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Tones, Semi-tones, Intervals, Notes and Scales

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To understand tones, semi-tones, notes and scales and the difference between them, one must understand how an octave is divided. Assuming that you already know that, we proceed to explain.

What are Tones and Semitones?
Before the advent of 12-TET, the octave was divided into seven steps starting from C going upto the C of the next octave (C-D-E-F-G-A-B-c). Each of these steps represent one tone. Some, but not all, of these steps were later broken down into two steps creating semitones, that made possible our sharps and flats. For example C to C# is one semitone, just as F to F#, while C to D or F to G constitute one tone. Thus, from such division, our familiar 12-TET occurred bearing in it 12 steps from one C to the next (C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-c). Which brings us to the question:

What are Notes?
As you may already know, these individual points in a scale, separated by one or several semitones, is termed a note. It has a particular standard frequency. For example, the middle C note in 256 Hz, while A is 440 Hz. So, now:

What are Intervals?
an interval is the distance in pitch between two notes. Tones and semitones are a measure of intervals (more). It is the relationship between the pitches of two notes and is often measured in as their frequency ratio.

What are Scales?
Scales are the series of notes created by picking and choosing notes out of one or more octaves. the notes are arranged in ascending or descending order, that is used in composing music. For example the C major scale, consisting of the notes C D E F G A and B. (more)

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