Music Theory: the 12 (half) step program

I have been working on music theory when I get the chance. There are some truly stunning patterns in music theory. An octave is the doubling of the wave’s frequency (in Hz) from the previous octave. The octave is then further divided into 12 half steps that make up the scale.

Half steps are the adjacent keys on a piano. Since the adjacent keys to the middle “C” are “B” on the lower side and “C#” on the higher side, we would say that the “B” is a half step down, and the “C#” is a half step up. With these divisions, all the notes that make up an octave are as follows:

Half Steps Interval
Name
Example
(Key of F)
Example
(Key of C)
Example
(Key of G)

0

Root note

F

C

G

1

Minor Second

F#/Gb

C#Db

G#Ab

2

Major Second

G

D

A

3

Minor Third

G#/Ab

D#Eb

A#Bb

4

Major Third

A

E

B

5

Perfect Fourth

A#/Bb

F

C

6

Augmented Fourth

B

F#Gb

C#Db

7

Perfect Fifth

C

G

D

8

Minor Sixth

C#/Db

G#Ab

D#Eb

9

Major Sixth

D

A

E

10

Minor Seventh

D#/Eb

A#Bb

F

11

Major Seventh

E

B

F#Gb

12

Octave

F

C

G

It is important to commit the number of half steps and their interval name to memory, but you don’t have to memorize the “Example” column since the notes it contains depends on which note you use as a root note. It is the pattern itself that is important. The example column is only used to show that each note is a half step above the previous.

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Marisa

I am a writer of words, a thinker of thoughts, a changer of genders, and a queerer of life. I am an antagonist of the ordinary; and while I do tolerate it, I also look at it with contempt.

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