B C D E F G Probably, not the hardest thing in the world 😀.
Notes – are these letters! And the pattern keeps repeating:
A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B …
But in music we start this order from C and it goes like this:
C D E F G A B C …
OK, find any piano, synth, or something that is similar to this picture 😝👇.
We have these “Letters”(Notes) on our keyboard:
Tip: All examples will be shown like this.
Furthermore, this pattern keeps repeating forever 😮.
So, if we look at the any other part of our instrument, we see that everything is absolutely the same on every existing piano in the world!
By the way, I lied to you 😝. We have a few more letters in our alphabet. Those are ‘Black’ notes on the piano. They don’t have permanent names, therefore they are always named with ’help’ of their neighbors.
Names of the Black Keys
There are 2 options to name the ‘black’ note:
1.Raise the previous note. Add # to the previous note. (# is called Sharp)
a) We have the note D.
b) We go Up by 1 (Up means Right).
c) And we name our black key with # (Sharp) because we go Up by 1 = D#(pronounced D sharp).
2.Lower the next note. Add b to the next note. (b is called Flat)
a) We have the note E.
b) We go Down by 1 (Down means Left).
c) And we name our black key with b (Flat) because we go Down by 1 = Eb (pronounced E flat).
Symbols # and b sometimes are called Accidentals.
Tip: Sign for a flat is ♭ and sign for a sharp is ♯. I use b and # for simplicity.
Now our alphabet can look like this:
C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C …
It also can look like this:
C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B C …
And any combination is relevant too:
C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Gb B C …
Tip №1: I use / symbol to show two different ways of naming the specific note.
Tip №2: Sometimes we must use flats and sometimes we must use sharps. We will dive deeper into these details later, so don’t worry about it now.
Now you know that from C to B there are 11 notes. You can count, if you doubt🤔.
Sharps and Flats
Actually, Sharps(#) and Flats(b) are playing roles of +1 note and -1 note respectively.
Furthermore, the distance of 1 note is called Semitone(also known as half-step). And the distance of 2 notes – (Whole)Tone(also known as step).
Finally, we mix these things.
-To raise the note by 1 semitone means – to sharpen(add #) the note.
-To lower the note by 1 semitone means – to flatten(add b) the note.
A lot of information here 😱.
To clarify, let’s look at the examples:
1.Between C and C# is the distance of 1 semitone, because C# is one note up from C.
2.Between C and D is the distance of 1 whole tone(2 semitones), because D is 2 notes up from C (don’t forget that we count C# 😅).
3.However, between E and F is the distance of 1 semitone, because F is 1 note up from E, since there’s no black key between them. It also happens with B and C.
4+.From D# to F is the distance of one whole tone(2 semitones), because between D# and F is E.
From C to F is 5 semitones.
From C to D# is 3 semitones.
From C to the next C is 12 semitones.
Check these intervals by yourself 😏:
My Congratulations 👍👍👍! You did the first step to become a music theory pro!
Go through this topic a few more times and make sure you got everything right – because this topic is fundamental !