Accurate visual interpretation of music is an important skill for all musicians.

The piano keyboard is a great visual component and it is recommended

that you become familiar with it.


  Whole Tones and Semi Tones:


  Sharps, Flats and Naturals:    







The difference between two notes is called an interval. Intervals are always

counted from the lower note to the higher note. Intervals come in different

qualities and size. If you begin counting from any note and pass up or

down through eight note names, you will reach the same name as the one

with which you began.This interval, which is eight notes long, is called an octave.



Any system used within an octave forms a scale.





Whole Tones and Semi Tones:





The smallest interval used in Western music is the half step (semi-tone).

On a piano keyboard, the interval from any note to its neighbour, whether

it is a black or white key, is called a semi tone. There are two places in each

octave where two adjacent white notes form a semi tone i.e. there is no

black note between them:




A whole tone is made up of two semi tone steps.



Sharps, Flats and Naturals:





The symbols below are used to denote whether a note is sharp, flat or natural.

Each black note on a piano keyboard is given two names.





To find the first name for a black note, find the name of the white key a

semi tone below it. Add a sharp sign and you have the first correct name for this note.

To find the second name for a black note, find the name of the white key a

semi tone above it. Add a flat sign to this letter name. The natural (below)

sign cancels out the effect of the sharp or flat sign.